As with consolidation of businesses or organizations, software consolidation has a similar goal: bundling integrated systems and services to create a solution that gets a customer (in this case, the builder) closer to an end-to-end scenario.
The International Builders’ Show saw more collaboration between software developers. HomeFront Complete is a combination of HomeFront’s new CustomerBuilder project management solutions and Builder1440’s billing and support solutions. The CustomerBuilder Web-based CRM and contact/eLead management system are provided to customers on either a software-as-a-service* (SaaS) model (hosted by Sales1440) or a self-hosted model, and billings and support are handled by Builder1440 for that product. HomeFront provides technical support for all other HomeFront products within the HomeFront Complete suite, achieving what HomeFront CEO Daryl Shenner calls “functional synergy.” “We had to get deep into each others’ products to combine applications to achieve click-through functionality,” he says.
Other companies are creating webs of collaboration. Sales Simplicity Software, which sells its sales automation, contact management, and CRM tool for production home builders, is a BASE Alliance member but also collaborates with more than a half-dozen other companies, including Punch List and Envision. “When you see a builder using software from a company you integrate with, it creates a sales opportunity for us,” states Sales Simplicity president Barry Forbes.—D.D.
*Note: Software as a Service is a model of software deployment whereby a provider licenses an application to customers for use as a service on demand. SaaS software vendors usually host the application on their own Web servers or download the application to the consumer device.