Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

SaaSWizard’s enterprise application development platform lets VARs and ISVs
develop custom applications for customers ranging from a customer
relationship management application robust enough to take on similar products
from Microsoft to an application that manages restaurant inventory.

Colin Earl, CEO of SaaSWizard, said while
working as a developer he realized that writing code was cumbersome and
time-consuming. At an industry trade show eight years ago, he noticed that the
majority of enterprise applications had a tremendous number of common elements.
Armed with those two pieces of knowledge, he set out to create a new way of
building applications.

"We thought, Why not create a platform that builds in common
elements—database connectivity, charts and reports, business rules and e-mail
integration capability—that also allows for a customizable data model so you
can create customized tables on top of that?" Earl said.

Doing so, he continued, would allow VARs and ISVs to create custom Web-based
applications without reinventing the wheel, or in this case, the common
elements of the platform, every time. Earl said once his team of about 20 developers
built the foundation SaaSWizard development platform, they set out to develop
an application on top of it. They chose one of the most demanding
applications then available, CRM.

The resulting application, EnterpriseWizard, was robust enough to take on
even CRM stalwarts Microsoft and Seibel,
Earl said.

"One of our first customers had actually purchased Microsoft CRM,
and found it wasn’t flexible enough for their needs. They ended up junking
Microsoft and went with our EnterpriseWizard instead!" he said.

SaaSWizard allows VARs to self-brand the applications they create and modify
the look and feel of the applications to match their own brand. VARs can also
set their own end-customer pricing, Earl said, and can offer customers their
applications as hosted application services on the VAR’s
infrastructure, or behind the customer’s firewall on Linux, Windows, Sun
Solaris or IBM AIX servers. VARs also
receive 24/7 technical and sales support from SaaSWizard.

Steve Chipman, founder and president of Lexnet Consulting Group, said his
company used SaaSWizard’s platform to build a customized customer support and CRM
application for equipment manufacturers, and had already signed three customers
in a niche of that vertical market, technology appliance manufacturers.

He said while Lexnet Consulting is a new player in the vertical, it’s no
stranger to application development.

"We had built custom applications on top of other CRM
solutions, but the development cycle was much longer," Chipman said. Using
SaaSWizard’s environment let Lexnet customize and roll out the application much
more quickly, he said.

Chipman said Lexnet was also looking for other vertical markets into which the
custom application would fit.

Besides CRM, Earl said VARs have used
SaaSWizard to build enterprise applications to address Sarbanes-Oxley Act
compliance, task management, auditing and system monitoring, to name a few.

Earl said it was hard to accurately gauge how many applications had been
built on top of the SaaSWizard platform because of the customization factor,
though he could think of 20 or 30 different applications off the top of his
head. Earl said the creativity he saw from VARs was incredible, and that his
current favorite implementation of a SaaSWizard-based application was to manage
inventory in a chain of Chinese restaurants.

"The thing I love most about this is selling
[SaaSWizard] to a customer for a particular purpose, and seeing how they expand
on it and use it to address areas that we hadn’t even considered," he