GoToBilling — A Case Study

by Krishna on September 20, 2007

I recently got a chance to take a test drive of GoToBilling, an online application for business solutions. GoToBilling focuses on helping companies invoice and accept payments from their customers easily. They primarily serve small to mid-size customers. The application has other features such as marketing and CRM that aid in sales activities.

Though the product is not strictly related to project management and software development, I decided to write about it because I felt that it was an example of a good business application. For example, the application has the following features:

  1. Intuitive Interface: The application has a very clean, well-designed user interface. Many business applications do badly on this. In 2000, I remember using the slow and torturous Verizon website to pay my bills, which I quickly abandoned. GoToBilling seems to have paid great attention to the layout and colors.
  2. Attention to Flow: Layouts are great, but that would be useless if the application did not provide meaningful ways to accomplish tasks within the system. I liked the general use of dashboard and web parts. Some of the screens have useful buttons like “Save and Add More” which simplify data entry tasks. (I did get confused by their putting the Cancel button on the left instead of on the right.)
  3. Focus on Business Need: They seem to have paid good attention to the 2 key modules — Payments and Invoicing in the application. Also the integration with QuickBooks is an integral part of any small business application. Personally, I have encountered the same need when building applications. Almost all business owners want to have data come out of your application and go into the accounting software, which is primarily QuickBooks.

The company’s general website is an example of good marketing. It clearly explains the main modules in the application, who it is meant for, the general pricing scheme and support for developers. The application has a developer area where they have a forum and also developer tools for integration with their application. GoToBilling also has other services along with their product — Marketing, CRM and Gift Cards.

A few things that I feel that this company could improve upon: They only have videos in their Guided Tour, which makes it difficult for prospective customers to easily see all the functionality. It would be nice to also provide an alternative with several snapshots of the application. The company blog has very less content.

Overall, though, they have done a good job. What I have seen is that many small business owners are still in the desktop-application-driven (or even paper-driven) world and there is a great opportunity for companies like GoToBilling to grow and capitalize on this opportunity. A well-designed software catering to a well-defined audience.

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