Aplicor Software Review
Aplicor CRM System Review
Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, Aplicor has surprised many in the software as a service industry by acquiring significant SaaS market share and supporting some of the largest SaaS installations around the world.
The company's on-demand CRM software includes the traditional marketing, sales force automation (SFA), customer support and partner relationship management (PRM). In addition to online CRM, Aplicor also provides integrated and on-demand accounting software or more commonly called Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. The on-demand ERP software suite is made up of accounting software, distribution software, human resources and payroll, and light manufacturing. The combined hosted CRM and ERP suite allows Aplicor to be a one stop shop for many organisations seeking an enterprise wide hosted software system.
Aplicor's CRM software suite is clearly aimed at midsize and enterprise corporations and governments. The company implements a minimum user count of 20 and it's average user count for the year ended 2007 was well over 100. Based on Aplicor's price point, which is well lower than most competitors, we are disappointed Aplicor doesn't pursue small business organisations and hope the company expands its target market in the future.
Aplicor's operations outside the United States and Europe are directed by business partners (mainly value added resellers (VARs)) of the company. We find both positive and negative consequences when not dealing directly with the software publisher. On a better note, Aplicor directly owns and manages the data centers in North America, Europe and Asia which deliver its hosted software to all customers.
When hosted ERP software is not being considered in a software selection project, Aplicor typically faces Salesforce.com. Aplicor's main weakness against Salesforce.com is its much smaller brand recognition. While Aplicor is well known within the CRM industry, the company is not as well known to buyers looking into the industry for the first time. Aplicor's strengths against Salesforce.com include customization, business process automation, business intelligence and cost. While Salesforce.com can provide software customization and some workflow creation, the tools are tedious, difficult to use and never work as well as shown in the sales demo. Aplicor's graphical, drag and drop customization and workflow tools are very flexible and extremely easy to use by non-technical staff. Aplicor is typically priced at about 50 to 60 percent of Salesforce.com.
Because Aplicor offers integrated ERP, it also competes with NetSuite which also offers combined hosted CRM and ERP. Aplicor's weakness is again a lesser known brand, however, it scores advantages in the areas of ease of use, workflow automation, customer support and cost. While NetSuite's trend of continues, Aplicor has achieved a 98.1 percent client retention (for the three years ended December 31, 2007) which demonstrates the company's commitment to customer support and satisfaction.
A final Aplicor advantage for many midsize and enterprise organisations is its isolated tenancy hosting model. Instead of the multi-tenant hosting architecture used by Salesforce.com and several other on-demand CRM system providers, Aplicor uses isolated tenancy (i.e. private database) to facilitate improved information security, data privacy, system integration and system uptime. Aplicor is the only hosted system to provide certified 100 percent uptime for the last four years. While most small business companies do not seem to have concerns about the multi-tenant shared database model, the trend for midsize and enterprise companies is clearly to prefer the isolated, private database, hosted delivery model.