Tigerpaw looks to channel, Canada

Tigerpaw Software is making a splash into the enterprise space, and is also planning on significantly expanding its relationship with the channel, including Canada.

The Nebraska-based CRM software vendor has released its newest product, Tigerpaw Business Suite Enterprise 9. The Tigerpaw Business Suite is a group of integrated CRM software modules for contact management, sales force automation, customer service tracking, and inventory control.

Built on Microsoft Sequel Server 2000, the release includes enhancements such as opportunity management – sales force automation tools that trigger automatic marketing activities and increased marketing functionality. New service order profiling will help to better manage service calls, and it includes mobility options that include a web interface, mobile devices and increased integration with Microsoft Outlook.

Jeffrey Kaldahl, director of sales and marketing for Tigerpaw, said the company sees a strong channel play for the new release. In the past, Tigerpaw focused almost exclusively on the SMB space, and tended to sell somewhat direct to its customers. That’s changing now, though, as Kaldahl said the company is looking to boost its indirect stature.

“We’re actively building our channel right now,” he said. “By next year, we hope to be 100 per cent channel.”

Kaldahl said Tigerpaw’s markets generally include areas like contact management and field service, such as security and alarm companies.

“Anything you can think of in a vertical market where someone shows up to fix things,” Tigerpaw sees as a potential customer,” he said. Now, the company is looking more towards a expanding into sales organizations across vertical markets, like the pharmaceutical, software or heavy equipment industries.

“We’re still focusing on the services aspect, but we’re also branching into the professional services market,” he said.

Kaldahl said Tigerpaw’s push to the channel has less to do with its desire to fit the enterprise space, and more to do with demand from its customers. VARs had been a key market for Tigerpaw.

“It came from a natural extension,” he said. “VARs said ‘we have customers who can use this; can we resell it?'”

It also makes sense from the company’s perspective, having experienced resellers promoting the product.

“You start taking a look at ‘who are the people that I either need to sell my product to, or have selling my product?'” he said.

“If I have person in Toronto who can come down (to Nebraska) and train and resell it, I’ve got a powerful tool.”

The suite is designed to track prospects throughout the sales cycle and all touch-points with customers after the sale. There are four modules in the Business Suite: Pursuit for contact management and marketing, Quotes for sales force automation, opportunity management and line item quoting, Service & Repair for customer service, maintenance contract and technician tracking, and Parts for purchasing and inventory control. The suite includes an advanced scheduling and monitoring system that helps coordinate personnel schedules and notification of workflow assignments.

To get its channel going, Tigerpaw is giving its internal sales people higher commissions for passing deals to resellers, rather than closing the sales themselves. In time, Kaldahl said, the internal culture will shift to have the direct sales staff become more channel-oriented.

“We’re trying to get our sales representative used to the fact that if you use the channel, you’ll sell more,” he said.

Tigerpaw currently has one full-fledged Canadian reseller, but has 5 more in the training and orientation process. Kaldahl said the company will look to add more in Canada, as well.

“Absolutely,” he said. “Our competition is about having numbers (of resellers). I want to make this profitable, for the resellers and us. Canada’s been one of those markets that provide an opportunity.”

Kaldahl said most resellers are prime candidates for being Tigerpaw partners, simply because they were part of the company’s original target market.

“If you’re a VAR or an interconnect, you probably have the right mix of customer, and we can train you,” he said. www.integratedmar.com/ECL.cfm?item=DLY071003-02

Andrew McKay Editor