Intacct and Intuit: It’s Complicated

One of our consulting firms  just received this offer from Intuit.  The promotion appears aimed at QuickBooks users, specifically software companies, who have outgrown their QuickBooks software.

What’s unusual about this mailing  is I’ve yet to see a press release that these two competitors (Intuit and Intacct) are working together.

The promotion also states “we have a new way” which may indicate this is a test or perhaps as yet unannounced partnership.

UPDATE: Intacct PR replies “..I would certainly not characterize intacct and intuit as competitors…”.

Most software companies tightly guard their installed user list and only as a deep last resort would they consider referring an existing customer to a competitor.

Relevant information from the email is below (emphasis is mine):

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Did A Free Demo Come Back To Haunt Both Epicor And ParknPool?

Three cardYesterday I spotted notice that Epicor was being sued by a customer over problems the customer described as:

Epicor said they could do it in seven weeks. We gave them seven months, and we got zero .. I couldn’t even look at a profit-and-loss statement. We couldn’t process orders. We were saying, ‘QuickBooks is so much better than this’ and we were paying $3,500 a year for it.

I can’t help but wonder whether prior to purchasing software (or in the case of Epicor – selling) was there any type of paid analysis that reviewed the fit and created a list of the functionality that was missing?

Moving from QuickBooks to a full ERP system is undoubtedly going to produce a lot of process changes. It’s also going to stress the limits of the typical accounting department who may have been accustomed to the QuickBooks method of data entry which is well suited to smaller operation workflows.

It’s impossible to tell from the details of this lawsuit – however my guess is that there might not have been enough due diligence (also called a paid proof of concept by my friend John Shaver).

Buyers who purchase software without a paid proof of concept could risk facing situations similar to this where missing features are unknown until implementation day when suddenly the true cost of the solution can exponentially increase past the initial hoped for amount – and many many times the cost of a paid proof of concept.

Friends don’t let friends buy ERP without a proof of concept.

Customer Sues Epicor After ERP Software Project Attempt Ends in ‘big Mess’

Is SAP Business ByDesign Channel Management In Disarray?

I hear that SAP’s Atlanta based Sr. Channel Development Manager, SAP Business ByDesign Dawn Jaeger left SAP as of about a week ago. In her capacity with SAP she was tasked with recruiting partners to represent SAP’s relatively new ByDesign SaaS offering.

Prior to joining SAP Dawn was with Infor and Navision in similar capacities.

She reportedly made the announcement channel-wide although her LinkedIn profile still indicates she is with SAP.

According to two sources she may not be the last of SAP’s North American ByDesign channel team to depart – though their destination is not yet known. [Read more…]

BJ Shaknowski Out As Intuit Director of Solutions Provider Program

Looks as if there’s a change in the works at Intuit as Director of Solutions Provider Program BJ Shaknowski notifies the channel that as of June 3 he’s taking off for an unspecified position with “a firm outside of our category that represents an enormous business challenge and opportunity…”.

BJ had been with Intuit for a little over 3 years and prior to Intuit he worked at Sage Software as described in this bio from a recent Scaling New Heights conference.where he delivered the keynote address.

BJ joined Intuit in 2008 to lead Intuit’s Mid Market and Retail Solution direct and channel sales teams. In 2009 he transitioned into a new role where he is responsible for the overall development and execution of the company’s newly consolidated solution provider channel strategy. Before joining Intuit, BJ held several senior positions at Sage Software including leading sales operations and strategy, M&A and North American customer migration. He held senior sales leadership positions with New Horizons Computer Learning Centers where he oversaw enterprise sales to the Fortune 500 and with Knowledge Alliance, a VC funded technology training firm, where he helped build the sales organization from the ground up. BJ spent eight years serving in the United States Marine Corps Reserves in the infantry and is an active marathoner and Ironman triathlete. He holds a BA from the State University of New York at Geneseo and a MBA from The University of Georgia’s Terry School of Business.

Full goodbye and farewell after the break

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Intuit’s Unbelievable Response to Data Outage

In case you missed it Intuit just suffered through a very public and embarrassing data outage.

By most accounts the outage lasted at least 36 hours.

Repors say it took down some of Intuit’s corporate sites as well as reportedly some of their accounting offerings such as TurboTax Online, Quickbooks Online, Quicken and Quickbase.

Customers are understandably upset. And Intuit’s not the first publisher to have a prolonged data outage. Google, Twitter, Sage – and others have them.

When outages happen other publishers tend to keep quiet  about them and not criticize a competitor because they know their turn for an outage could arrive tomorrow.

What’s remarkable about Intuit’s response to the outage is two things. They didn’t use a PR flack to deliver a boilerplate apology (see Apple’s iPhone 4 order snafu apology for a good example of what that looks like)

This morning I noticed something about their apology that I’ve rarely seen a software publisher do.

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