A new, mobile first Google business app for the professional services industry has been launched. Targeted at mid-market players, the solution, named VOGSY, aims at revamping the way consulting, marketing and technology firms manage projects and internal operations through an approach that taps into the power of mobile, social and artificial intelligence to provide a cutting edge user experience and more efficient products, so the developers state.
The rise of technology and social media platforms is transforming the way businesses are being run. Across industries the transition, in some cases disruption, is fully visible – from Uber in the taxi market and Booking.com in the travel industry to Airbnb in the holiday rental space. The professional services industry however remains relatively traditional when it comes to change, in particular when it comes to managing internal operations. The majority of activities related to key internal tasks such as account management, customer relationship management, project delivery, as well as the entire back-end process supporting execution, still overwhelmingly take place in ERP systems or legacy landscapes.
And whilst advances have been made towards web- and cloud-based working, major disruption looming around the corner has in the eyes of analysts not yet kicked in.
VOGSY: a Google business app
In a bid to fill the gap, and potentially become the next Uber of internal operations for consulting groups, a handful of players across the globe have, in recent years, developed new offerings and solutions. The latest to push into the space is VOGSY, an initiative from AllSolutions, a Netherlands-based ERP software provider founded more than twenty five years ago. The solution however brings a novel edge to the table – VOGSY is the first to be based entirely on G Suite; Google's software ecosystem, formerly known as Google Apps for Work. "Google is the global powerhouse of innovation", explains VOGSY's CEO Leo Koster on the decision to embrace Google technology as its backbone.
Koster says that over the past years he observed that there is a growing mismatch between what existing solutions deliver versus the standards demanded by markets and consumers. "Markets are changing, people work in radically different ways. Old solutions are not addressing the needs and requirements of the new world, which is mobile, social and knowledge-driven. VOGSY is designed to make the daily work for professionals, managers, sales reps and back-officers simple and nice", he states.
The solution sets itself apart from the crowd through a number of features, Koster remarks. At the heart of VOGSY is its 100% mobile first approach to interfaces and tasks, as well as its mobile optimised design, which to a large extent has been inspired by the make-up of social media giants such as Facebook, Instagram and Google+. The firm has also introduced machine learning into its engine, enabling the solution to think for and with users, down the line inciting them to take the right decisions, a feat which, according to the creators, bolsters the "self-organising" capacities within an organisation's ranks.
The CEO highlights that the solution enables stakeholders to run their business with a more efficient overhead, with lower total costs of ownership vis a vis current offerings – and that all against a backdrop of a higher ease of use and client satisfaction.
Mid-market focus in professional services
As it stands, VOGSY is geared at the professional services market, with a further focus on mid-sized organisations in the range of between 50 FTE's and roughly 5,000 FTE's. From a functional perspective, the solution centres around the quote-to-cash process, end-to-end, from client engagement to project delivery and back office execution. "It is our mission to provide professional services with the best tooling and solutions for creating seamless, highly automated quote-to-cash processes in order to become and stay agile, adaptive, scalable and data-driven", says Koster.
In the run up to the formal launch VOGSY worked with a number of pilot and launching customers, and on the back of the broader go-live, the company is seeking to ramp up its frontiers. In Q1 2017, VOGSY will be available in the G Suite Marketplace and by then the firm aims at having a partner network in place to support technology implementations and migrations.
From Google's perspective, the launch of VOGSY has been welcomed with enthusiasm. The search engine giant finds itself in fierce competition with ERP providers, including the likes of mammoths SAP and Oracle, US rivals Microsoft and Salesforce, and a range of other players. VOGSY is the first Google business app for professional services that has come onto the market, a development which Google hopes will pave the way for more solutions to follow suit. "The professional services industry is important to Google because the sector has a strong appetite for innovation. We are excited about the launch of VOGSY because it extends G Suite with a full-fledged business app for professional services", remarks Erik de Muinck Keijzer, Country Manager Google Cloud for the Benelux region.
In the coming few days Consultancy.uk will take a closer look at the solution and sit down with CEO Leo Koster and a number of VOGSY's team members to find out more about the product's key features and benefits. The findings will be posted in a follow-up article next week.