Veteran ERP company changes its spots

Published on the 15/06/2016 | Written by Clare Coulson

Software vendor

As purchasing power shifts away from the IT department, one business software vendor is launching an unlikely new service to get in front of the people who count…

Australian ERP company Pronto has taken the unusual step of launching its own digital agency, essentially formalising its ‘digital agency-style’ services under a new brand that is more marketer-friendly. Pronto Woven, as it is called, offers a one-stop-shop of ERP, e-commerce and marketing strategy. It even has its own marketer-friendly website that looks like a digital agency.

Asked why the change was necessary, Chad Gates, COO, said that it’s a “proactive move” to make sure Pronto gets in front of the people who are making the technology purchasing decisions today: the marketing department.

As a 40-year veteran in the ERP space Pronto enjoys a high level of trust from its customers, Gates said, “but we don’t want to be seen as just an ERP company.” At the moment Pronto is well-known for selling products, but it is less well known for its services, and possibly unheard of in the marketing department. Equally, marketers don’t really care about the product or where it comes from, they just want it to behave in a certain way and represent the brand correctly. Technology is simply a vehicle for creativity. Enter Pronto Woven – a digital agency that happens to own its own technology stack and people called ‘design producers’ who have technology, design and project expertise to complement it.

“We don’t want to be seen as just an ERP company.”

The Pronto Woven service offering will be available in Australia and New Zealand and will be led by manager Chris Stolke. He describes the new service as “a specialised blend of digital, creative and business professionals” who will work together to enhance the online customer experience for their clients.

It already has 18 customers, including Vic’s Premium Quality Meat and Shimano, and Gates said that, while he has no idea how many there may be in the future, he said that “given the level of interest we think we will be very busy”.

That interest is coming from Pronto’s well-established customer base which is where Gates says the new service’s initial marketing efforts will be focused. He also said that while there are a lot of digital agencies out there, Pronto Woven’s biggest competitiors are likely to be the esteemed businesses ‘Do Nothing’ and ‘DIY’.

Asked about the future for Pronto’s products business, Gates said: “We don’t see it as either or and we certainly don’t see our product sales slowing down at all, this is more of an additional arm that is pro-active and complementary.”

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