Welcome!

Search Authors: Carmen Gonzalez, Lori MacVittie, Liz McMillan, Shelly Palmer, Lacey Thoms

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
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems at Red Hat, will describe how to revoluti...
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 Internet of @ThingsExpo, Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, will discuss 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! Speaker Bio: Esmeralda Swartz, CMO of MetraTech, has spent 16 years as a marketing, product management, and busin...
Samsung VP Jacopo Lenzi, who headed the company's recent SmartThings acquisition under the auspices of Samsung's Open Innovaction Center (OIC), answered a few questions we had about the deal. This interview was in conjunction with our interview with SmartThings CEO Alex Hawkinson. IoT Journal: SmartThings was developed in an open, standards-agnostic platform, and will now be part of Samsung's Open Innovation Center. Can you elaborate on your commitment to keep the platform open? Jacopo Lenzi: Samsung recognizes that true, accelerated innovation cannot be driven from one source, but requires a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Red Hat, the world's leading provider of open source solutions, will exhibit at Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Red Hat is the world's leading provider of open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to reliable and high-performing cloud, Linux, middleware, storage and virtualization technologies. Red Hat also offers award-winning support, training, and consulting services. As the connective hub in a global network of enterprises, partners, a...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect at Hookflash Inc., will walk through the shifting landscape of traditional telephone a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.
BSQUARE is a global leader of embedded software solutions. We enable smart connected systems at the device level and beyond that millions use every day and provide actionable data solutions for the growing Internet of Things (IoT) market. We empower our world-class customers with our products, services and solutions to achieve innovation and success. For more information, visit www.bsquare.com.
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic • Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it’s a mix of architectural style...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SOA Software, an API management leader, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SOA Software is a leading provider of API Management and SOA Governance products that equip business to deliver APIs and SOA together to drive their company to meet its business strategy quickly and effectively. SOA Software’s technology helps businesses to accelerate their digital channels with APIs, drive partner adoption, monetize their assets, and achieve a...
From a software development perspective IoT is about programming "things," about connecting them with each other or integrating them with existing applications. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Yakov Fain, co-founder of Farata Systems and SuranceBay, will show you how small IoT-enabled devices from multiple manufacturers can be integrated into the workflow of an enterprise application. This is a practical demo of building a framework and components in HTML/Java/Mobile technologies to serve as a platform that can integrate new devices as they become available on the market.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Utimaco will exhibit at SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Utimaco is a leading manufacturer of hardware based security solutions that provide the root of trust to keep cryptographic keys safe, secure critical digital infrastructures and protect high value data assets. Only Utimaco delivers a general-purpose hardware security module (HSM) as a customizable platform to easily integrate into existing software solutions, embed business logic and build s...
Connected devices are changing the way we go about our everyday life, from wearables to driverless cars, to smart grids and entire industries revolutionizing business opportunities through smart objects, capable of two-way communication. But what happens when objects are given an IP-address, and we rely on that connection, sometimes with our lives? How do we secure those vast data infrastructures and safe-keep the privacy of sensitive information? This session will outline how each and every connected device can uphold a core root of trust via a unique cryptographic signature – a “bir...
Internet of @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley announced on Thursday its first 12 all-star speakers and sessions for its upcoming event, which will take place November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in California. @ThingsExpo, the first and largest IoT event in the world, debuted at the Javits Center in New York City in June 10-12, 2014 with over 6,000 delegates attending the conference. Among the first 12 announced world class speakers, IBM will present two highly popular IoT sessions, which will take place November 4-6, 2014 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, Calif...
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.
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, will discuss how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Oct. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Spansion Inc. (NYSE: CODE), a global leader in embedded systems, today added 96 new products to the Spansion® FM4 Family of flexible microcontrollers (MCUs). Based on the ARM® Cortex®-M4F core, the new MCUs boast a 200 MHz operating frequency and support a diverse set of on-chip peripherals for enhanced human machine interfaces (HMIs) and machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. The rich set of periphera...

SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the recurring revenue expert, has been named "Bronze Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 15th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Aria Systems helps leading businesses connect their customers with the products and services they love. Industry leaders like Pitney Bowes, Experian, AAA NCNU, VMware, HootSuite and many others choose Aria to power their recurring revenue business and deliver exceptional experiences to their customers.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is going to require a new way of thinking and of developing software for speed, security and innovation. This requires IT leaders to balance business as usual while anticipating for the next market and technology trends. Cloud provides the right IT asset portfolio to help today’s IT leaders manage the old and prepare for the new. Today the cloud conversation is evolving from private and public to hybrid. This session will provide use cases and insights to reinforce the value of the network in helping organizations to maximize their company’s cloud experience.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is making everything it touches smarter – smart devices, smart cars and smart cities. And lucky us, we’re just beginning to reap the benefits as we work toward a networked society. However, this technology-driven innovation is impacting more than just individuals. The IoT has an environmental impact as well, which brings us to the theme of this month’s #IoTuesday Twitter chat. The ability to remove inefficiencies through connected objects is driving change throughout every sector, including waste management. BigBelly Solar, located just outside of Boston, is trans...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Matrix.org has been named “Silver Sponsor” of Internet of @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Matrix is an ambitious new open standard for open, distributed, real-time communication over IP. It defines a new approach for interoperable Instant Messaging and VoIP based on pragmatic HTTP APIs and WebRTC, and provides open source reference implementations to showcase and bootstrap the new standard. Our focus is on simplicity, security, and supporting the fullest feature set.