THE LATEST NEWS + EVENTS
9 Things to Know (In Order) About the Big Merger
By Darin Painter, Editor-in-Chief, PS Magazine
October 27, 2017
The buzz during PSDA’s P2P Technology + Innovation Summit in New Orleans was the merger between e-Quantum Inc. and DemandBridge, the industry’s largest two software companies. The new company retains the DemandBridge name.
Since October 5, when the companies issued this joint press release, many distributors who rely on either system for client storefronts, e-commerce tools, digital asset management and back-end operations have expressed a mix of hope and concern. Their main question: What does the news mean for their company, and when will effects begin to take hold?
As an association, it’s our responsibility to report and analyze industry events with clarity that can help distributors grow — to provide the “why” behind the “what” whenever possible. In this case, it’s to push the conversation forward by providing context — to fuse together distributors’ questions and concerns with DemandBridge’s direction and plans.
With that in mind, I reached out to multiple distributors of various sizes who use e-Quantum and DemandBridge to get their take on potential short-term effects and long-term expectations. I also conducted an hour-long conference call with David Rich, CEO of Norcross, Georgia-based DemandBridge and the leader of the combined entity; Ross Barker, founder and CEO of Reno, Nevada-based e- Quantum; and others from both companies. I also received emailed questions and insight from several industry professionals.
Microsoft Rolls Out LinkedIn Integrations in Outlook.com
The integration with Outlook.com begins starting now, and will reach all customers by the end of November.
October 26, 2017
Microsoft’s $26.2 billion acquisition of business networking site LinkedIn is starting to pay off – at least in terms of product integrations that make sense. The company today announced that LinkedIn integration within Outlook.com is now going live, allowing email users to view insights, profile pictures, work history and more from within their inbox.
The addition of LinkedIn to Outlook was previously detailed in September at Microsoft Ignite. There, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella previewed how commercial Office 365 subscribers with LinkedIn profiles would soon be able to view LinkedIn information within Microsoft’s apps and services.
DemandBridge and e-Quantum, Inc. to Combine to Create a Leader in the Marketing Automation Software Industry
October 5, 2017
DemandBridge and e-Quantum, Inc. have been providing premier Distributor Management software for more than 30 years. Together, the two companies bring more than 60 years of experience and growth within and beyond the Independent Print Services Industry. The new, independent company will be led by current DemandBridge CEO David Rich, who himself brings more than 35 years of Enterprise IT experience. He will combine the vision, talent, technology prowess and investments of both organizations in order to remain vital and competitive in the marketing automation software industry. Together, the new company will evolve and transition its products to leverage DemandBridge’s presence on the Microsoft Azure Cloud and to integrate technologies in the pipeline—from Microsoft PowerBI and Cloud Foundry, to other digital marketing technologies planned for 2018. The combination and strategic focus will offer the scale, strength and flexibility to help customers and partners succeed with minimal disruption and the same/improved level of customer service.
For years, the industry has known DemandBridge for its complete set of end-to-end tools—that is, technology that connects a distributor’s accounting, operations and inventory systems, as well as an e-Commerce portal and sourcing tool for on-demand marketing, promotion and print services. That technology is used by some of the industry’s largest Distributors/Agencies, over 3,000 loyal brands and 1.2 million registered users. The collective spend under management makes it one of the biggest Marketing Execution Platforms available in the market.
"We sensed an opportunity to help our clients succeed in new ways," said CEO David Rich. "End user demands are changing, the brands themselves are changing, and the goals of our forward-thinking Distributor/Agency customers are evolving accordingly," Rich continued. "Simply put, Marketing Service Providers who want to grow their businesses beyond traditional services (i.e. Print/Promotional goods)...will need more enabling technology than the previous generations. By consolidating the talents of both DemandBridge and e-Quantum...and together with customers who have expressed willingness to co-develop with us...we will take a major step forward to providing the resources and technology platforms this industry needs to confidently approach business in the 2020's."
ABOUT E-QUANTUM, INC.
e-Quantum’s Distributor Management System is also a single-source software solution for print distributorships which is especially popular among small-to-midsize Distributors. In addition, Quantum Net e-Commerce provides leading edge capabilities needed to support the evolving range of services provided by their install base.
