It's really, really, really here! I know, it seems as if you've heard us talking about this thing called xTupleCommerce forever, and you could easily think that it was a released product. The truth of the matter is, we've been working with a number of our fantastic customers for over four years to get to where we are today — proud to officially release xTupleCommerce 1.0.
What is it? Quite simply, it's the next evolution of ERP software — letting your customers and other business partners engage with you digitally, in real-time, in the ways that you want to support the growth of your business. Until now, ERP software really just concerned itself with the inside of your business — the systems that your employees use to buy, sell, make, and distribute stuff — with all the financial details happening magically in the background.
I call it magic, but you won't hurt our feelings if you think of it as plumbing. Let's be honest — ERP isn't the most glamorous business out there. It's mission-critical, incredibly strategic and super-important for the efficiency of your business operations, but yeah, we know, it's kind of like pipes in the walls. Really nice, shiny, copper pipes, but...
However you want to think about it, if the ERP system is mainly concerned with making the inside of your business run smoothly, xTupleCommerce focuses on bringing the outside world to you.
Whether you sell directly to end-users or through distributors, the people that buy your products increasingly want to make those purchases online. They want the same easy, frictionless experience that we — as consumers — take for granted when we shop online. They want to know that their business relationship with you (things like special pricing and promotions) are reflected in what they see online. They want to see their order history, pay bills, and connect with customer service online. All these things and more is possible with xTupleCommerce.
At xTuple we heard our community loud and clear. Mature manufacturers who didn't sell products online suddenly realized competitors with mobile-ready websites were servicing customers — and yes, taking orders — online. Wholesale distributors learned the hard way that the "big boys" were scooping up their market via the Internet.
With ERP-integrated xTupleCommerce, they're learning to fish where the fish are, and use the right (lowest-total-cost-of-ownership affordable!) bait. While integrated eCommerce might not sound like a bleeding-edge, transformative innovation to consumers — it IS a big deal to small- and mid-sized manufacturing and distribution companies, whose B2B relationships are almost completely analog.
It's a chicken-and-egg story. While xTuple ERP may have come first, the B2B eCommerce Web Portal is putting the ERP data and business rules front and center, to deliver real-time sales and customer service access and reap big return on investment (ROI) with this competitive advantage.
How can this work for your business? Check out some of the great marketing-related content from our xTupleCommerce team such as "Shooting product photography for your eCommerce site" and stories about online purchasing. We'll write more soon about the big 1.0 release.
Plus, we've got two upcoming opportunities to help you learn more: Webinar: What's New in ERP? Business Happens on the Web.
As I mentioned above, a large number of customers have worked with us as we've developed xTupleCommerce over the past few years. We're incredibly grateful to them, and we’ll highlight their stories over the next few weeks — starting with a short interview here with vice president Jason Dueck of California-based Instrument Meter Specialities.
What business problem were you trying to solve with xTuple and xTupleCommerce?
“Our old accounting software had a 90s mindset with no real concept of what a growing business needs. xTuple wasn't too complicated for us to use, or to learn, with the multiple free and paid support channels. Plus, xTuple had the right product offering (PostBooks®) to fit our budget and our capabilities now — to get started — and with room to grow. Our online presence was stagnating because of a platform we'd developed in-house, that only one person knew how to use. We could never develop a fully functional system that way. We needed to pay for that kind of service.”
What value have your derived for your business using xTupleCommerce?
“Our product life span is anywhere from 2-25 years or more, so most of our business is from new customers. Furthermore, our market is very scattered, so advertising channels like billboards, yellow pages, or radio weren't really an option for us. The web-presence xTupleCommerce offered was our best hope of growth. We are so excited about how this software continues to develop and benefit our business. Our web-presence has been greatly enhanced over the last 12 months using xTupleCommerce; it’s even allowed us to take advantage of advertising services. Every metric we track — from monthly visitors, monthly sessions, average session time, and bounce rate — is steadily improving.”
xTupleCommerce — and the REST API that is a key enabling technology for us — are also featured in our most recent "Greatest Hits Volume Three" faux album release. If you're new to that admittedly odd idea, it's our cheeky way of showcasing all the great customer relationships that have powered our new feature development over the years. You can check out Greatest Hits volume 1 and volume 2, as well as the latest — which, of course, is a double-live album featuring our own Gil Moskowitz mugging for the camera as guitar idol Peter Frampton.
Thank you to all our community members, especially our commercial customers, for everything you do to help us grow. We'll keep doing our best to return the favor!
As always, contact our sales team today to find out more.