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CRM Idol - Small CRM Companies Take the Stage #1B

Its now 2pm ET and, right on time, here are the next two reviews for CRM Idol - Soluciones S.A.

Its now 2pm ET and, right on time, here are the next two reviews for CRM Idol - Soluciones S.A. and Jaguar TPM. Same rules apply. Please do me a favor and comment on what you think.  You may be able to affect the semi-finalist choices if you do.

Here we go...

Soluciones S.A.

Soluciones S.A., an Argentinian based company and creator of Engage Business Solutions, is a well matured company focused on CRM solutions for both the Spanish Speaking Latin American and Brazilian markets.  The company was founded in 1989 with offices and partners in Mexico City, Uruguay, Chile, Ecuador and Brazil.

Soluciones S.A. has a network of partnerships and alliances that include companies like Oracle, Microstrategy, SPSS, Microsoft, Atos, Telefonica and Deloitte. With a staff of 60 employees, Soluciones manages the product development, software sales and professional services in the entire region.

Engage Business Solutions (EBS) main focus is to provide efficiency, profitability and competitiveness to the unique Latin American market. They have been accomplishing this by providing a solution that has BPM, CRM, Collections and Analytics - an all-inclusive solution. EBS solution targets small business as well as large enterprise in Latin American, from banks and to insurance and from cable to telecommunication companies.

Their main market is the financial industry which represents 40% of their customers. Other industries where they have key customers are insurance, telecommunications, government and automotive. They have an impressive list of customers that represent who is who of banks in Latin America like Banco Columbia, Banco Fallabela, Banco Comafi, GE Consumer Finance, Banco Ripley, Meridian Financial, BBVA and others. DirecTV is also one of their showcased customers in Latin America.

When the CRM decision is local to the market, they compete very well with CRM vendors like Siebel and Microsoft, since EBS offers local best practices in CRM and especially in Collections. Also, their integrated BPM technology and the local pricing are very attractive to many Latin American companies.

The EBS solution provides the traditional CRM modules such as marketing, sales and service, but it also provide loyalty, collections and BI modules - all integrated. This includes functionality to manage different touch-points with consumers such as call center, web, branches, mobile and CTI. One unique factor is that EBS is tailored for the B2C market more than the B2B market.

Their technical architecture provides a complete data integration between the application and integration layers. In terms of middleware they are capable of connecting to MQ Series and Web Services, among others. MQ Series is a popular option in Latin America for integration services, especially in the financial industry. Additionally, EBS is database independent; it can work with most popular databases.

One of the key benefits of EBS is their Business Applications Library. They have created 100s of business applications to manage all types of processes from credit validation to collections and from marketing to sales. The library includes processes, forms, metrics and formulas. These business applications are based on local and regional best practices. This is a unique competitive advantage against their competition and a benefit for their customers.

The solution also provides 50 predefined reports and dashboards using an embedded OLAP engine, including metrics such as RFM, Time Analysis, Collections, Customer Scores and Geographical Analysis, among many others.

Soluciones S.A. have found a good niche in the Latin American market due to the fact that they can serve the large enterprise and small business markets in a B2C environment, and most important in the financial industry.  They can help large enterprise with complex processes in the typical Latin American environment. This is a unique differentiator.  The know-how of the region is an excellent competitive advantage.

Today, most of their customers are using EBS under the on-premise model. However, they currently have a SaaS solution for small businesses.  They see some challenges ahead such as replicating their success in Argentina in other countries, increasing their partner network and moving to the Cloud.

Their user interface is designed for call center reps and only provides Spanish and Portuguese support. The user interface really needs improvement; it is not that user friendly and looks like a client/server or mainframe screen deployed in a web interface. This look and feel could be fine for the Latin American market, but if they eventually want to enter the market in United States, EBS will need to improve some key aspects of the user interface and support the English language.

If you are a multinational company with operations in Latin America, EBS should be in your short list of CRM vendors. They have the local know-how, the local best practices and the local support. Soluciones S.A. is a matured CRM vendor with great opportunities ahead and worth considering.

