Apttus: Optimizing Merchandising Strategies for Retailers

Jules Ehrlich, VP-Advanced solutions
Though the dexterity of Excel makes it pervasive in the retail environment, as it is one of the most readily adopted business tools, working in Salesforce can be more time-consuming and challenging. Apttus, a San Mateo, CA based firm, transformed Excel from a stand-alone productivity tool to a real-time user interface for easy workflow of operations. Apttus helps online retailers develop, manage, and optimize their merchandising strategies through its unique product, X-Author.

X-Author allows enterprises to continue using the spreadsheets in a secure and structured environment, moving the data into the cloud via the Salesforce platform and enabling an infinite number of use cases. Apttus utilizes Salesforce and couples this with deep domain expertise. X-Author for Excel provides an entire user experience that includes menus, flows, data synchronization, online and offline dynamic look-ups, support for picklists, and the ability to work with unlimited objects simultaneously.“Philosophically, it’s about efficiency: instead of working in one Excel file, X-Author has now opened up with many choices to utilize the excel sheet as per the customer’s requirements. A user could look at his accounts, opportunities, leads, cases, simultaneously and interact with consumers and share it throughout an entire organization instantly,” asserts Jules Ehrlich, Vice President of Advanced Solutions. “Combining the fast and familiar Excel UI with the most advanced cloud application platform, Apttus enhances its productivity and usage,” says Ehrlich. X-Author plays a vital role in boosting performance for the tasks like forecasting, marketing promotions, and case management that are generally easier to complete in Excel. The product showcases the familiar features of Microsoft Excel as a UI for end users and administrators.

Apttus has combined business domain expertise with the Salesforce1 platform and provides modules with rich functionality.Apttus’ goal is to provide organizations with an alternative and significantly better way to automate business functions in a way that maps more closely to their needs.
For instance, a very large retail organization had been managing its entire marketing promotions on Excel, a very manual task.
Apttus’ Excel-based solution, X-Author came to their rescue to enhance the firm’s production and promotion in the retail market. X-Author for Excel en rooted all the data, rules, permissions, validations, routing, and reporting, which are now stored in Salesforce, while still using the identical spreadsheet. This transformed the speed at which the retail seller can bring promotions to market. It also executed the accuracy with their work and created error-free analysis throughout the company.

X-Author for Excel provides an entire user experience that includes menus, flows, data synchronization, online, and offline dynamic look-ups support for picklists

By leveraging Microsoft Office, the solution allows Salesforce users to use the Excel UI for many of their Salesforce tasks, enabling simple and quick contributions to revenue and business critical information across the company. Separately, it also addresses issues faced by companies in possession of thousands of stand-alone spreadsheets on desktops and shared drives.

Apttus has plans of continuing their journey with X-Author and creating a better platform for this product. “Recently, we have used X-Author for Excel as a data loading tool to assist in other solutions to share it in a larger-scale among our future customers,” concludes Ehrlich.


San Mateo, CA

Jules Ehrlich, VP-Advanced solutions

Helps online retailers develop, manage, and optimizse their merchandising strategies.