Aplicor was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida. The company has surprised many in the SaaS industry by winning CRM software reviews, acquiring significant market share and supporting some of the largest SaaS installations in the world.
The company's hosted CRM software includes the marketing automation, sales force automation (SFA), customer support and partner relationship management (PRM). In addition to on-demand CRM, Aplicor also offers an integrated and on-demand accounting software or more commonly termed Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. The hosted ERP software suite is made up of accounting software, distribution software, human resources and payroll, and light manufacturing. The combined CRM and ERP suite allows Aplicor to be a one stop shop for organisations seeking an enterprise wide hosted software solution.
Aplicor's on-demand CRM software suite is aimed at midsize and enterprise corporations and governments. The company maintains a minimum size of 20 users and it's average user count for the year ended 2007 was well over 100. Based on Aplicor's price point, which is well lower than most competitors, we're disappointed that Aplicor doesn't pursue small business organisations and hope the company expands its target market in the future.
Aplicor's international operations outside the United States and Europe are handled largely by business partners (mainly value added resellers (VARs)) of the company. We find both positive and negative consequences when not dealing directly with the software publisher. However, Aplicor does directly own and manage the three data centers in North America, Europe and Asia which deliver its hosted software to all customers.
When on-demand ERP software is not being considered in a software selection project, Aplicor typically runs up against Salesforce.com. Aplicor's primary weakness against Salesforce.com is its much smaller brand recognition. While Aplicor is well known within the CRM community, the company is not as well known to buyers looking into the CRM market for the first time. Aplicor's strengths against Salesforce.com include customization, business process automation, business intelligence (BI) and 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 graphical, drag and drop 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 ERP, it also competes with NetSuite which also offers combined ERP and CRM. Aplicor's weakness is again a lesser known corporate brand, however, it scores advantages in the areas of ease of use, workflow automation, customer support and cost. While NetSuite's trend of excessive client turnover continues, Aplicor has achieved a 98.1 percent client retention (for the three years ended December 31, 2007) which demonstrates the company's strong commitment to customer support and client satisfaction.
A final Aplicor advantage for many midsize and enterprise organisations is its single tenant hosting model. Rather than the multi-tenant hosting architecture used by Salesforce.com and several other hosted CRM system companies, Aplicor uses isolated tenancy (i.e. private database) to facilitate improved information security, data privacy, system integration 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 to have concerns about the multi-tenant shared database model, the trend for midsize and enterprise companies is clearly to prefer the single tenant, private database, hosted delivery option.