Jaguar TPM

Founded in 2009, JaguarTPM is a management consulting and systems integration firm focused on CRM and trade promotion management solutions for consumer products companies.  Cofounders John Mazan and Rick Davies bring extensive CPG industry experience in strategy and implementation from leading firms such as IBM, KPMG, and McKinsey & Company.

According to research provided by JaguarTPM, there are approximately sixty-six thousand consumer products firms in the US, employing fourteen million people, and accounts for $2.5 trillion in annual revenues.  According to various reports, these companies spend anywhere from 10-30% of revenue on trade promotions.  JaguarTPM is focusing their efforts on providing small and midsized CPG companies the ability to compete for distributors and retailers with an integrated set of trade promotion management (TPM) and CRM tools larger competitors typically have at their disposal, but at a fraction of the cost of high-end solutions from vendors like Oracle and SAP.

Lack of integrated planning between trade promotion planning, volume forecasting and account management is a key challenge of TPM. Most TPM systems require a substantial investment in human resources and IT. JaguarTPM's main objective is to bring down barriers to implementing a systematic approach to managing TPM from both a sales promotion and financial management perspective - at the SMB level.  Prices start at $150 per user per month.

Built on top of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, JaguarTPM leverages account management, contact management and reporting capabilities from that platform, and integrates a complete trade promotions management module specifically for the CPG industry.  Their industry template focuses on adding/extending the following capabilities:

  • Account and contact management customized for handling relationships with both distributors and retailers
  • Product Planning at the SKU or product group level
  • Volume Forecasting (performing "what if" analysis for adjustments)
  • Trade Promotion Activity Planning
  • Integrated trade promotion with forecasting
  • Merchandise retail execution (information on how retailers place/showcase products)
  • Distributor Portal integrated with Dynamics CRM to allow distribution partners capability to provide depletion information back to manufacturer allowing for more accurate forecasting

The company is currently working on a customer service extension called JaguarQ.  The extension will not only manage the quality of product delivery to distributors and retailers, but also look at consumer side service.

JaguarQ will take into account lot number, and the product location. If a call comes in and says something was wrong with a product, (e.g. found a product defect) a set of workflows will kick off to see who needs to be contacted and what procedures need to be followed.

Additionally they are exploring the concept of having QR codes as part of the packaging so that someone can take a picture, send it in, which will allow users to tell how the product got there, when it got there, where it is in the distribution channel, and how long it's been there.

JaguarTPM can be deployed as an on-premise solution, or over the cloud.  Originally they looked at building their solution on top of "cloud-only" solutions, but some of their larger customers preferred the option of having an on-premise or a cloud-based service.

Although they are a Microsoft Certified Gold partner, JaguarTPM does not target Dynamics CRM customers, and doesn't focus their business on reselling Microsoft products.  They also don't look to Microsoft as a channel for leads. Due to their experience and expertise, they view themselves as a TPM/CRM solution for CPG, and not primarily as a reseller.

Even though Oracle and SAP are the main players in the space, particularly at the high end of the CPG market, JaguarTPM's price point should be attractive to companies growing their product catalogue and distributor/retailer network.  Educating the SMB market, in addition to providing an integrated CRM/TPM solution will be key to JaguarTPM building a successful niche in this area.

Also, JaguarTPM believes more CPG manufacturers view social networking as an interesting avenue to create opportunities for direct conversations with consumers to offer trade promotions to them Tighter integration with social will provide for richer conversations between vendors and consumers enabling vendors and retailers to better manage promotional dollars. This would allow manufacturers to gain valuable customer insights in order to create more attractive products and offerings to distribute.  JaguarTPM sees this as a potential selling point that could drive interest at the SMB level for an integrated approach to CRM and TPM.

JaguarTPM's deep experience and expertise in the CPG space, coupled with their focus on small and midsized organizations, is a combination worth paying attention to.  The solution makes it possible for smaller manufacturers to have a much better handle on trade promotion activities, as well as a better system for managing key relationships with distributors and retailers.  And as their need to spread promotion dollars into more products over a wider distribution network, JaguarTPM's integrated approach to this challenge should make it an option worth considering.

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