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Aplicor Accounting System and CRM System Review

Aplicor began delivering Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software at the turn of the century and then followed up with an integrated accounting software and ERP system in 2003. The company is headquartered is in Boca Raton, Florida, USA and maintains international offices in London, UK, San Jose, Costa Rica and Sydney, Australia. Aplicor's software as a service CRM and ERP solution has surprised many in the SaaS industry by acquiring significant market share, winning some of the largest SaaS installations in the world and achieving one of the largest client acquisition growth rates in the industry.

The company's online CRM software includes marketing automation, sales force automation (SFA), customer support, partner relationship management (PRM) and a suite of integration, customization and system administration productivity tools. In addition to hosted CRM, Aplicor also offers an integrated and on-demand accounting software system or more commonly termed Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. The on-demand ERP software system is made up of financial accounting, project accounting, distribution and supply chain, human resources and payroll, and manufacturing. The combined CRM and ERP system allows Aplicor to stand as a one stop shop for organisations seeking an enterprise wide hosted software solution backed by a single accountable resource.

Aplicor's on-demand CRM and ERP software solution is designed for midsize and large enterprises and governments. The company enforces a minimum size of 20 users and it's average user count for the calendar year ended 2007 was well over 100. Based on Aplicor's price point, which is much lower than other on-demand CRM software systems, we're frustrated that Aplicor doesn't pursue more small business organisations and hope the company expands its customer market in the future.

Aplicor's international operations outside the United States and Europe are mostly managed by Alliance business partners (mainly value added resellers (VARs)). We find both positive and negative consequences with indirect VAR relationships and when not interacting directly with the software manufacturer. Aplicor does directly own and manage the three global data centers in North America, Europe and Asia which deliver its hosted software to all business software customers.

When on-demand accounting software or ERP software is not part of a business software selection project, Aplicor typically competes with Salesforce.com. Aplicor's main weakness against Salesforce.com is its much smaller corporate identity and brand recognition. Aplicor is well known within the CRM and ERP software community, however, the company is not as well known to buyers looking into the business software market for the first time. Aplicor's strengths against Salesforce.com include simple software customization, business process automation, business intelligence (BI) and a lower cost. While Salesforce.com can provide software customization and some workflow capabilities, the design tools are tedious, difficult to use and never work as well as when demonstrated in the sales demo. Aplicor's drag-and-drop visual customization and workflow tools are very flexible and extremely easy to use by non-technical staff. Aplicor is normally priced at about 40 to 60 percent of Salesforce.com.

Because Aplicor offers integrated accounting software and ERP systems, it also competes with NetSuite which also offers combined ERP and CRM. Aplicor's weakness against NetSuite is again a lesser known corporate identity, however, it scores significant advantages in the areas of ease of use, workflow automation, customer support and cost. NetSuite has incurred a well publicized trend of very high client turnover and other customer problems while Aplicor has achieved a 98.1 percent client retention (for the three years ended December 31, 2007) which demonstrates a proven commitment to customer satisfaction.

A final Aplicor advantage for many midsize and enterprise organisations is its isolated tenancy (single tenant) web hosting model. Rather than the multi-tenant hosting model used by Salesforce.com and several other hosted CRM software companies, Aplicor offers an isolated tenancy (i.e. private database) to gain advantages with improved information security, data privacy, system integration, predictable performance and delivery uptime. Interestingly enough, 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 overly concerned with the multi-tenant shared database model, the trend for midsize and enterprise companies is clearly to request the single tenant, private database, hosted delivery option.