In an email update Lewe sent me right before the IT Nation 2012 conference, he mentioned these developments:
1. User Base: QuoteWerks now has more than 66,000 users in more than 100 countries.
2. QuoteValet Mobile: It's being adopted at a steady pace and is included at no extra charge with our QuoteValet subscription. Also included in our QuoteValet subscription is the ability to accept credit card payments from your customers that then flow into QuickBooks, eliminating the need for a person to manually receive and record those payments, Lewe said.
3. QuoteWerks 4.8: Among the new features is an Order Status capability.
According to Lewe:
"This was born from a conversation at the last IT Nation. One of our customers came up to us and explained that their customers expect the same level of order status awareness as when their customer orders from an online supplier like CDW. Their customers would often would call the MSP and ask "Where is that server I ordered?". This MSP had to employ a person full time just to keep up with the status and status requests of orders from the top 4 distributors. With the new version 4.8, our customers can now spend less time tracking their orders and more time building their business. In version 4.8 all the order status information from all 4 distributors is displayed on a single screen complete with tracking numbers, SERIAL numbers, warehouse fullfillment locations, etc. This also enables you to track your actual fulfillment of these orders, sure you ordered it. But has it shipped? Have you received it? All of those answers are now provided by QuoteWerks.4. QuoteValet Shopping Cart: This is also included in the standard QuoteValet subscription. You can create an online order form for use with the QuoteValet shopping cart. Customers can use them to automate customer re-orders or receive paid orders from a promotional email blast, Lewe indicated.
5. Distribution Relationships: The company has negotiated deals with Tech Data, Ingram, SYNNEX, and D&H "to host their product data to provide our customers with the best experience possible," said Lewe. "We call this our Part Locator service. Distributors add new SKUs daily and subscription services have a tough time keeping up with that pace. With QuoteWerks you are guaranteed to find the SKU if it is listed on the distributor website."
6. Integrated Shipping: "We also have a new FedEx and UPS integration allowing for seamless integration of shipping costs and an easy way to offer your customers shipping options.
7. ConnectWise service ticket integration: Lewe says it is "is second to none. Ours allows you to create one-off service tickets related to the quote for doing site surveys, pricing research, etc, and then it also allows you to better control how you would liker service tickets created separately for products vs services, etc." (Side note: I need to catch up with Quosal, another popular quoting and sales proposal platform, for their two cents on ConnectWise and PSA integration; ConnectWise Capital owns a stake in Quosal, but ConnectWise and QuoteWerks also continue to work together.)
8. Quote importer: Lewe said MSPs and VARs can "Easily import quotes and configurations from Dell, Cisco, HP (iQuote), and Netformx)." Those capabilities are "still a fan favorite and also our consumer pricing lookup for CDW, Dell, Newegg, and Amazon."
9. Next Move: Lewe hinted that QuoteWerks will be releasing a "completely new offering" in the December 2012 or January 2013 timeframe. It will bring a "new way of doing procurement" that doesn't exist in the marketplace today, he claimed...
Bigger PictureFor MSPs that are automating their businesses, tools like QuoteWerks and Quosal are familiar names. Additional sales automation platforms include CNet's Channel Online and VARStreet (which has been quite silent since Autotask sold it off last year).
Most of the sales automation tools integrate with PSA (professional services automation) and business software platforms like Autotask, ConnectWise and Tigerpaw Software. ConnectWise Capital, as mentioned, has an investment in Quosal and earlier considered making an investment in QuoteWerks but an official financial deal between the companies never materialized.