I had the chance to sit in on a Bellwether Software Webinar yesterday. They were demoing their new software app, ePMX - an eProcurement system.
From what I saw, the application seemed solid. I had been involved in leading a couple of eProcurement system implementations back in the day, so I didn't see anything that I hadn't seen before nor did I see any red flags that those in what I perceive their target market to be (a small- to mid-size company, < $1 billion annual revenue) would be concerned about.
They also sent me a press release about their ePMX rollout, which I've pasted below. The release mentions some distinctions between Web-enabled and Web-based software which, honestly, I've not heard before.
Most of my experience has been working with the systems targeted for large enterprises and most of those systems are Web-based (using Bellwether's definition). I am not as intimately familiar with the competitors in the space that Bellwether is targeting, so I encourage you to independently ascertain whether any providers you are evaluating are providing true software-as-a-service or an installed product and what is important to you.
In full disclosure, Bellwether is a sponsor of the Purchasing Certification Blog.
July 11, 2008
Bellwether Software’s new president and general manager, Sundeep Dronawat, announced today that the roll out of its next generation product, ePMX, has officially begun. Dronawat has been very involved with the development of ePMX, Purchasing Management eXtra’s new web-based series.
Dronawat said, “People use web based applications for everything, i.e., email, banking, stock trading, music and shopping. Anyone who has purchased something on Amazon.com, for instance, has used a web-based application. As companies grow more global and have more remote workers, the need to use business applications over the web has grown, and this has created demand for software applications that run on the web. These new web- based applications are reducing the need for virtual private networks, which can be slow and sometimes a security risk. A web-based application – if it is truly web-based – is accessible anywhere there is a working Internet connection. It works through a Web Browser. The application does not run from the desktop computer, but, rather, on a central web server, and the software makes use of the computing power of both the client computer and the server with the Web browser being used as the user interface. In a web-enabled platform, the software is run on the desktop itself and the browser is just used for user interface. This type of software requires an additional component, which is the traditional client/server application. Such applications cannot stand on their own without counterparts. Web-enabled software applications are typically first generation initiatives by companies to provide some form of limited access to their original client/server programs.”
Further commenting, Dronawat said, “There are many software packages out there that claim to be web-based, but they are actually web-enabled, meaning that the original product has been altered to work on a web application. With ePMX, the product was built from the ground up as a new product especially for web application. Other software packages advertise that they are web-based, but, in reality, usually only the Requisitions Module is web-based or web-enabled. With the ePMX series, every module is web-based. That’s what makes us different from other vendors. And, software is full-featured and interfaces with almost any accounting package.
Eventually everyone will use web applications for their business processes. It is just the way the industry is moving. Even small companies will use it because it makes sense for business continuity and for disaster recovery purposes. Recovery is easier with a web-based application because it is backed up and run at a central location. Having a web based application is really an asset during times of disaster as business can be conducted from any computer that has an Internet connection, as most web based applications are served from a level 4 data center. Another asset is that updates are done one time, at one place – the web server serving the application.”
The company, Bellwether Software, offers ePMX as a Traditional Model and as an On-demand or SaaS (Software as a Service) Model.
Bellwether Software is a 23 year-old purchasing software company, headquartered in Louisville, KY. Inquiries at 502-426-5463 or at sales at bellwethercorp.com.
To Your Career,
Charles Dominick, SPSM
President & Chief Procurement Officer
Next Level Purchasing, Inc.
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