Live Blog from the Intuit App Showcase (Part IV)

Bill.com leads off the next wave of presentations.  Bill.com saves their customer 75% of the time it takes to pay their bills and they get paid two to three times faster.  Who wouldn't want that?  This app is a comprehensive portal that helps business managers manage their receivables and payments.  Businesses and customers can short-circuit the slow process of snail mail and telephone tag as they ask and answer questions about invoices, attaching documents, tracking conversations and resolving issues in the portal.   Couple that with an automated bill paying process and Bill.com enables faster work flow, clearer roles and better controls. 

Thrive CRM takes the stage wearing t-shirts that say "Now what?"  That's the question they say small businesses ask over and over when it comes to their marketing, advertising and sales.  Thrive wants to take the guesswork out of those areas . . . well . . . to help your business thrive.  Thrive includes an advertising manager that evaluates whether a promotion is worthwhile.  It tells you how many customers you'd need to attract in and what your conversion rate needs to be.  Using QuickBooks data, it looks at past performance to help you understand whether what you need to do is realistic or not.  The app also gets smarter as it gets to understand your business and includes a recommendation feature to help you understand what actions you should take to improve your success.  These folks understand that small businesses start from a place of passion and created this app so that passion can be rewarded. 

MethodCRM gets started wearing chef's jackets and toques and introduces their app with an Iron Geek (think Iron Chef analogue) demo.  As one team member narrates Fukui-san style, the other partner is demoing creating a custom process of the experience from customer request through invoice.  Will they finish in time?  We'll see. MethodCRM's differentiation is providing a complete customizable platform that lets non-coders create custom processes with drag and drop interfaces.  And yes indeed, the competition is ovah!  MethodCRM was talking fast and fingers were flying but within the limit of the five minute pitch, they successfully build a custom process directly inside the CRM.  

BillFlo ask the profound question "Do we have money to do what we need to do?"  It's not easy thing to answer for a small business and most use a manual (read painful) process.  BillFlo gathers up all the data and presents it in a forward-looking, actionable view. The app pulls cash balances from QuickBooks and PayPal, pulls invoice data and the payment history of that customer.  They predict payment dates to create a realistic view of when cash will flow in and enable the buyer chooses on a sliding scale when they want to paid. The visual display is simple and clear and moving that line on the screen to avoid a financial crisis has got to feel good.

Mabbled also starts with an important question 'Will I get paid?"  Mabbled wants to make it so.  This app crowd-sources data via the QuickBooks user community to rate businesses on how promptly they pays their bills; this allows one small business to leverage a user community of millions.  Businesses share their QuickBooks data with Mabbled and the data are aggregated to build company profiles.  If you share your data, then you can search company's profile for free.  Although the data are sensitive, you can always purge data you've shared from the system if at any point you have concerns. This is an interesting way to use crowd-sourcing to reduce a company's risk.

And now a short break while a guy plays a raucous electric guitar.









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