Welcome!

Search Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Aditya Banerjee, Sematext Blog

Related Topics: Cloud Expo, Java, SOA & WOA, Virtualization, Search, Web 2.0

Cloud Expo: Blog Post

ERP 2.0 Is Here to Conquer SMBs

Interview with Marc Kalman, CEO and Founder of BizSlate

Marc, Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. Please tell us, what is Bizslate all about and what do you do?

Kalman: BizSlate Inc. is a Software-as-a-Service ("SaaS") that is revolutionizing the way small businesses manage their customers, vendors, orders, inventory, logistics, and their overall supply chain.  Established in October 2011 with a focus on helping small and medium sized businesses ("SMBs") solve real problems they face on a daily basis throughout their supply chain, BizSlate ERP is designed and developed under the collaborative efforts of a management team possessing small business supply chain expertise and a 17 customer steering committee comprised of small apparel, footwear, and housewares businesses ranging between $1 million and $200 million in revenue.

What are you launching ..... What is the biggest challenge you face right now in telling your story and winning over new clients?

Kalman: I am excited to announce the beta launch of BizSlate ERP, a SaaS that comes with a host of features designed to significantly improve order processing and supply chain management for small businesses.  BizSlate focuses on resolving the biggest issues that SMBs face, and which have not yet been properly addressed by other small business ERPs.  BizSlate helps people at businesses reduce unproductive time in front of a computer by improving accuracy, providing mobile access to real-time information for fast and important decisions, offering means of better collaboration, and incorporating extreme efficiency where businesses need it the most.

Who is your target audience and how do you intend to reach them? What is the biggest challenge you face right now in telling your story and winning over new clients?

Kalman: We help small distribution businesses up to $200M in revenue with100 employees or less, with the majority of our customers expected to have revenue less than $50M.  These businesses sell products and services to large retail chains and department stores, boutiques and specialty shops, and direct to consumer via online and catalog.

The biggest challenge we face with acquiring new customers is the fact that we are in beta.  It is typically an "early adopter" customer who is willing to give BizSlate Beta a try for running their company.  That said, we continue winning customers over incumbents such as Netsuite and SAP Business One during this phase.  I attribute this early success to our team's extensive knowledge of small business supply chain and operations, and working with our customer steering committee to hone in on what SMBs really need from an ERP on a daily basis.

I'd be curious to hear any general thoughts you have on market trends...

Kalman: I feel we are at the cusp of a wave where SMBs will leverage SaaS for core systems such as ERP.  It just makes sense for small businesses to take advantage of hosted solutions where possible.  Analysts across the board expect 20% compound annual growth for the SaaS ERP market, as it grows from approximately $1.4B toward domination of the overall $20B ERP market.  If you look at Gartner, Forrester and Aberdeen studies, they all show that small businesses are better off having an ERP than without an ERP.  SMBs demonstrate measurable improvements by reducing inventory costs, reducing sales cycles, improving collaboration and decision making, as well as improving customer relationships.  With small businesses being understaffed, employees working long hours, and each employee being responsible for up to 5 different jobs on a good day, it is essential for small businesses to invest in tools that maximize their ability to succeed, let alone survive in a global marketplace.  Software-as-a-Service gives small distribution businesses the opportunity to afford these enterprise class tools, provides a secure and redundant environment that is accessible from anywhere, and is the only clear non-disruptive option for keeping current with technological advancement.

What is the viral aspect of your product?

Kalman: Small businesses are hungry for someone to solve their biggest supply chain problems. We feel BizSlate offers something special. Something that no other ERP for small distribution businesses offers.   Other ERPs are either too complex and cost prohibitive, or if affordable they offer businesses little or no ROI.  It is not surprising that 50% of small distribution businesses continue using QuickBooks and spreadsheets even though they have clearly outgrown it and need something more.  Working with our customer steering committee, we've smashed the mold of old school traditional ERPs, and incorporate fresh ideas that coincide with the way small distribution companies operate their businesses.  We give them power...we give them efficiency...we give them intelligence...and we do this with a very easy to use, intuitive interface.  Word spreads fast when you finally solve the problems small businesses have been coping with for years.

How will you make money? What's the business model?

Kalman: We've created a model that is affordable based on a combination of price and need.  A one-person company can solve their distribution and operational issues for as little as a few thousand dollars a year.  As BizSlate's pricing is an annual subscription, the total cost of ownership is less, and becomes appropriately scalable as businesses grow and add employees.

