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July 22, 2011

Midmarket CRM Offerings Profiled, Analyzed in Consumer Guide

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

EnterpriseApps Today has recently printed an excellent consumer guide to CRM, profiling some of the most popular midrange options out there. Excerpts follow:

CDC Software. Forrester (News - Alert) rated CDC Software highly because of a flexible, quick-to-implement tool. “CDC Pivotal has traditionally been more of midmarket solution, but we also evaluated them in the large company report and the small company report,” said William Band, an analyst at Forrester Research (News - Alert).

Band said CDC's Pivotal uses Microsoft technology to offer a tool adaptable to complex use cases. The suite is tightly integrated with Microsoft Office, and has a metadata-driven architecture to facilitate changes such as modifications of the user interface, business processes underlying database entities or business objects.

As it uses a centralized database, it can also be mined for business intelligence purposes. Industry tailored versions are available for financial services, homebuilding/real estate, manufacturing and healthcare. These mirror the needs of their respective fields.

Sage SalesLogix. This product takes a customizable approach to CRM aimed at sales force automation, campaign management, service and customer support. And there’s a significant difference in pricing -- on-premises pricing begins at $795 per licensed user. SalesLogix Cloud pricing is $65 per named user per month. SalesLogix Mobile is provided at no additional cost to SalesLogix users on the latest version.

“SalesLogix Mobile users can quickly create, view and edit customer information including accounts, contacts, leads, opportunities and tickets,” said Larry Ritter, senior vice president and general manager of Sage North America. “They can also access a Quick Actions menu, view and schedule activities, and record notes.”

The mobile app lets users manage meeting schedules, personal activities, phone calls and to-do lists, log email and phone interactions to customer history, configure features to match user preferences and receive automatic updates over the air.

SugarCRM (News - Alert). Their newest midmarket product is Sugar Corporate, which encompasses sales, marketing, and customer service automation features, social CRM capabilities and Sugar Mobile Plus.

It’s designed to give users access to SugarCRM data from their smartphones or tablets via a native application with offline sync capabilities. As company officials say, users can access and update customer information even when roaming away from their mobile network. Their mobile information is automatically synced when they reconnect to the network.

FrontRange GoldMine Enterprise Edition. Comes with pre-integration with VoIP-based phone systems with skill-based routing, screen pops, call recording, whisper coaching and more. A “Click to Configure” feature is designed to lessen customization complexity and a self-service module enables external clients to submit, track and view case information directly with the core customer service and support teams.

“Consumers of all ages look to Facebook, Twitter (News - Alert), LinkedIn and customer communities as sources of information,” said Greg Anderson, general manager of CRM at FrontRange. “This means companies websites and other web properties need to connect with all the proper social properties and allow customer service agents to have a unified, historical view of how each customer prefers to interact with your business.”

Maximizer CRM. Described as a product at a low price point best suited for midsized organizations. Maximizer CRM 11 serves sales, marketing, customer service and support through the web or on smartphone. Wizard-driven dashboards display key performance indicators. Quota management, sales opportunity monitoring, sales email templates, marketing campaign management, and support for SharePoint are some of the other enhancements to Maximizer.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO (News - Alert) offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Jennifer Russell

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