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Acer America
Acer America Corp. is a computer manufacturer of business and consumer PCs, notebooks, ultrabooks, projectors, servers, and storage products.

Location

333 West San Carlos Street
San Jose, California 95110
United States

WWW: acer.com

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June 15, 2021 |

Aspire Technologies Is the OG of Sales Quotes

While other vendors draw on private equity to build sprawling suites, the company behind QuoteWerks is independent and all-in on one channel need.

BRIAN LAUFER has been in the channel long enough to remember when preparing a quote involved scrutinizing information on … paper.

“”If we go back to the beginning of time, you used to be sent a catalog from Tech Data or Ingram Micro,”” recalls Laufer, who is vice president of Aspire Technologies, the company responsible for the QuoteWerks quoting solution. These days, with product information online, channel pros face a different challenge: scrolling through multiple distributor and e-commerce websites in a time-consuming hunt for pricing and availability data.

“”What we do is put it all in one place,”” Laufer says.

Other solutions do the same thing, of course, but there’s something refreshingly old-school about Aspire, which is now 28 years old. At a time when private equity investors are snapping up MSP software makers with hundreds on staff, sprawling portfolios, and IPO dreams, privately held, self-funded Aspire has just one product and about 30 employees, some of whom wear more than one hat. Laufer himself, for example, both heads up sales and participates in software development.

Users clearly like the work he and his colleagues are doing: QuoteWerks has won the gold medal seven out of the last eight years in ChannelPro’s annual Readers’ Choice Awards. Laufer credits four factors for that track record: features, integration, price, and support.

Those features keep multiplying too. Aspire rolled out 230 of them last year and has added another 140 since January. “”We’re nimble,”” Laufer says. Long-standing capabilities appreciated by users, he adds, include electronic signature functionality and the ability to monitor what customers are doing with quotes.

“”You can see when one of your leads is actually sending that quote to one of your competitors,”” Laufer notes, and then retract the quote if you wish.

QuoteWerks also boasts connections to some 25 vendors and distributors, including Amazon Business, and integrates with more than 55 PSA, CRM, digital marketing, and other business applications. It supports credit cards, eChecks, and ACH transactions on over 80 payment gateways as well.

The system’s pricing model, which according to Laufer is both transparent and affordable, lets buyers share a pool of concurrent licenses on demand, rather than give everyone a seat they don’t require most of the day. “”In a lot of cases, you may only need one or two licenses,”” he observes.

Personal Support the Calling Card

Aspire views responsive, personal support as its real calling card. “”You don’t have to send in a ticket and wait until the next day,”” Laufer says. “”You can literally pick up the phone and within a few minutes you’re talking to one of our reps.”” Those reps are all based in Orlando, he adds.

Though QuoteWerks doesn’t have a formal partner program, Aspire does have a portal with training and support materials, as well as an annual partner conference dedicated 100% to the art and science of preparing sales quotes. “”The quoting piece really gets lost in that sea of everything at other events,”” Laufer says.

The diversity of Aspire’s partner base sets it apart as well. Though roughly a third of QuoteWerks users are VARs and MSPs, pretty much any kind of company that needs to quote prices can and does use the system. “”It ends up helping us a lot,”” Laufer says, because it exposes Aspire to feedback from users with very different perspectives but similar needs. A popular enhancement to the way QuoteWerks sorts line items on quotes, for example, originated with a suggestion from an HVAC contractor.

“”Nobody in the IT space had asked for it,”” Laufer notes, “”but now a good portion of them actually use that functionality.””

Laufer believes Aspire’s independence from outside investors enables it to act on user input more freely. “”We don’t have to answer to a board,”” he says. “”The only people we have to answer to are our customers, so we listen to what they need and what they want.””


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