Please tell us more about your product development steering committee. how do you compromise between commonality and differences? how do you get a consensus?

Kalman: Our customer steering committee is a classic example of crowdsourcing, where we use the wisdom of the crowd to aggregate large amounts of information in order to obtain the best roadmap for BizSlate.  We've also incorporated a touch of crowdfunding such that early steering committee members contributed funds toward development of the application.

Who are your competitors?

Kalman: We effectively compete with Netsuite, SAP Business One, Microsoft Dynamics, and Sage.

How do you differentiate from your competitors?

Kalman: Historically, ERPs tend to start as accounting applications and move forward into order management and supply chain, which are not their core competencies.  BizSlate's management team has deep domain experience working with SMBs to help them improve their supply chain efficiencies in difficult and often time consuming scenarios.  We've combined this expertise with the knowledge and needs of our customer steering committee.  Every member of the steering committee has been involved in helping to design and develop BizSlate, making it the first enterprise ERP for SMBs written entirely from the perspective of the end user.  The end result is a system that is designed the way small distribution businesses operate, not based on out-dated accounting-based supply chain methodologies.

How does your technology differentiate from the competition and can you elaborate on the different technology deployed?

Kalman: After we lock down the feature requirements with our customer steering committee, we invest a considerable amount of time collaborating on the user interface (ui/ux).  Gauging customer reactions to BizSlate in beta, it seems we've been extremely effective blending extreme power and efficiency with easy of use.  Something small business ERPs have been lacking until now.

What business or technology could yours disrupt?

Kalman: BizSlate is changing the way small businesses feel toward ERP software.  Value can be affordable and without being overly complex.  Once we address the core issues, there is no limit to how we can leverage BizSlate ERP to help small distribution businesses.

Who founded the company, when? What can you tell me about the story of the company's founding?

Kalman: BizSlate was formed in October 2011 as the continuation of the vision I embarked upon when I co-founded my last company eZCom Software.  eZCom is a SaaS EDI provider that focuses on helping small businesses significantly improve efficiency and accuracy pertaining to their EDI relationships.  With a strong track record of helping SMBs improve EDI, we started receiving requests from our customers for help in key supply chain and operational issues for their non-EDI customers.  Based on customer demand and a review of the market, we embarked upon developing what is now BizSlate ERP.  In less than a year's time, BizSlate has been honored by launching at DEMO Spring 2012 in Silicon Valley and was selected as a finalist for Red Herring's Top 100 emerging tech companies of 2012.  The company has been written up in PCMag.com, Network World magazine, ChainLink Research, and a mention in The New York Time as an upcoming Netsuite competitor.  I see these as confirmations that BizSlate is on to something exciting.

As a company we remain focused on helping small distribution businesses succeed by challenging the boundaries of old school out-dated principles.  It is important for us to collaborate with our customers, as they know better than anyone what they need to solve their real and most pressing issues.

What is your distribution model? Where to buy your product?

Kalman: To learn more and discuss joining our beta team, businesses can contact us directly at 855-Biz-Slate or via www.bizslate.com/try. Qualified companies will receive up to a 40% lifetime discount in exchange for limited participation.  In the near future, BizSlate ERP is also expected to be available through VARs and the Intuit Marketplace.

What's next on your product roadmap?

Kalman: We have several innovative tricks up our sleeves planned that will continue improving the supply chain and operations of small distribution businesses.  While it's cool to connect ERPs to social media, there are far more pressing issues that need resolution first.

What else would you like to add?

Kalman: I would like to thank our loyal customer steering committee for their guidance and participation, as well as their trust and belief in our ability to deliver BizSlate ERP.  I would also like to thank our CTO Michael W. Park and everyone at BizSlate, whose tireless around-the-clock work with extreme passion toward our vision is creating an amazing solution.  And I must also thank my amazing wife Danielle and daughter Sydney, who have been patient and understanding while I am off saving the world of distribution.

Other information if applicable:

Partnerships, collaborations or affiliations:

Federal or state grants, contracts or awards received:

Market size being pursued: SaaS ERP is approximately $1.4B.  Analysts across the board are predicting 20% CAGR as SaaS eventually dominates the $20.3B overall ERP market.

Who are the likely competitors, direct or indirect? Netsuite, Sage, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP Business One

Is the company profitable?

