Icode Tailors ERP For The Midmarket

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Icode claims it's got the first integrated ERP software suite specifically designed for midmarket companies. The product, called Everest, includes accounting, inventory control, e-commerce, sales-force automation and point-of-sale features, and it's aimed at companies with one to 1,000 employees, Icode executives said.

Bob Skinner, executive vice president of worldwide sales at Icode, said he's attuned to the special needs of midsize companies, having built and managed a reseller channel for Best Software, a midmarket ISV, earlier in his career. "The pain points for midmarket users have been [managing] multiple applications and training people on multiple software packages," Skinner said. "Everest is easy to use."

The typical ICode partner wants to make most of its money on services, he said. "We're seeing a lot of the Microsoft VARs that aren't sure [of the software company's strategy] looking at alternatives," said Skinner, referring to Microsoft's acquisition of Great Plains and Navision in the past two years,moves that show Microsoft's interest in bolstering its presence in the midmarket ERP space.

One company that has a close relationship with Microsoft but is also working with Icode is Business Management International (BMI), a $10 million New York-based solution provider. President Larry Schiff said BMI, which was started in 1987, was one of the original Navision resellers.

"How can we satisfy the lower end of the midmarket?" Schiff said. "Especially in these times, there's a cost sensitivity due to the recession, Sept. 11 and the [situation] in Iraq."

Despite all of that, BMI is getting traction selling Icode's product. "We had identified several [prospects] who were resistant to going with our [other partners'] product offerings," Schiff said. Several deals are now in the works, although they're still "six-month sales," even when ISVs such as Icode offer competitive pricing, he said.

Pricing for Everest starts at $2,000 per seat but jumps to $3,500 and up as Icode's CRM and e-commerce features are "switched on," Skinner said, adding that a customer's first-year license also includes unlimited technical support.

Late last month, ICode launched a new channel program,this one aimed at recruiting and training a group of Independent Certified ERP representatives, also known as the ICE Network. Candidates for the ICE Network must be trained and certified by Icode staff, Skinner said.

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