New StoreSense 5.5 the First to Enable SMBs to Conduct all Types of Business via the Internet
SAN FRANCISCO – April 7, 2003 – Kurant Corporation, the leading provider of e-business software for organizations that serve the small and medium-size business (SMB) market, today ushered in the next phase of e-business for SMBs. Up until now, large companies have been moving rapidly to bring all aspects of their businesses online, while smaller companies` needs in this area have gone largely unserved. With the announcement of StoreSense 5.5, Kurant is for the first time enabling SMBs, whether they sell products, services, or a combination of both, to conduct all types of business online easily and cost-effectively.
Traditionally, e-commerce software vendors have targeted their solutions towards enabling companies to sell retail products online, addressing just one segment of the market. According to International Data Corporation (IDC), there are approximately 5.7 million SMBs connected to the Internet, but only a fraction of these are conducting full-fledged e-business.
Transaction-Based Web Site Solutions
Kurant recognizes that today`s SMBs require far more than the ability to sell products online, and is the first vendor in the SMB arena to move beyond traditional product-focused e-commerce to transaction-based website solutions With StoreSense 5.5, companies can not only build a web store to sell products, but also leverage their website as a means to conduct and manage all back-end business transactions, such as customer invoicing and recurring bill payment, whether the transactions are generated online or off.
This focus on transactions gives a previously unaddressed segment of the SMB space, service-based businesses, access to e-business technology; as service firms represent approximately half of SMBs, StoreSense 5.5 effectively doubles the potential market. Now, all small businesses, regardless of what they sell or how they sell it, can reap the benefits of e-business, from improving efficiency to fostering customer loyalty and competing in the local and global marketplace.
"Kurant distinguishes itself by offering a solution that assists SMBs in completing the entire sale process, facilitating not only the transaction itself but also the essential accompanying customer invoicing and bill payment pieces as well," said Helen Chan, senior analyst, Small and Medium Business Strategies at the Yankee Group. "The key is for vendors to provide solutions that help SMBs understand the extensibility of their website as not only a web store, but also as a conduit to tie back to the back office business functions. With StoreSense 5.5, Kurant demonstrates that the company gets this."
"The latest version of StoreSense creates a significant new category in the SMB market," said Curtis Pierce, CEO of Kurant. "With 5.7 million small businesses connected to the Internet but just one segment of these conducting their transactions online, the opportunity is substantial and as yet untapped StoreSense 5.5 extends our leadership from the e-commerce segment of the small business space to complete e-business for the broad SMB market."
StoreSense 5.5 delivers a comprehensive solution designed to provide retailers and service firms with a full range of e-business functionality, from front-office website and web store capabilities to back-office inventory management, supply chain communication and accounting system integration.
StoreSense 5.5 contains new functionality to allow service-based businesses, such as consultants, lawyers, or accountants, to bill customers and collect payments online. Using new order-entry features in the StoreSense Order Manager, merchants can create invoices for products or services independent of their StoreSense storefront, which customers can then view and pay online.
Featuring a powerful, new architecture, StoreSense 5.5 sets a new standard for ease of use, flexibility and performance. For version 5.5, Kurant developed an innovative new tagging language – StoreSense Markup Language (SSML) – to help merchants easily create more robust storefront designs.
In addition, StoreSense 5.5 offers a variety of enhanced marketing and merchandizing features. The new Promotion function offers new promotion options, such as quantity discounts, and gives merchants greater flexibility to create their own. Improvements to StoreSense`s product management, search and categorization functions enable companies to present their merchandise effectively and encourage repeat purchases.
"Until now, enterprise-class e-business solutions have been designed for larger companies, with their ample budgets and IT departments. The SMB market, on the other hand, has been waiting for enterprise features on a SMB budget," said Dell Wolfensparger, vice president of business development at Dynamic Concepts, a Kurant channel partner. "Kurant has a strong track record of translating enterprise-class e-commerce technology into solutions that small to medium size businesses can afford and manage. With StoreSense 5.5, they`ve reached this goal."
Kurant markets StoreSense to small and medium-sized business through a series of strategic partnerships with large corporations, including banks, financial service providers and other professional service companies. These strategic partners have existing trust-based relationships with more than five million small and medium-sized business and serve as an excellent channel for the efficient delivery of StoreSense software. Some of Kurant`s existing partners include First Data Merchant Services, a subsidiary of First Data Corp; Homestead Technologies; Paymentech; S1 Corporation; and Website Pros.
Kurant StoreSense is a complete e-business suite for small and medium-size business. StoreSense`s rich feature set ranges from simple wizard-driven website and e-store capabilities to sophisticated site design tools, advanced commerce functionality and high-end e-business management. In addition, StoreSense integrates with QuickBooks Pro/Premier/Premier: Accountant 2002 and 2003, QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions 2.0 and QuickBooks Online Edition, allowing two-way transfer of critical business data between a merchant`s online store and desktop financial system. Offered on a cost-effective monthly subscription basis, StoreSense is available from Kurant`s reseller partners throughout the U.S., Canada and the world.
Kurant Corporation provides software infrastructure that allows large corporations to deliver branded e-business services to their small and medium-sized business customers. Kurant`s award-winning flagship product, StoreSense, is a complete suite of e-business tools, including website design, electronic commerce, mobile commerce, supply chain communication, and inventory and customer management. Incorporated in 1998, San Francisco-based Kurant is privately held. For more information, contact Kurant at www.kurant.com or (888) 463-2696.
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