Provus CEO: We Compete With Excel Spreadsheets in Services Quoting

Provus CEO: We Compete With Excel Spreadsheets in Services Quoting

Mahesh Baxi, Provus Co-Founder and CEO, speaks with Andy Park, TeamCentral VP and Co-Founder, in a video interview about Provus’ services, use cases, competition, ideal customers, and the key benefits of the automated services-quoting platform.

Baxi describes the Provus platform as "service-quoting automation," allowing customers to automate various aspects of the quoting lifecycle, such as scope and discovery estimation.

Unlike products, services quoting poses a multidimensional problem because it’s difficult to identify factors such as scope, structuring resources, or the timeline. The AI-based recommendation engine addresses these problems, Baxi explains.

When asked how AI plays a role in the solution, Baxi replies that about 96% of customers have their quotes data on Excel spreadsheets and need help learning from the historical data. The AI-led recommendation engine of the services quoting solution offers a lot of use cases, such as bringing the data onto the platform, connecting the dots, getting visibility, and avoiding mistakes made during the previous quotes. This, in turn, leads to better margins, improving the top line.

Baxi attributes Provus’ success to three factors:

  • A great team with deep domain expertise.
  • Early customers who helped validate the problems.
  • The decision to build the product on top of the Salesforce platform.

According to Baxi, one of the biggest hurdles is that while success is felt overnight, it is never an overnight success. He explains that because Provus competes with Excel, his company needs buyers willing to transform their scope to the quote process. He explains further that transformational work includes change management, so the hurdle is also about the people, the training, the business case, and the reasons they should do it.

Continuing, Baxi highlights three industry segments that Provus caters to:

  • Professional services — Software companies that provide services to implement, enable, and adopt their product for their customers.
  • Consulting services — Companies that do multiple things, such as scoping estimation, transformation services, engineering outsourcing, and staff augmentation.
  • Asset-based services — Hardware companies that sell and track hardware as an asset.

Sharing Provus’ approach to prioritizing customer requests. Baxi mentions the following:

  • The innovation lab, focused on futuristic things based on the validations received from the market.
  • Funneling all requests through the prioritization engine to understand the value realization behind the feature request.
  • Prioritizing critical requests for the customer with the platform’s professional services arm.

In conclusion, Baxi highlights the following predictions:

  • 2023 will witness the unification of selling products and services.
  • AI will rule services quoting. Visionary customers will join the transformation journey early on and realize the value of the data in a structured way.
  • It is going to become more and more complex to offer and consume services. This will require ensuring speed, accuracy, and quality customer experience.

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