Ontraport debuts business automation platform for SMBs

Summary:The new integrated system replaces Office Autopilot and promises to streamline marketing and sales processes for entrepreneurs and small- and medium-sized businesses.



Its name may be clunky, but Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Ontraport hopes its new business and marketing automation platform will help streamline several key processes for entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The company took the wraps off its eponymous product today, which is essentially a customer relations management -- that's CRM for short -- system that assists in content management (design and publish web pages), lead tracking (customer data and behavior), classic rules-based marketing (e-mail, SMS, social media, direct mail), online payments (including automated billing), and workflow automation (such as for recruiting). 

Sounds like a lot, right? That's what Ontraport is banking on. Its value proposition is that it can wrap all this into a one-stop shop for customers who don't typically have the time to pull various technologies together into a cohesive whole.

The new platform replaces the company's Office Autopilot product, used today by about 4,000 businesses globally. Existing customers will be happy to know that the new platform has a new user interface that's intended to help the less technical among us, and international customers will be happy to know that the platform has been designed for that purpose, with support for "any language" or time zone.

"Entrepreneurs and small business owners didn't get into business because they're enthusiastic about business technology," Ontraport chief executive Landon Ray admits.

Smells like a business opportunity.

Topics: SMBs, Start-Ups


Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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