I was briefed recently by Dan Druker from Intacct about their Fall 2011 release which marks some significant improvements and expansions to their mid tier accounting solution. As part of the briefing Druker shared with me a competitive landscape diagram that Intacct produces to show where they feel they sit in the world. It’s actually a pretty useful diagram and while some vendors may argue with their own placement (FinancialForce in particular would see themselves as sitting higher up in the pyramid than they’re shown) it broadly describes the state of the nation for cloud vendors (on the left) and more traditional players (on the right).

Intacct Competitive Landscape Graphic

As part of this release, Intacct is announcing two major developments, a broad services resource planning offering, and a new UI approach.

Services Resource Planning (SRP)

Druker was quick to explain that they see SRP as being a much broader approach than Professional Services Automation (PSA). His perspective was that PSA, while appealing to a large number of prospective customers, is a far more narrowly focused product than SRP which is instead built to meet the needs of any organization providing service offerings, not just the narrow range of professional service companies. In terms of what the Intacct SRP offering includes, they have inked deep partnerships with Clarizen and Salesforce that will offer deep synchronization between the three products – using salesforce to manage the customer relationship aspects of services organizations, Intacct to handle the financial management and project accounting parts of the puzzle, and Clarizen to cover the project and work management aspects.

As part of the offering, Intacct is broadening the project account aspects of it’s product, including the following features;

  • Project summary – real time visibility into complete financial picture of projects
  • Automatic labor cost allocation and posting
  • Automatic, client facing project invoicing
  • Automatic milestone and percent complete billing

SRP is available now with pricing starting at $1500 per month.

New UI

Intacct has looked deeply at its user interface and is rolling out changes to deliver on what it is calling a “consumerization of business applications”. Essentially this means a tablet and mobile ready, and highly graphical user interface which includes application maps for broad functional areas with menu trays for more granular tasks.

Intacct UI 2 - Graphical Map with Open Menu Tray

The idea is to deliver on the long-promised idea of giving finance people within a business the ability to truly work remotely that the sales teams have been enjoying for a few years. In pitching their offering, Druker included a story from an Intacct customer that goes some way to showing the utility of a mobile application, even for a generally office bound role such as finance;

Here is the setting – poolside with my wife in the most northern city in Argentina in a town called Purmamarca enjoying a cerveza. Just had a wonderful day experiencing Argentina at it’s best. Laying down at the pool with my iPad to see if there were any fires back at HQ. Sure enough I needed to review and approve some PO’s. I logged on to Intacct on my iPad and solved the issue in 5 minutes. Back to my wife and my cerveza.

The quote may sound a little evangelical, but it’s a real world example of the utility of easy mobile access.

Intacct into 2012

Intacct is positioning itself well to mop up a significant share of the mid-market financial space. While giving no firm information, there seems a very strong indication that we’ll see an IPO from Intacct sometime in 2012. That timing makes sense as we see Intacct move strongly to consolidate its position. From a metrics perspective, Intacct is seeing 10 million API calls a month and growing – speaking to the depth of use of its platform. It’s also interestingly seeing a 60-65% attach rate with salesforce – being able to leverage salesforce’s market success further will be a key scaling strategy for them going forwards.

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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