New launch for former OC-Net CEO
Liz Hochstedler, Associate Editor
October 5, 2012
Filed under Features
Those who have been in the industry for more than few years may remember Robert Hipp and OC-Net.
Hipp was the CEO of OC-Net, a company that developed the Yamaha corporate site and later built dealer websites before he sold OC-Net to ARI Network Services in 2007. Now Hipp, who worked for ARI for a few years before leaving to focus on philanthropy, is back with vNext Technologies, which delivers a new website platform for dealerships.
“He looked at what’s out there today for dealer websites and saw an opportunity,” said John Marlin, marketing manager of vNext.
vNext’s goal is to provide dealers an easy-to-administer website with a simple parts lookup system from a company that offers high-quality customer service and all-inclusive pricing.
“What Robert wanted to do was put together a platform using the latest technology, using his experience with content management systems and giving the dealer the ability to completely administer their site from the back end, from a catalog perspective, from a content perspective,” Marlin explained.
The platform’s most unique feature is a parts look up that features parts numbers listed side-by-side with diagrams for easy verification.
“The side-by-side display, I don’t think anybody else is doing anything like that. And no one needs to ID a part, scroll down a list, scroll back up a list to make sure you’re picking the right part, scroll back down,” Marlin said.
The site also features CRM functions, which allow dealers to compile customer information and mass market to those customers. It also integrates with Facebook and Twitter and has Facebook, Twitter and Google+ widgets for customers to share and like pages and products.
Hipp created this platform to give dealers a fresh option for websites. vNext has a variety of templates to choose from, and custom sites are available upon request.
“We found that [dealers] really were not getting the guidance that they’d like from their provider. They felt like they were a number, and a lot of them were looking for advice, and they weren’t getting that,” Marlin said. “In that, we know we can be a leader in the market.”