What’s Luck Got to Do with It?

Lisa Schneegans, visionary co-founder of Praxis Software Solutions, asserts that small and midsize enterprises (SMEs) have essentially the same goals and basic business management processes as those of larger companies. She says that in some ways their processes are actually thornier. Typically they are short on staff and don’t have as much strength as they would like to have in their IT departments. They want the functionality that big companies use without a heavy complexity burden. Solutions must be intuitive and easy to handle.
Schneegans says that SMEs also understand that the web can turn “very small” into “very big.” That’s where Praxis Software Solutions comes in.

Leveling the playing field

Praxis Software Solutions levels the playing field for SMEs with the affordable, pre-packaged SAP Business One solution. Right out of the box they have the functionalities required to perform like big companies.
Praxis is a US-based SAP Business One solution partner with an SAP-certified integration of the NetPoint Suite, an online selling solution with integrated online community and collaboration tools. The NetPoint Suite application integrates with SAP Business One to enable small and midsize enterprises to increase sales and improve customer service by managing interaction between prospects, customers, and partners.
“Small and midsize enterprises can realize immediate and sustainable gains by implementing an integrated, easy-to-use enterprise management solution,” said Schneegans. “By adding scalable Internet capabilities to SAP Business One we are extending the benefits even further and creating additional value for our customers.”
In fact, this solution is so appealing – and so much in demand – that Praxis faces the enviable challenge of having to pick and choose which opportunities to pursue, not just in the US, but worldwide.

Crystal ball not required

Schneegans observes that the market for packaged e-commerce software for small and midsize enterprises is growing rapidly. She points out that analyst community views are in line with what Praxis is experiencing. AMR Research expects that “Self serve will account for 52 percent of total e-commerce activity in 2005.”
Word on the street is that e-commerce software spending to meet this demand in the US is expected to be $2.5B in 2005, with SMEs (2.2 million companies in the US) making up a large portion of these purchases.
Industry analysts at Gartner support this opinion, adding that packaged applications can shorten initial implementation time by as much as 40 percent and lower TCO.
“Praxis Software Solutions used to be focused primarily on SAP R/3 implementations,” says Schneegans. “In 2001 we attended SAPPHIRE as a consulting company. We saw SAP Business One and it clicked for us. We envisioned it as the perfect opportunity to leverage our strengths and move from a pure-play consulting firm to one that produces and sells products. The timing was right.”
Today Praxis works closely with SMEs to use the power of the NetPoint Suite integrated with SAP Business One. It serves as the framework that SMEs need for all customer interactions. Integrating web-based prospect, campaign and opportunity management, order and service management, Business-to-Consumer and Business-to-Business e-commerce with collaboration and information sharing tools makes the solution a complete customer interaction system. With this solution, SMEs can increase revenue and employee productivity while reducing cost. That equates to an improved bottom line.

Web power

Schneegans says that Praxis takes a very pragmatic approach to meeting SME demand for an integrated, affordable business management solution that comes complete with online selling capabilities.
And Praxis Software Solutions’ customers are reaping the results. Richard Haugen of YakPak.com reports, “NetPoint’s integration with Business One has enabled us to improve product order flow, decrease customer service costs, and decrease backorders. The flexibility of the UI and API has enabled us to design a user experience that has increased both our conversion rates and time spent on our site by visitors. Orders flow seamlessly from the website through to our warehouse. Working with the people at Praxis has been a pleasure. They are very responsive to my needs as a customer.”
Jose Barrios, CIO of Vetco International, says, “We use NetPoint Commerce to sell 200,000 parts online. The NetPoint product is intuitive and easy to implement. I am particularly pleased with the flexibility I have with NetPoint to customize our site. It works great with SAP Business One. Integrating the NetPoint Suite with SAP Business One has created an affordable solution that enables a rapid return on investment. It’s also simple to use, giving people a consistent, intuitive environment that they can learn quickly and manage effectively. And it’s powerful and practical, enabling SMEs to handle business today and grow to new levels of success tomorrow.

Fortune smiles on Praxis

One of the things Schneegans appreciates about the Praxis/SAP relationship is the ability to reach expansively in collaboration with other SAP partners. For instance, Praxis Software Solutions has chosen Vision33, a partner with rich experience in SAP Business One and web services, as its first Service and Development Partner. Vision33 has made a deep commitment to the NetPoint products and to helping Praxis customers leverage the web for SAP Business One customers.
And in July, SAP America, Praxis Software Solutions, and Valogix jointly announced the availability of e-commerce and inventory management in a new integrated SAP Business One solution. It is designed to address the US $250 billion automotive aftermarket, with opportunities to increase sales, reduce inventory, improve service levels, and increase productivity.
Schneegans notes that their NetPoint suite of products was originally developed for the automotive and recreational vehicles aftermarket, so it is the next “lucky” step in their business development.
With fortune smiling so broadly on Praxis, it’s not surprising that in January 2005, SAP named Praxis Software Solutions “Solution Partner of the Year 2004.”
For information about Praxis Software Solutions, go to www.praxissoft.net.
To find out more about the SAP Business One solution, link to http://www.sap.com/solutions/smb/businessone/index.epx

Christine Macfarlane
Christine Macfarlane