Posts Tagged ‘configurator’

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What is a Configurator?

September 4, 2015

Configurators can be used in many different industries in a B2B or B2C context. They are probably most commonly known in the car industry for buyers to customize their purchase with tinted windows, sports seats, low profile tyres etc. Essentially, a configurator is a piece of software that acts as a design tool to build a desired solution. Configurators are being used throughout the sales cycle whether that be the Manufacturer, Reseller or End User. Here are just a few reasons why:

  • Organizations become more efficient as the sales cycle becomes shorter due to fewer touch points, reducing the strain on resources.
  • Reduces order errors. Built in validation rules means the configurator gets solutions right, every time.
  • Faster Product Life-Cycles with a rapid route to market.
  • Invaluable reporting – Learn everything about how a customer shops and measure trends.
  • Increase Revenue – Upsell potential is greater as the software can provide prompts during the configuration and a larger number of sales will be made as sales teams will have more time.
  • Provide a more personal service to your customers by treating them as individuals who want a bespoke solution.

Increasingly, configurators are being used in the IT Channel. They are the perfect solution to upgrade system components, swap out an Operating System, select optional upgrades and add in additional warranty for example. A configurator doesn’t need to just end there however. Imagine a software package that also gives you Real-Time pricing/stock and not only allows you to produce a quotation but also make a purchase to place an order. This is now possible and is known as Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) Software.

Here at channelcentral, we have built our business developing Configure, Price, Quote Software for the IT Channel. We are experts in our field and can provide ‘off the shelf’ CPQ Software which can be customized or we can develop you your very own solution. Better still, our CPQ software can be fully integrated into your ecommerce or CRM systems.

Consider how a Configurator could help your business grow … it could be more valuable than you think.

For further information on Configurators visit: http://www.channelcentral.net/system-configurators.asp

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What is CPQ?

May 19, 2015

Another acronym.

In the Software Development world, CPQ stands for Configure/ Price/ Quote.

For industries such as the IT Channel where Manufacturers, Distributors and Resellers have a set of complex products that can be built to customer requirements, a CPQ tool is revolutionary. A user of the tool can select their system, configure it with built-in validation rules for accuracy, check price and stock and quote their customer in record time.

Here are just some of the benefits of introducing a CPQ into your business:

  • Consistent approach to configuring and quoting so staff and customers have set expectations.
  • Improved accuracy – quote it Right, First Time!
  • Improved Security – Less risk of losing data as quotes are stored in the cloud.
  • Improved product information.
  • Instant growth in the number of quotations.
  • Reduced overheads.
  • Faster quote turnaround time.
  • Ability to quote anywhere either through your browser or a Smartphone App.
  • Increase in revenue!

A good example of a CPQ is iQuote which is developed for Hewlett Packard by channelcentral. It contains the entire HP Product Portfolio and is set-up as a fully managed service; or to introduce another acronym, SAAS (Software-as-a-Service). Take a look at iQuote in action for a great example of a CPQ!

If you would like to talk to channelcentral about developing a bespoke CPQ service for your business or just to ask how it may work in your business environment, contact us.

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iCreate 2.0 has landed at Westcoast

May 7, 2015

Configure, price and quote!

HP2707 - iCreate Banner

iCreate is a Configure/Price/Quote tool that channelcentral.net has developed exclusively for Westcoast Distribution UK. Its popularity has grown and grown and as a result, we are pleased to be introducing iCreate 2.0!

The tool is developed for Westcoast customers to configure HP products. The portfolio has recently been extended from just HP Workstations to now include Desktops, Notebooks, Tablets and Thin Clients. What’s more, the validation feature has been significantly developed to include alerts throughout a configuration – users are guided and given prompts to ensure compatibility.

iCreate fully enables Reseller partners to maximise HP PC Hardware opportunities, giving expert advice, actively enhancing the sales process without users even knowing it.  The iCreate tool is easy to use and, with the latest version improving functionality even more, it makes PC configuration accessible to all, not just Technical Whizzes!

Why not visit iCreate and take a look at the new interface and features?

Westcoast Partners are delighted with it:

“iCreate is such a fantastic and user friendly reseller tool. The fact that it now has the entire HP PPS catalogue available is fantastic. The validation note feature is brilliant, exporting makes it easy to get HP special bid pricing. The Thin client config finder is such a brilliant feature. A lot of work and thought has gone into this software development, credit to the geniuses who worked on this. All in all a really, really advanced and useful tool that will make it easier for sales to sell HP!”
Vanita Kalidas – Misco

Watch the iCreate ‘How To’ video to see how it can work for you!

HP iCreate is developed for Westcoast Distribution UK by www.channelcentral.net

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HP iQuote PPS Finder Improved – Again

July 30, 2012

We’ve put live some further changes to the PPS System Finder in HP iQuote. We think they make the process of finding the right Desktop, Workstation or Laptop even easier.

  • You can now select multiple different values against Hard Disks, Memory or Form Factor – so if you want a Desktop with 4GB or 8GB of RAM, and a 160GB or 250GB Solid State Drive, four clicks will get you there.
  • If you absolutely need the highest performance machines, there is now a single-click filter to see HP Workstations only
  • On instances of HP iQuote that feature stock, System Finder results now include the actual inventory numbers, instead of true/false
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Improved Validation in HP iQuote

March 21, 2012

Copy Validation Notes and Resolve Configurations more easily. Live now: major improvements to our Configurator warnings.

Copy Function
Users, especially those that use XML or Copy to Clipboard to get quotes out of HP iQuote wanted to be able to copy Validation Notes so that is now possible.

Resolution Function
If the user gets an error to inform them that they have exceeded the Max Qty BUT there is an expansion option available HP iQuote now provides a link to that part and shows it as an option search. We’ll apply this feature wherever it is applicable.

Validation Notes New

The above graphic shows the changes in the Validation Checklist from a user perspective. Once clicked the part that fixes the error appears in a standard option search view (so with stock/price) and can be added to the Cart/Basket.

Both of these new features came from User Feedback so we’d like to thank all users and key contacts who work with us to improve usability and utilization.

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HP Storage Section now has Options Search

December 21, 2011

HP iQuote now has Options search enabled in the Storage section. This utility enables you to perform custom searches for options from within a quote. Users can now search for items in the HP Storage Section of HP iQuote through a part number(s) or word(s).

The search function for the HP Storage Section will save you time when building a quote as you don’t need to open up option categories and scroll through the part numbers. The options search will only display parts that are compatible with the system unit you’re quoting.

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iQuote Utilisation On The Up

June 16, 2011

Volume of users and new quotes reach new heights. Although not the only metrics that are important, volume of users and quotes is a good indication of iQuote’s appeal.

June 2011 has seen unprecedented use:

  • On the 8th of June the number of users that generated quotes in iQuote in a week hit the 400 barrier for the first time and by the 15th of June this reached 459 users in a week.
  • In May we peaked at 3240 quotes in a week which was a record. In June we’ve peaked at 3411 quotes in a week (so far). On the 14th of June we saw 762 quotes in a day – a record.

In the last 6 months we’ve doubled the users and trebled the new quote count. We’d like to thank our Distributors, Resellers and End Users for using iQuote. We’d also like to thank HP for their awesome support especially the Worldwide ISS SMB Team.