Current annual revenue:

Website: www.bizslate.com

Twitter account: https://twitter.com/bizslate

Boilerplate here: The BizSlate Software-as-a-Service supply chain solution empowers small and mid-sized companies to compete on the global stage. BizSlate significantly reduces the cost of inventory, improves shipping timing and accuracy, and provides the monitoring and diagnosis of operational issues at a fraction of the cost of conventional enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions. To learn more about BizSlate, please visit www.bizslate.com.

More Stories By Xenia von Wedel

Xenia von Wedel, Tech blogger and SVP of Transform PR/San Francisco- Mountain View. She mainly writes about B2B solutions, social media and open source software. Transform Public Relations is a full-service PR agency, serving clients in a variety of industries worldwide. The agency is focused on thought leadership content creation and syndication, media outreach and strategy. Buy her a coffee if you like her article: http://xeniar.tip.me

@ThingsExpo Stories
Technology is enabling a new approach to collecting and using data. This approach, commonly referred to as the "Internet of Things" (IoT), enables businesses to use real-time data from all sorts of things including machines, devices and sensors to make better decisions, improve customer service, and lower the risk in the creation of new revenue opportunities. In his General Session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Dave Wagstaff, Vice President and Chief Architect at BSQUARE Corporation, discuss the real benefits to focus on, how to understand the requirements of a successful solution, the flow of ...
Cloud Expo 2014 TV commercials will feature @ThingsExpo, which was launched in June, 2014 at New York City's Javits Center as the largest 'Internet of Things' event in the world.
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Performance is the intersection of power, agility, control, and choice. If you value performance, and more specifically consistent performance, you need to look beyond simple virtualized compute. Many factors need to be considered to create a truly performant environment. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Sr. Software Architect at SoftLayer, discussed how to take advantage of a multitude of compute options and platform features to make cloud the cornerstone of your online presence.
In this Women in Technology Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Anne Plese, Senior Consultant, Cloud Product Marketing at Verizon Enterprise, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO at MetraTech; Evelyn de Souza, Data Privacy and Compliance Strategy Leader at Cisco Systems; Seema Jethani, Director of Product Management at Basho Technologies; Victoria Livschitz, CEO of Qubell Inc.; Anne Hungate, Senior Director of Software Quality at DIRECTV, discussed what path they took to find their spot within the technology industry and how do they see opportunities for other women in their area of expertise.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential.
Wearable devices have come of age. The primary applications of wearables so far have been "the Quantified Self" or the tracking of one's fitness and health status. We propose the evolution of wearables into social and emotional communication devices. Our BE(tm) sensor uses light to visualize the skin conductance response. Our sensors are very inexpensive and can be massively distributed to audiences or groups of any size, in order to gauge reactions to performances, video, or any kind of presentation. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Jocelyn Scheirer, CEO & Founder of Bionolux, will discuss ho...
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
“With easy-to-use SDKs for Atmel’s platforms, IoT developers can now reap the benefits of realtime communication, and bypass the security pitfalls and configuration complexities that put IoT deployments at risk,” said Todd Greene, founder & CEO of PubNub. PubNub will team with Atmel at CES 2015 to launch full SDK support for Atmel’s MCU, MPU, and Wireless SoC platforms. Atmel developers now have access to PubNub’s secure Publish/Subscribe messaging with guaranteed ¼ second latencies across PubNub’s 14 global points-of-presence. PubNub delivers secure communication through firewalls, proxy ser...
We’re no longer looking to the future for the IoT wave. It’s no longer a distant dream but a reality that has arrived. It’s now time to make sure the industry is in alignment to meet the IoT growing pains – cooperate and collaborate as well as innovate. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, will examine the key ingredients to IoT success and identify solutions to challenges the industry is facing. The deep industry expertise behind this presentation will provide attendees with a leading edge view of rapidly emerging IoT oppor...
The 3rd International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that its Call for Papers is now open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrategies, will examine why IT must finally fulfill its role in support of its SBUs or face a new round of...
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
The Internet of Things will greatly expand the opportunities for data collection and new business models driven off of that data. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, discussed how for this to be effective you not only need to have infrastructure and operational models capable of utilizing this new phenomenon, but increasingly service providers will need to convince a skeptical public to participate. Get ready to show them the money!

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's platform-as-a-service. The new platform enables developers to build ap...

Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover how hardware commoditization, the ubiquitous nature of connectivity, and the emergence of Big Data a...
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.