Now that the battle over software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications has moved into a suite phase where vendors bundle applications to get market share, the throwing of vendor elbows has become a lot sharper in recent months. But with the release this week of the spring edition of its namesake cloud accounting software, FinancialForce is seeking to remind organizations that there is a world of difference between bundled applications and ones that are truly integrated.
As a partner of Salesforce.com, FinancialForce offers applications that make use of the same customer records as the Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) application. Raphael Bres, general manager for financial management at FinancialForce, says that approach not only provides a better user experience, it reduces the amount of money IT organizations have to spend integrating applications.
Furthermore, Bres says, it takes a whole lot less time to enter data into applications written from the ground up with the cloud in kind than it does with applications that have been ported to the cloud.
The latest release of FinancialForce adds support for additional accounting functions alongside an ability to personalize forms and collaborate around a common record of a customer. In general, Bres says, FinancialForce is not targeting every vertical industry. For example, manufacturing and retail are beyond the scope of vertical industries that FinancialForce serves.
But in those industries that need a solid accounting application that complements Salesforce applications, Bres says, what counts more than the cost of acquiring software is the actual user experience any given set of SaaS applications enables.