Apttus Adds a Virtual Agent to its Intelligent Cloud

To simplify how sales professionals manage their revenue-related operations, Apttus, a provider of quote-to-cash technologies, today updated its Intelligent Cloud platform with an intelligent agent called "Max," who can respond to voice commands, comprehend text inputs, and interact in virtually augmented environments.

Released in April, Apttus's Intelligent Cloud is a suite of enterprise-level, integrated software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications that aim to improve a company's quote-to-cash processes, from the moment a customer expresses interest in buying to after a deal has been made. The offering integrates with Salesforce.com's CRM system and includes tools built to handle configure-price-quote (CPQ), contract renewal, incentive management, e-commerce, billing, and order management processes.

According to Kamal Ahluwalia, chief revenue officer at Apttus, "providing an agent that makes user experiences exponentially better was a natural and productive next step" in solidifying the Intelligent Cloud.

Communicating with Max could potentially allow organizations to reduce the amount of time their sales reps spend interacting with business software to carry out repeated tasks. Users can program the user interface so the bot will execute specific tasks when instructed to do so. For instance, reps can quickly create quotes, contracts, and invoices via voice commands, without logging into the Apttus application. Built-in pattern-recognition capabilities allow the system to pick up on commonly followed paths to anticipate and suggest actions before a salesperson carries them out. To ensure that reps are behaving in a manner consistent with a company's corporate goals, it can also surface product and discounting recommendations, while illustrating how commissions could be affected by the actions they take.

According to a statement from Kirk Krappe, Apttus's chief executive officer, such revenue operations are critical in any organization, and the new capabilities can "dramatically enhance the financial aspects of the business," while enabling them to expand.

P.J. Jakovljevic, principal analyst at Technology Evaluation Centers, agreed, singling out Apttus in a statement as "uniquely qualified" to help enterprises improve such processes, as it has spent more than a decade building out its quote-to cash technologies to support machine learning, augmented reality, and intelligent agent capabilities:

"The days of companies relying on the 'alpha' sales folks who would use only their hunch to close deals are gone. Nowadays, intelligent software solutions like Apttus's Max can level the playing field for more sales employees and raise the performance of sales organizations."

Sales organizations will "see very quickly that the idea of long, laborious, click-heavy sales processes is going the way of the dodo," Ahluwalia told CRM magazine in an email. "It's time for fast, efficient, and more profitable revenue operations."

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