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Linux-based NetLedger moves into CRM and Web stores

Apr 20, 2001, 18:30 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kevin Newcomb)

By Kevin Newcomb

The Linux-based business services ASP NetLedger Inc. announced Friday (April 20) that the company will extend its flagship accounting product to include CRM and Web stores, and it is making the entire integrated suite available in one package with NetLedger 1 System.

"Our vision has always been to be more than accounting," Stephen Wolfe, VP product management, told InternetNews. "We're leveraging accounting information to deliver things like HR, CRM, e-commerce and purchasing. These are really just different views of the same information. By working off of one system, you get the benefit of seamless integration with the other parts."

(LinuxToday readers will recall that NetLedger is the world's largest Oracle installation running on Linux servers.)

NetLedger 1 System offers one integrated application with all the services NetLedger now offers separately: accounting, payroll, online bill paying, Web store, CRM, HR and customer support. By packaging them all as one service, NetLedger is able to offer 1 System at a considerable discount.

NetLedger CRM, a new feature NetLedger version 6.0, also released today, includes an integrated contact manager, company manager, task list and calendar. In addition to storing contact information and company records, CRM enables businesses to track the communication and transaction history of their business relationships through a single screen.

The calendar enables users to schedule events with companies and contacts with whom they work. Users can create tasks, assign them to others, set a priority level and monitor the status. The integration of CRM with NetLedger's e-commerce and accounting functionalities empower businesses to manage all aspects of their prospect, customer and vendor relationships.

NetLedger users can also create a Web site or Web store, which will be integrated with the accounting system. "If I'm selling things in a Web store, they're really just inventory items in my accounting system," Wolfe said. "By using one system, I don't have to wait days or weeks to import information from one system to another before I can see a transaction."

This integrated flow of information can be found between all parts of 1 System. When an employee enters an expense report, it automatically flows to his or her supervisor for approval, and to accounting for processing. Products and services that a user sets up in accounting can be published to the user's Web site or Web store. If a customer registers for information on a NetLedger user's Web site, he or she automatically becomes a prospect in CRM for fast follow-up by the user's sales department. When a visitor places an order in a NetLedger user's Web store, it instantly creates a sales order and a packing slip so that it can be quickly shipped, and it also creates a customer record in CRM.

"The idea of one application to run your entire business is not new," said Evan Goldberg, president and CEO. "But what is revolutionary is this power is now within reach of any small and mid-sized company with NetLedger 1 System."

Earlier this week, NetLedger launched its Certified Consultant Program to certify accounting and other professionals as NetLedger experts. "Accountants are traditionally very slow to accept new technology, so we thought we'd see more resistance," Wolfe admitted. "But when you think about it, it saves them the time and hassle of having to maintain the same versions of the software their customers may be using, allows them to log into their customers' accounts from anywhere, and saves them the time they'd spend acting as a consultant to convince customers to install the latest upgrade."

NetLedger is a privately held company located in San Mateo, Calif. Investors include Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, StarVest Partners L.P., Automatic Data Processing Atlantic Inc. (ADP) and Painewebber Group Inc.

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