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Below is our recent interview with Vincent Candela, Global PR & Marketing at Singletree Technologies:
Q: Vincent, tell us something more about Singletree and your Intellimas application?
A: Singletree Technologies is a software and consulting company that focuses its efforts on streamlining the business processes of companies in various industries. We have worked with some great Retail companies over the last 16 years, and they have helped us shape our product portfolio to where it is today. And now, companies in other industries will help us take our products to new heights. Our Intellimas application works standalone or as an add-on to enterprise software. It is used as a web app builder but also has some out of the box, supply chain functionality. It’s built for data entry speed for end users and flexibility for IT. With a minimal investment, companies use Intellimas to enhance their existing enterprise platforms in which they have invested a ton of time and money.
Q: You have had a lot of success selling Intellimas into the Retail industry. What made you look at other industries?
A: Yes, Retail is where we got our start and that’s where we have extensive domain expertise. However, after speaking to several companies, we realized that other industries have many of the same business problems as Retail. Usually Intellimas fills gaps in enterprise systems and those gaps are typically supported by end-user spreadsheets. We discovered that all companies, large and small, have critical processes that are handled in spreadsheets, and they recognize the risks associated with this approach. Intellimas provides the best of both worlds: the look and feel of a spreadsheet for business team and 100% configurability for IT. Additionally, IT can opt to handle the configuration themselves, which provides them with the flexibility to quickly respond to changing requirements.
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Q: What were some of the challenges you faced in the marketing and sales efforts with these new industries?
A: We first targeted Manufacturing a few years ago and we did see some of the same business problems as Retail. However we do not have the same level of domain expertise as we do in Retail and also lacked case studies outside this industry. Therefore we worked with a marketing company to build up our website by creating lots of video content, whitepapers, and webinars so people could see the product in action and understand how it can help them. Then we subscribed to a marketing automation engine that gave us intelligence into what worked and what didn’t work on the website. Finally we obtained an opt-in marketing prospect list and started email campaigns that led companies to our website. Much to our surprise we were not able to generate much business from this, but we were able to some gain some valuable insight:
1. In our discussion and demos with manufacturing companies, we realized our product can definitely help them and other industries.
2. You can burn through a lot of cash with pay-per-click campaigns before you see any results.
3. Prospects want to do as much research as possible before they buy your product. That includes free trials, without our involvement, if possible.
4. We need to continue to build new and fresh content to drive leads to our website.
Q: What opportunities have you been able to realize with this transition?
A: With our newfound market knowledge we decided to list Intellimas on software search sites, given that companies are researching products thoroughly before engaging vendors. We put Intellimas into several different software categories on the sites, because it can handle many different business processes. This has generated many solid, qualified leads for us and helped us learn how we need to direct the continued development of Intellimas. We also did not pigeonhole Intellimas into a specific industry and kept the marketing more generic. Finally we built out our website further in a more generic way so that any IT team can see how Intellimas can be a great enterprise application builder for them and business teams can visualize how easy it is to use the product. These moves have helped us close more deals and have increased our pipeline with organizations in healthcare, academia, and manufacturing.
Q: Have you had to make changes to Intellimas to support these new industries?
A: We have not had to make product changes due to our foray into new industries. However we have made product enhancements for new use cases of Intellimas. For example, we are working on an email UI for a student relationship management process for a client in academia. They are able to leverage the strong tracking and exception management capabilities of Intellimas but also needed to be able to generate template driven, mass emails. We designed Intellimas in a way that we can either handle new functionality as new features or as custom extensions which do not affect the core. As we get into new use cases for Intellimas, we expect and embrace enhancements to the product that will benefit all of our clients.
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Q: What exciting features are on the horizon for Intellimas that would help any prospective or existing client?
A: Intellimas version 6.0 includes several big features that we are excited to release:
1. Data Providers – A Data Provider can retrieve data from business systems to different areas of Intellimas, including Master Data, Drop-down lists, and reports. They can be set up using SQL, Web Api’s, or custom code.
2. Form views -This is a view of the data that is not row based. This will better support use cases that are not heads-down, data entry based and require a detailed thought process as the user navigates through the screen.
3. Role-based Administration – This will allow users to have power-user rights to specific admin areas of Intellimas.
Despite all of the bigger features, we pride ourselves on adding the smaller, client-requested features that make their day-to-day use of the product as friction-free as possible.