Every now and then I discover a little application that really reminds me just how enabling technology can be, specially for small and medium businesses. This enablement is powered by varying degrees of some different themes – the cloud, mobile computing, ubiquitous internet access and the world of APIs. It’s always nice to tell the story of a little application doing some big things. Here’s an example.

I do a reasonable amount of consulting work all around the world and have always found that the slowest part of the process was actually creating Statements of Work and general proposals and seeing these progress though to agreed contracts. Often this is because (in my case at least) I’m re-creating the wheel, copying text from different places, changing scope descriptions and the like. A new service I came across the other day looks like a really interesting solution to this problem.

QuoteRoller is designed to both automate and streamline the creation and eventual execution of proposals. The basic idea is that the user can enter some standard proposals (or edit public proposals that QuoteRoller provides access to) and thereafter produce a proposal quickly by using the proforma templates and simple editing project-specific details.

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After entering he basic contact information for the organization, users can create standard templates with predefined blocks (“About the company” or “About the contractor” for example). They then simply enter the specifics about the particular contract (description, price, tax rate etc) and QuoteRoller does just that, creates a nicely laid out proposal that can be either downloaded as a PDF or viewed online.

I had a go setting up some draft proposals in QuoteRoller – while it is a little buggy still, the solution shows some real promise. I’d love to see some more integrations (QuoteRoller is currently integrated with FreshBooks, CapsuleCRM, Basecamp and Highrise) but the real value lies in the collaborative part of QuoteRoller – clients can interact with contractors when checking quotes and can also accept proposals online, once they have been accepted proposals can become draft invoices in the accounting/invoicing application or projects in project management software.

I’m not sure how much of a viable business QuoteRoller has – but the very fact that it is in existence is an example of just how enabling this new technology paradigm really is.

Ben Kepes

Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

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