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Out-of-the box integration

Vantage has announced direct integration between Vantage Online service management and billing system and Westcoast

Reduced time in processing orders
Reduced time in processing orders

Vantage Online was designed and developed in-house by Vantage. Managing Director Tony Milford said that it was launched in September 2016 as a completely re-written replacement for its legacy on-premises solution Service Accent.

“Whilst Service Accent is used by hundreds of office equipment and MPS businesses worldwide, as with any mature product, you can only keep adding features and functions for so long before you end up with a solution that is less user-friendly and flexible than you would ideally like it to be,” he said.

“In 2013, recognising this was going to be the case with Service Accent, in conjunction with both clients and partners, we started work on the complete redesign of our service management and billing platform – Vantage Online is the result,” he added.

Milford explained that from the earliest scoping meetings, they identified that the new solution would need to have a much wider range of integration with the myriad of complementary software solutions and supplier systems that clients need to use. “As part of this, our move to an MS SQL database and API-driven architecture was a conscious decision that enables us to massively reduce the amount of duplicate data entry that needs to be undertaken by our clients,” he stated.

Direct integration

The latest development is what Vantage describes as a ‘cutting-edge’ direct integration between Vantage Online and Westcoast, which at the time of writing, had completed final testing and was expected to be available to users within the next few weeks.

Vantage Online already has out-of-the box integration with almost all leading accounting applications and industry specific solutions including Print Audit, PrintFleet, XDA/XSM, eMaintenance and @Remote, to mention just a few.

With many office equipment, MPS and managed services clients already utilising Westcoast for the procurement, supply and delivery of equipment, parts and consumables, Milford said that the partnership will give both companies’ clients an end-to-end solution that will enable them to save time, reduce costs and improve profitability.

He commented: “In the case of Westcoast, the fact that many of our dealers and distributors now source their machines, parts, supplies and consumables through Westcoast, means that the ability for clients to push orders directly from Vantage Online (which manages their billing, contract administration, service and helpdesk, stock, consumables and reporting), into Westcoast’s back-office system, and in return receive updates on the progress of those orders, (from picking through to end-user delivery), gives them complete end-to-end visibility over their order processing.

“At the same time it ensures a massive reduction in the time it takes to process orders and reduces the potential errors associated with keying data in manually into multiple places,” he added.

Purchase orders on demand

This functionality allows Vantage Online clients to send purchase orders on demand from Vantage Online to Westcoast via the use of the Westcoast API (XML Portal). They will then seamlessly receive the despatch notifications and other updates, including tracking information. Invoices from Westcoast can then be received directly and made available as supplier invoices within Vantage Online.

“Work is already underway to further Vantage has announced direct integration between Vantage Online service management and billing system and Westcoast Out-of-the box integration enhance the information shared between these two key components of our shared clients’ businesses, with the ongoing aim of ensuring that both Westcoast and Vantage Online remain the leading choice for industry-specific solutions,” Milford said.

Westcoast Managing Director Alex Tatham, said: “We are pleased to be working with Vantage and this integration with their market-leading software products will enable our joint customers to achieve significant cost savings and increase efficiency. It allows orders to be placed seamlessly via our bi-directional integration (EDI) and gives resellers full track and trace visibility, with full invoice matching to streamline the payment authorisation workflow process.”

“This logical extension of the partnership between Westcoast and Vantage will save our clients huge amounts of time and give them even greater visibility of this essential aspect of their business. We have exciting future plans to extend this partnership and look forward to delivering further enhancements for our clients over the forthcoming months,” Milford continued.

“The full API and SDK for Vantage Online will be launched before the end of 2017 and we are already working with several key customers and partners to provide integration with their CRM and eMarketing solutions,” Milford said. “The overall aim is to ensure that Vantage Online continues to be the dealer management solution of choice for office equipment and MPS/managed services business in more than 35 countries worldwide,” he said in conclusion.