Interview: How CPQ vendor Experlogix is evolving with new investment, Dynamics 365 mixed reality use cases
Mixed reality product visualization and CPQ demonstrated at MBAS 2019
Experlogix, maker of configure, price, quote (CPQ) solutions, has enjoyed some notable successes in the last year, from a featured mixed reality demo on the keynote stage at June's Microsoft Business Applications Summit to a majority investment by Featheringill Capital. At the same time, the company is expanding its global presence and adding marquee clients alongside Microsoft.
MSDW spoke with Experlogix president Christian Stepien to learn more about the company's efforts in the Microsoft space. He discussed how the recent funding, the company's first, will benefit their product development and strategic planning. The company has thrived over the years by exercising restraint, Stepien explained, both in terms of its finances and its disciplined approach to R&D investments.
If the company has acted conservatively until now, Stepien believes it has served them well. He discusses the future of CPQ technology as offerings like Dynamics 365 Product Visualize emerge, as well the company's Microsoft channel presence and why the company has succeeded while facing much larger competitors in the space.
MSDW: How will the recent investment by Featheringill Capital change the company?
Christian Stepien: We've been organically growing since the beginning. So we've been limited by the cash coming in and it's always been a conservatively run organization [in terms of financials]. By going with Featheringill we now have this much stronger financial foundation that will support us, ensure our longevity, and accelerate growth.
They're going to help us with our back office procedures, more stringent financial controls, possibly some M&A to help accelerate the growth of the company. So it's a very positive step.
Tell us about the importance of being part of the mixed reality demonstration with Dynamics 365 Product Visualize and Mailbu Boats at the keynote of MBAS 2019.
We were really excited about that. We've been working hard with Microsoft for the last 2 months, it came together very fast. The Product Visualize product has come together extremely fast. We were talking with the HoloLens team late last year about mixed reality experiences for customers coming into their dealerships to actually configure a boat or a truck and see it in space. So this is the first manifestation of that where we've actually built an integration between Experlogix, the system the sales rep is using, and the mixed reality, which is putting it in front of the customer's eyes in real space to really experience it.
It's a more interactive experience. We built our own IP for 2D visualization last year. We have customers using that for some applications and that's built into our software. But the mixed reality was something that we partnered with Microsoft on.
For mixed reality applications like Product Visualize, I think it will take some time and there will be a little bit of a learning curve. The MBAS event was the very first presentation of this capability and we're going to work with Microsoft on the roadmap for where we can go from here, how it can be exposed out to partners and more marketing to get people excited about it. Microsoft really wants to promote this technology and CPQ is a great way to do it. It's a perfect use case for it.
What are the company's product development priorities going forward?
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