QuickArrow Small Business Edition is a new offering launched yesterday that comes from a ten
year veteran of professional services automation software. QuickArrow’s other
products are used by over 30000 users worldwide and is used by some high profile
companies. QuickArrow is based in Austin, Texas and is a privately held
The solution provides three main areas of functionality;
- Time and Expense Management
- Project Management
It’s designed for teams of up to ten users and is targeted at those who
currently use manual systems to track and manage their projects. QuickArrow is
priced at USD1995 per annum for up to ten users. This is a departure from the
more traditional monthly billing cycle that most SaaS vendors use and potential
is a barrier to adoption. It would take the maximum ten users to get the price
per user to a competitive $17 per month – I can’t help but think that the
combination of annual pricing and a ten user pricing regime is a little
indicative of a desktop software approach towards customer acquisition and
retention – in the SaaS world stickiness should come from the product itself,
not from the pricing strategies.
In terms of functionality, one line, just one line got my blood boiling. This
from the FAQ page;
Because QuickArrow is an online service, there is no hardware or software to
buy, install or maintain. Open Microsoft Internet Explorer
(version 6 or 7) to the login page
It’s a failed online service in my books if it only works with Internet
Explorer. In their defence QuickArrow did say they’re working on Firefox support
– but no mention of the other browsers out there.
QuickArrow SBE is natively integrated with Microsoft project and is also able
to be integrated with Salesforce and QuickBooks. They also have integration either currently or
pending with the majority of the larger accounting systems – in my discussions
QuickArrow seemed unaware of any SaaS accounting products targeting small
business – given the demographic they’re aiming for with their product, and the
number of solutions I’ve reviewed here, that indicates something of a naiveté about the
marketplace. SBE also charges USD1500 per integration – again the promise of SaaS is quick, easy and generally free integration – I’m not sure how many businesses will be happy paying a grand and a half to make to SaaS apps work together.
I was quite impressed with the level of granularity that QuickArrow gives
individual users. Many SaaS solutions go easy on complex user permission/role
options in order to lessen the QA cycle time for frequent releases – it was good
to see QuickArrow bucking this trend. QuickArrow SBE provides a nice dashboard
that gives management a good overview of utilisation and performance.
Overall QuickArrow SBE feels kind of legacy – sure that is totally a personal
perception and the “feel” doesn’t really impact upon usability – but the looks
combined with the pricing structure kind of left an uninspired taste in the
mouth of this reviewer.