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1/21/2008
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BizAutomation.com Targets NetSuite in Small-Business CRM, ERP Market

The company expects to fill what it sees as a market void -- Web-based software that's affordable to small businesses with up to 50 employees.

BizAutomation.com, a maker of software that for managing customer relations, sales and accounting, plans to launch its software-as-a-service products out of beta next month, taking on NetSuite in the small-business market.

The company, which also offers on-premise software, introduced its Web-based applications in beta in late October, expecting to fill what BizAutomation.com believes is a void in the market -- Web-based software that's affordable to small businesses with up to 50 employees, chief executive Carl Zaldivar said. BizAutomation's main rival is NetSuite.

Zaldivar believes he can grab market share by offering services that companies can use to manage their businesses, customers, and sales for a monthly rate of $49.95 per user, following a one-time set up fee of $1,500. For companies that want to set up a portal that subcontractors or other partners can use to manage everything related to their business, there's an additional cost of $25 per partner per month through a concurrent license. That means a customer would pay for a set number of partners that could access the site at one time, rather than pay for each and every partner.

In the area of customer relationship management, BizAutomation.com software can track leads and customer accounts, offer help in forecasting and provide Web-based service and support. The software also can help manage marketing campaigns.

For enterprise resource planning, BizAutomation.com offers inventory management, shipping, pricing formulas, and financials, which include support for purchase orders, credit terms, billing and invoicing. There's also time and expense reporting for employees.

For e-commerce, BizAutomation.com services include the partner portal, and support for order entry by customers with approved credit terms.

While NetSuite also offers services for mid-size companies, BizAutomation plans to stay in the small-business market for the foreseeable future, betting that there are enough potential customers there to build a strong business, Zaldivar said.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are more than 26 million businesses with fewer than 500 employees in the United States. Survival, however, is tough. Fewer than one in two new businesses survive at least four years.

BizAutomation.com plans to launch its SaaS offering out of beta on Feb. 16. The company plans to continue selling on-premise products, Zaldivar said.

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