A Bit About Us
My name is Patrick Donnelly, and the company is Evolution Software. Before getting involved in the software business, I'd been working in office products dealerships for 10 years. The dealers i worked with were guys that I would refer to as "digital dealers", guys who were very much at the forefront of what was happening in ecommerce and electronic trading.
I learned very quickly in these roles the techniques and the strategies used to make office products websites bill money. I've taken the knowledge gained in these roles, and together with an amazing team of people, spent the last 2 years developing, what i would suggest to you, is the best office products ordering platforms available anywhere.
When setting up Evolution, i did my homework. I was clear to me that most dealers had a solution that they used to trade more efficiently with their existing customers, a solution. This solution was typically purchased from the wholesaler, back office provider, or the dealer group.
Having researched all these products, I made a few observations. The first thing I noticed is that most of these products, although very functional, were aggressively ugly. Most of them were using old fashioned list and link user interfaces, and to my mind, were very difficult and clumsy to use. Other observations made, were that almost all of them were a disaster from a search engine optimisation viewpoint, and relied on a specific backoffice solution or a specific wholesaler catalogue to function, no real independence, or data portability.
I deduced from this that these products had amazing functionality, however were not designed to get new business, just help you deal with the stuff you've already got.
On the side you had the odd dealer who had commissioned a third party developer to build them, what I'll refer to, as a consumer website. These sites looked great and had more of an appeal to search engines, however were very limited in their ability to cope with the specialist discounting methods, catalogue and user management scenarios that are unique to the office products industry, ipso fact, less functional that the website.
Having done this analysis, I started to ask myself the following. Why do you need to have two websites? Why can't you have one site, that looks and feels like Tesco.com, Amazon and Itunes, that has all the functionality such as budget controls, authorisation tools, matrix pricing etc... that you need to get by in the office products industry.