Palo Alto Software - The Planning People - develops, publishes, and markets software products for use with personal computers. Its products offer task-oriented, "know how" solutions for small-business and home-office entrepreneurs, professionals, and middle managers. The company is a privately-owned corporation in Eugene, Oregon.
Tim Berry, president of Palo Alto Software, says he started creating his own software for business planning and forecasting to bridge what he calls "the know-how gap" that exists between what personal computers can potentially do for business people and what they are actually doing.
"At Stanford in the late 1970s, we took an entire course to learn how to do a business plan," he recalls. "Nowadays personal computers have made all of that much easier, but only when people know how to use them. I don't mean simple computer or software training, but the management techniques like cash flows, financial analysis and forecasting models. What we do is share and explain the thinking tools as well as the technical tools."
Berry, former vice president at Creative Strategies International, is the author of Business Plan Pro® and Marketing Plan Pro®. He is a Stanford MBA, author of three books on business planning with spreadsheets (published in the mid-1980s by Hayden Books, McGraw-Hill Microtext and Dow Jones-Irwin) and a former wire service news and business magazine foreign correspondent.
Berry founded Palo Alto Software, Inc. in Palo Alto (CA) in 1983 as Infoplan, a sole proprietorship. In 1988 it was incorporated in California as Palo Alto Software. Palo Alto Software moved to Oregon in 1992 and was subsequently merged into Palo Alto Software, an Oregon corporation.
During the 1980s, the company focused mainly on consulting and market research, with clients including Apple Computer, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Lotus Development Corporation, Ashton-Tate and others. Its forecasts of the personal computer market in Mexico became the standard source in that market until Select S.A. was established in 1988. Berry developed annual business plans for Apple Latin America from 1984 through 1987, during which time sales quadrupled, and for Apple Japan from 1991 to 1993 as sales increased tenfold.
The business plan product evolved from extensive consulting in business planning for large and small companies. In 1984, Infoplan published a business plan template, which accompanied a book published by Oasis Press; and in 1988, the original version of Business Plan Toolkit was published.
Since its release in 1995, Business Plan Pro has seen favorable reviews by numerous business and high-tech magazines and Internet sites. It is regularly on Amazon.com's top 10 list of best-selling business software. Business Plan Pro has won many honors, and customized versions have been developed for corporations; regional versions are available in Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as for Portuguese and Spanish speaking users. The most recent versions, Business Plan Pro 2006 and Business Plan Pro 2006 Premier, were released in July 2005.
Marketing Plan Pro was first released in 1996 with version 6.0 and version 6.0 Premier appearing in October 2002. Advertising Plan Pro became available in November 2001.
Information courtesy of Palo Alto Software