50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2017

Reinventing ways to drive revenue, engage with customers and grow business: Apttus

thesiliconreview-kirk-krappe-ceo-apttus-2017A major challenge of present day organizations originates from the urgent need to increase efficiency of customer-facing functions. Sales representatives have to follow a series of manual steps or use multiple systems for the next steps in the sales process that include quote configuration, quote document generation, contract and order generation. This results in inefficient back-end processes where invoices end up not matching the order of the quote resulting in a sub-optimal customer experience. Hampered by disconnected processes and systems that have developed over time from fast growth, M&A activity and global expansion, companies have a huge opportunity to transform the process from customer order to delivery and payment known as the ‘quote-to-cash’ process.

The quote-to-cash process touches almost every aspect of a business, and Apttus is one such company which is working towards driving the vital business processes between a buyer’s interest and the realization of revenue. Apttus’ offerings are fueled by the Apttus Intelligent Cloud, which maximizes the entire revenue operation by streamlining and improving business processes, aligning and driving revenue winning behaviors and recommending relevant, intelligent actions. No other enterprise software provider has ever used technology in this way, and as a result, Apttus is uniquely positioned to deliver successful customer outcomes, improving the realization of revenue from the top-down, while solving common business problems within the sales cycle.

Established for delivering premium customer experience

The company’s co-founding team spent decades in the software business, through the booms and crashes, experiencing every situation imaginable. They knew there was a need for a contract management tool that worked perfectly, and they were tired of selling products for other companies that didn’t function as they should. So naturally and quickly, the company came together on the pillars of three core values: Tier 1 everything, 100% customer satisfaction, and respect for all people. Apttus has maintained that trajectory ever since.

Built in the cloud, Apttus was initially simply selling contract management solutions until a customer asked it to work backwards and to develop a Configure Price Quoting tool for them. Apttus did that, and it worked spectacularly. Soon another customer asked the company to jump ahead in the sales cycle, and to use the same tools to build a revenue management solution. The company pulled it off, and suddenly Apttus was offering a seamless end-to-end footprint, which has not only become its calling card, but a new market valued today at over $30 Billion by Gartner. This process has become known as Quote-to-Cash, one of the fastest growing industries in the world.

Commitment to excellence

Apttus faced an interesting challenge shortly after it began growing. The market opportunity was vast, and Apttus’ co-founders wanted to address as much of it as possible. But at the time, the company simply didn’t have the personnel. Ultimately, the company moved forward by creating the Apttus Academy, an eight-week training program across all of its fields for recent graduates and those looking for a new career. “It was and is one of the most comprehensive professional educations offered in Silicon Valley, and Apttus paired newcomers with established employees to create good habits”, said Kirk Krappe, CEO. Today, hundreds of the best Apttus employees have come out of that program. And while the company had to get creative, it managed to turn a dilemma into one of its most shining accomplishments.

The undisputed leader in the QTC market

“Utilizing a patented combination of SaaS-based applications, Apttus offers the industry’s only Intelligent Commerce Platform, maximizing revenue and business outcomes for companies of all sizes.” Enhanced by Machine Learning and Max, the world’s first and only Virtual Assistant for the sales ecosystem, Apttus offers the market’s most comprehensive QTC footprint, spanning solutions for: configure price quote (CPQ), contract lifecycle management (CLM), revenue management, e-commerce, analytics and Salesforce/Microsoft integration (X-Author).

Powered by the world’s most trusted cloud platforms, Salesforce and Microsoft Azure, Apttus provides an easy to use point-and-click administration with uncompromised security. As one of the first organizations to deliver on the Salesforce1 platform, Apttus is able to handle businesses of all sizes and complexity offering turnkey implementations coupled with deep capability. In fact, both Salesforce and Microsoft are Apttus customers, and rely on its software to power their global sales/revenue organizations. To date, Apttus also remains its top-performing partner in the Salesforce ecosystem. Apttus knows its customers are always looking for new ways to make their own operations run smoother and faster. As a result, the company has now been working to incorporate artificial intelligence, machine-learning and dynamic analytics programs into its solutions that bring something akin to Amazon’s recommended bundles features into the B2B world.

Knowing the leader behind Apttus, CEO Kirk Krappe

A veteran of Enterprise Software with over two decades of SaaS experience, Kirk Krappe was involved in the very first instances of the internet and of enterprise applications. An Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist, and Forbes’ 2015 Unicorn Class – Entrepreneur of the Year, Kirk is co-founder, chairman and CEO of Apttus, the category-defining Quote-to-Cash (QTC) software company. Recently labeled by CNBC as one of the “10 start-ups that reached $1 billion in record time”, Kirk has been the driving force behind Apttus’ double digit revenue growth since its founding in 2006.

Prior to Apttus, Kirk held the role of Executive Vice President of Worldwide Markets with I-many. Additionally, Kirk was Chief Executive Officer of Nextance, a privately-held contract management solutions provider, as well as Senior Vice President at Corio through its IPO where he pioneered the original concept of SaaS and ASP before it became mainstream. Kirk also served as Vice President, Solutions Marketing at Oracle and Vice President, Industry Solutions at Siebel Systems. Kirk has an electrical and mechanical engineering degree from the University of London and an MBA from INSEAD, Europe’s leading business school.

“Achieving strategic business outcomes in today’s business environment is anything but easy but this is exactly what we’ve done for 600+ organizations and the results are measurable. We want to do the same for your business.”