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Technology Evaluation Centers: Catching Up with PROS at Dreamforce 2014

By Predrag Jakovljevic 

At the Dreamforce 2014 conference, hosted by cloud ecosystem heavyweight salesforce.com, sales big data software provider PROS was a platinum sponsor. A number of PROS customers were on a panel discussing their success with PROS Cameleon CPQ solutions, such as Bausch & Lomb, Medtronic, and Blackboard. Microsoft and SAP are close partners of PROS as well, but the salesforce.com alliance promises lots of new business.
 
The first synergistic results from PROS’ 2013 Cameleon Software configure, price, quote (CPQ) software acquisition have recently borne fruit as well, with the launch of the new PROS Cameleon CPQ Fall ‘14 release, integrated with PROS’ flagship pricing optimization. For the first time, PROS is combining the power of its predictive and prescriptive pricing analytics with CPQ capabilities, enabling sales teams to deliver smarter, faster, and more plausible winning quotes to customers, armed with prescriptive pricing guidance based on historical data analysis and customer segmentation.
 
With Cameleon CPQ Fall ‘14, sales representatives can also easily create quotes anytime and anywhere, directly from their tablets on the Salesforce1 mobile platform, as the new quote spreadsheet enables real-time collaboration between sales teams and their customers. The goal is to enhance sales efficiency and effectiveness, and create a better customer experience, while improving revenues, margins, and win rates. This opportunity-to-revenue platform represents an industry thought leadership, and was shown for the first time at Dreamforce 2014.
 
One differentiation of Cameleon Software over its CPQ peers has been its built-in e-commerce platform. The new Cameleon CPQ Fall ‘14 solution with full-text search capabilities makes identifying and selecting products for complex quotes far easier. Sales representatives can use natural language searches to browse product catalogs, improving the speed, ease of use, and relevance of search results. From product names to multi-language descriptions, product characteristics, and data from associated cross-sell and up-sell products, sales representatives can now easily identify the right products and respond more quickly to customer requests.
 
PROS also recently launched a new graphically interactive CPQ solution for manufacturing and service parts industries called Cameleon Parts Quoting. Also shown for the first time at Dreamforce 2014, the solution is designed for discrete and process manufacturing organizations with service needs, including companies in high-tech, industrial equipment, and automotive industries. Manufacturing and service parts organizations serve thousands of customers that need to order parts on the spot from diverse geographic locations. Cameleon Parts Quoting has interactive parts diagrams (whereby customers can select and order parts directly from original equipment and component schematics), embedded with predictive and prescriptive analytics so sales teams can deliver smarter, faster quotes on the spot to customers.
 
For contract management capabilities, PROS tends to partner with Thunderhead.com. The vendor also is planning to provide vertical CPQ-pricing optimization solutions in the future, such as telecom, financial institutions, etc. This CPQ and price optimization integration will render all major CPQ competitors hard pressed to match the PROS value prop, but it is up to PROS to execute the integration well.

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