Intuit's Not Just for Small Businesses Any More - InformationWeek

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Software // Information Management
Commentary
10/31/2006
12:14 PM
Penny Crosman
Penny Crosman
Commentary
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Intuit's Not Just for Small Businesses Any More

Intuit QuickBase's general manager Jana Eggers calls it the "app gap": that divide between rich, complex enterprise apps and less complex workgroup tasks often handled using email, spreadsheets, and manual methods. For quick, simple applications that let workgroups in large companies manage sales, customers, and projects, QuickBase offers a library of hosted tools that can be used independently or in combination, knit together if necessary by a Corporate Edition management layer.

Intuit QuickBase's general manager Jana Eggers calls it the "app gap": that divide between rich, complex enterprise apps and less complex workgroup tasks often handled using email, spreadsheets, and manual methods. For quick, simple applications that let workgroups in large companies manage sales, customers, and projects, QuickBase offers a library of hosted tools that can be used independently or in combination, knit together if necessary by a Corporate Edition management layer.QuickBase was originally designed in 2000 to function as a database for small businesses, but sales were underwhelming. Finding that workgroups of large companies were buying it, Intuit re-launched the software as an enterprise workgroup tool. The latest release is being rolled out with a library of 200 prebuilt applications for IT management, request management, help desk, sales force automation, customer management, Sarbanes-Oxley compliance, web seminar management, HR recruiting, treasury management, supply chain management and more. Other new features include email notification, flexible reports, and an improved user interface.

The hosted software can be deployed and modified by business people, freeing them of having to go to IT. For instance, a marketing manager could quickly set up a CRM-type application for her 15-person team without asking for help. "QuickBase is Lotus Notes for mere mortals," Eggers says -- while it has the elegance of Notes, she says, databases and applications can be created and modified without the involvement of a developer or IT person. Where IT does want central access to and control of these group applications, a Corporate Edition can be layered on top that lets IT do things like manage security and LDAP support and track compliance, yet leaving control of the group applications in the hands of those users. All data in QuickBase is encrypted both in Intuit's data center and on user desktops. Intuit is used to handling private data because of TurboTax; it's also a quasi financial institution itself.

Pricing is $250 per month for 10 users, with volume discounts bringing it down to $3 per user per month after that.

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