Specifically, e-Quantum takes pride in offering high quality/integrated accounting, order entry, inventory and e-Commerce solutions, all of which are necessary to effectively manage a modern Distributor's business.
e-Quantum’s more than 500 distributor client base in the United States, Canada and Australia is the largest among the specialized software providers in our Industry.
“This merger represents an enormous benefit to our customers and partners. These include distributors, independent printers, manufacturers, agencies and enterprises,” said e-Quantum CEO Ross Barker. “Our combined companies possess the technological talent necessary to create the marketing execution solutions of the future. It is a team that will provide the requisite investment in talent, technology, products and services that is unrivaled,” he continued. “After spending 52 years in this industry, both as a Print Distributor and a Software/IT Services Provider, I can now pass the baton knowing the combined entity will carry the industry forward to the next generation. It’s a win for our customers...a win for their customers...and a win for our people.”
Company locations and corporate headquarters will remain the same, establishing a coast-to-coast presence.
DemandBridge is proud to be a Platinum Sponsor of the PSDA's Technology + Innovation Summit.
Your Business is Evolving and So is P2P
September 1, 2017
This event will be everything you love about P2P, with a focus on the technology you need to grow your business. The Opening and Closing Keynotes will inspire and motivate you. Peer Groups are back with even more sessions to choose from, and we've added Speed Networking to make valuable connections. With three new education tracks, you can pick and choose the topics most relevant to you. Plus, the Exhibit Hall features 90 of the best suppliers in the industry and the latest products and services your customers are asking for.
For the latest technology tools, products, information and ideas, the P2P Technology + Innovation Summit is the place. And did we mention we’re headed to the Big Easy?
Join us for what will surely be an event like no other in a place like no other.
Customizable Emails – Now with Lockdown!
DB Enterprise Email Templates Gain Tighter Brand Control
August 8, 2017
DemandBridge was excited to offer digital outputs through DB Enterprise in early 2016, including customizable templates for PDF, JPG, or PNG output, flipbooks, and even HTML email delivery. We selected BEE as the “Best Email Editor” to embed the into our application, and for over a year have taken advantage of a simple drag + drop interface with in-place edit and real-time preview for desktop and mobile. The simplistic user experience continues beyond customization for contact selection, email delivery, and regularly updated email statistics.
The administrator creates the email template by dragging elements to construct the layout, uploading images, and setting default verbiage. The template is assigned to an item, and the users are ready to customize and send with great flexibility. A newly released feature will better enforce brand control within marketing guidelines through the use of lockdowns. Any element of the template such as a logo or disclaimer can be locked, making it visible but un-editable, while leaving remaining areas of the template open for full manipulation. Now the marketer can have full confidence that the end user can change only what he intended, and the result is a beautiful, responsive email.
CONTACT US to see this in action and to find out how you can offer this to your customers.
Enhanced Reporting on the Horizon
We’ve successfully integrated PowerBI into DB Enterprise.
July 21, 2017
On-demand reporting has been a long time need of our clients. Users want current data at their fingertips at all times. The trend has been to deliver that in convenient dashboards that provide key figures to share with stakeholders with drill down for further details as needed. At our Partner Conference in April, we shared our plans to enhance our reporting offering through Microsoft Azure and PowerBI. As of our July 12th release, we're excited to announce that our first integrated dashboard is accessible directly within DB Enterprise!
This was made possible beginning with our move to Azure. A version of DB Enterprise data is now replicated to a database in the Azure cloud which is accessible to Power BI. Other independent data will eventually be able to live alongside this DB/e data for dashboards that provide insight across systems for a single consolidated view. We've begun with a group of pilot customers who will review the first set of usage reports that have been constructed in PowerBI, using a dashboard that showcases visualizations for total spend, order count, items ordered, and shipment summary. Each element offers the option to drill down into one or more detailed views for further analysis. Our goal is to work with the pilot group to refine this dashboard and then make this functionality available to more DB/e customers. We look forward to the continued development of this feature and the library of reports that are sure to come from it!
Stay tuned for updates as the pilot phase continues.
DemandBridge is Officially in the Cloud
We’ve successfully migrated DB Enterprise, DB Alliance, and DB Response Platform to Microsoft Azure!
June 3, 2017
During our partner conference, we announced that we would be migrating our SaaS product suite to a modern, cloud infrastructure. We have been hard at work since the beginning of this year preparing to move our data and applications into the Microsoft Azure Cloud. We're excited to announce that we have officially completed the transition and our apps are up and running in the new environment.
