Global Mounts New Drive for Spreadsheet Automation
January 13, 2009 Alex Woodie
Global Software has launched a company-wide re-branding initiative aimed at boosting visibility of its Excel automation tools, including its flagship product, Spreadsheet Server. The move introduces a new Web site with portals for customers and partners and a new Global Software logo, all of which is intended to help drive sales.
The way Spencer Kupferman, Global’s vice president and company spokesman, sees it, a poor economy like ours is not the time to pull back in sales and marketing efforts. “We don’t change how we sell it,” he says. “What we found out there in the trenches is that IT is getting a little tight in the belt, and they [companies] want to take inventory of what [software] they already have.”
In most cases, companies already have Excel, the extremely popular Microsoft spreadsheet product, which fits well into Global’s strategy.
“We offer what we call a tactical spreadsheet automation solution, that fits in between the Cognoses and Business Objects of the world, and the host ERP,” Kupferman says. “We give them [customers and prospects] the chance to enhance their spreadsheet capabilities by automating them, streamlining them, and giving them data in their spreadsheets that’s no longer static.”
Global supports more than 30 ERP systems with Spreadsheet Server, including i OS products like JD Edwards, Lawson M3 and S3, various Infor products, Jack Henry & Associates, and others such as SAP, Oracle, Sage.
By automatically loading data from the ERP systems into Excel, Spreadsheet Server eliminates manual steps (such as keying in data) that could lead to errors. The software keeps the spreadsheet current with the latest ERP data, thereby allowing users to interact with the data in an intuitive manner (Excel) but without the risks inherent in moving data manually.
“The reality is even in this tough, grind-it-out economy, people are already doing things in Excel,” Kupferman says. “They need a way to leverage current investments and get the results that they want. That’s where we come in with more of a tactical solution for spreadsheet chaos.”
Global’s Jessica Simpson recently authored a white paper, titled “Opportunity and Growth Leveraging Current Excel Investments,” laying out this argument as a way to reign in IT spending during a poor economy, but to still drive efficiency into the equation.
The corporate re-branding exercise and new Web site also show that Global is seeking to make the most of the macro-economic situation. “The customer portal was built specifically for supporting Global customers,” Kupferman says. “Customers can go in and experience a buffet-style service environment where they can get product updates, enhancement notes, online help, etc.”
The portal, meanwhile, gives partners more capability to stay in tuned to what Global is doing, “as opposed to sending out a big e-mail blast to everybody,” Kupferman says. It’s an opportunity, he says, to provide partners with different types of interactive tools on our Web site. All this is an upgrade from what Global offered previously.
You can view Global Software’s new Web site at www.glbsoft.com.