9Spokes says its cloud dashboard gives small businesses the oversight corporations pay millions to get from ERP systems.
The New Zealand-based start-up is a cloud app integrator. When customers first arrive they find a one-stop marketplace. 9Spokes walks customers through the stages as they build tailored software suites. 9Spokes has recommended suites for several vertical markets.
Each app in the marketplace is hand-picked, often there are choices of competing app. Brendan Roberts, 9Spokeís chief marketing officer says there are 22 apps in the store at the moment.
New Year launch
Right now the service is available as a beta version. Roberts says when it launches early in the New Year there will be around 35 apps. He says 9Spokes will add more later. The process takes time and does not include every available app because 9Spokes imposes its own quality control.
At the time of writing 9Spokes has MYOB and Reckon cloud accounting apps in the marketplace. Roberts says the company is in discussion with Xero.
He says customers can move their existing cloud apps to 9Spokes.
9Spokes cloud dashboard and integration separate it from simple app marketplaces. Customers buying from 9Spokes get a single sign-on to all their purchased apps. They need just one password to access everything. They also get a single bill from 9Spokes covering all subscriptions.
While many apps have pre-built integration with other apps, others donít. Roberts says 9Spokes provides its own inter-app integration whether links are already in place or not.
The 9Spokes dashboard uses key information pulled from each app to give business owners a clear view of performance. Roberts says it makes it easy to find problem areas and to plan strategies.
Business owners can track their own performance over time.
Thereís also peer tracking. Roberts says this allows owners to benchmark their performance against similar businesses. The benchmarks pull anonymous data from other companies. Roberts says there is data protection in place so customers canít identify rival companiesí data.
This means, say, a cafť can see how it did over a long weekend compared to other cafes. Again this information helps with planning.
9Spokes has a call centre. Customers can get help with support problems for all the apps in the marketplace. There is also handholding for integrating the apps and adviced on selecting the best apps for specific needs.
At first 9Spokes plans to focus on selling in New Zealand and Australia. Although the company is New Zealand-based, it is already operating in Australia where Deloitte Private Connect uses a rebranded version.