Customers flock to ERP solution pronto

Von Sandra Rossi
Uncertainty in the enterprise resource planning (ERP) market has allowed Australian software company Pronto Software Pty. Ltd. to attract 120 new clients in the last financial year, according to marketing manager Michael Panosh.

About 80 percent of the new customers are domestic deals, said Panosh who claimed organizations are replacing tier-one systems with Pronto"s offerings because they are one-tenth of the price.

SMEs which, for the first time, are implementing pre-configured ERP solutions are also driving the demand, he said.

Panosh says Chubb Security is a tier-one example of a company that suffered a failed multi-million project with a large vendor and turned to Pronto.

"We (also) have a global manufacturing company that has just replaced SAP; this deal will be announced next month," he said.

With 1,200 customers worldwide, Panosh said the increased activity has allowed the 20-year-old company to employ an additional 22 staff in the past three months. Pronto also has an R&D facility in Melbourne that employs 50 staff.

"Most customers have done a bit of homework before coming to us; they are aware of their pain points and know what they want," Panosh said. "The tier-one marketplace is saturated which is why the likes of SAP have shifted their strategy to target SMEs.

"There is no sign of merger and acquisition activity abating so we advise customers to check that the vendor they are dealing with has no legal action outstanding," he said.

While asking for ROI figures is the norm, Panosh says few projects capture the necessary "before and after" details that provide a definitive ROI. "You are better off asking reference customers how the system changed their business practices than studying vendor ROI papers," he said.

Panosh said the vendor wins a lot of business through referral because, unlike tier-one competitors, mid-market providers such as Pronto don"t have big marketing budgets.

Panosh said Pronto is now eyeing revenue targets in the A$100 million (US$72 million) range.