Now that we are on the Microsoft Azure cloud, we are looking forward to some short term and long term benefits:
- A cloud environment is much more flexible and resilient, and provides access to more security than what we can offer out of our own data center. We can take advantage of simpler server upgrades and other security/reliability services which normally take weeks to plan. We expect significant improvements in stability and availability.
- Over the past 5 months, we have also been working to deploy the Cloud Foundry platform into Azure to support our next-generation microservices and API-based platform. This will enable us to build features faster, more reliably and provide a level of extensibility through exposure of our internal APIs to customers that can take advantage of them. More on this later!
- Microsoft Azure has many platform services that we plan to integrate directly into our offerings, starting with Microsoft PowerBI. We plan to expand our reporting offering to incorporate PowerBI which is a powerful reporting environment that is a core piece of the Microsoft Cortana Intelligence suite.
We are very excited about our cloud migration and what it means for the future of the DemandBridge product suite!
Cloud Computing Wins Preakness
Congratulations to our favorite horse on this weekend's Preakness win!
May 21, 2017
Cloud Computing skipped the Kentucky Derby, while eventual winner Always Dreaming and Classic Empire mixed it up in the mud at Churchill Downs. Two weeks later, Cloud Computing pounced on those two horses in the Preakness, pulling off an upset victory at 13-1 odds Saturday. He became the first horse to skip the Derby and win the second leg of the Triple Crown since filly Rachel Alexandra in 2009.
Always Dreaming and Classic Empire dueled throughout most of the race, before Classic Empire stuck his nose in front midway on the far turn. It looked as if Classic Empire would go on to win, but Cloud Computing ran him down on the outside.
"Some of the reason that we won today was because we were patient and didn't throw an inexperienced horse against a 20-horse field in the Derby on a very difficult track,'' winning co-owner Seth Klarman said. "We made a great call.'"
Thanks for Attending Our Big Event
2017 DemandBridge Partner Conference, April 26-28 in Atlanta
Thank you for attending our first ever "Partner Conference"! We hope you enjoyed the "Reimagined" format as much as we did, and that you found the content useful and relevant to your business.
In a departure from our traditional user training and classroom style conference format, our first "Partner Conference" featured content and speakers from some of our technology partners such as RedPoint Global, Microsoft, and Showpad. While we still offered the in-depth training sessions and product overviews our users have come to expect, we wanted to showcase some of the exciting changes we're working towards in an attempt to further enrich our partnerships with you—our clients, to help you do the same with yours. Highlights included an introduction to our new management team and ownership structure, including our Chairman and CEO, David Rich, insight into our platform move to Microsoft Azure cloud-based services, and future product plans.
As a valued partner, we'd love to know your thoughts on this year's conference. Please consider taking a moment to complete our brief survey to let us know how we did. Survey responses will be anonymous unless you choose to include your personal information.
If you were unable to attend the conference, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about what you missed and to learn more about DemandBridge Reimagined.
"The New DemandBridge" Featured in PSDA Magazine
Enhanced Technology, Aligned with Your Needs
For years, the industry has known DemandBridge for technology that connects a distributor’s accounting, operations and inventory systems, as well as an eCommerce portal for on-demand marketing, promotion and print. That technology is used by 1.2 million people, but we sensed an opportunity to help our clients succeed in new ways.
Marketing service providers who want to grow their businesses crave technology that’s innovative and customizable, developed and updated by true software experts who can take their business to new heights. To that end, DemandBridge is changing in both the short term and the long term. We’re putting an impressive facelift on our technology, including a move to the Microsoft Azure cloud. This will give clients a subscription model and more freedom to deploy the tools, applications and integrations they need. That “lift and shift” is taking place now.
DemandBridge Software Featured in Print+Promo Magazine
A Closer Look at the Business Software That's Empowering Distributors
March, 2017 by Elise Hacking Carr
Any CEO worth his or her corner office understands the importance of the personal touch. In our industry, this is where distributors have outwitted the best attempts of major directs. But, sometimes, maintaining such a level of service can be tough thanks to complex jobs and even the day-to-day, back-office functions required of any size business. Enter single-source software solutions. Not only do they bring organization to these activities, they increase efficiency, effectiveness and, thereby, profit margins. Most importantly, they make it possible for distributors to preserve the customer-driven approaches that set them apart.