Recently, XLerant, a Chrysalis Ventures portfolio company, announced the commercial release of its SaaS cloud-based budgeting product, BudgetPak. The product offers the full functionality of the prior client/server version but now can be run either in the cloud or internally on a customer’s server. The full press release announcing the news can be found here.
We sat down with Wright Steenrod, Partner at Chrysalis Ventures to discuss what this news means for the company. Wright currently sits on the board of XLerant.
XLerant’s sales for the BudgetPak product have been solid. Is the market demanding that software companies have SaaS capabilities and cloud accessibility?
Wright: The ability to gain access to information remotely — not having to be in your office — is now part of the business world. XLerant learned from many of their customers that many of their users work remotely and want to make changes to the budget in real-time. Business leaders are becoming more and more comfortable with storing financial information in the cloud.
What features make the BudgetPak product attractive? How is this product different from others on the market?
Wright: Primarily, I think the product balances appeal between finance (so the CFO) and non-financial department heads (for example, the art department at a college). In a recent survey, XLerant found that 55% of end users complain that Excel-based budgeting is too hard to use or the process is too complex. BudgetPak tackles that challenge and was designed to be similar to TurboTax in that the program asks very simple, direct questions that collect the information needed to compile a budget. It then takes the budgeting process one step further to tie to the organization’s overall, long-term financial strategy. For these reasons, XLerant has been well received by higher education institutions and multiple-department organizations.