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February 29, 2008

Google Maps for CRM Tool Slated for SugarCRM in Q2 2008

By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Sydney-based CRM Works, in collaboration with Web site development company iCatchIT, has announced SMaps, described by company officials as "a mapping tool that connects customer relationship management systems to Google (News - Alert) Maps in real time."
"We built an interface between Google Mapping API and CRM Databases using Microsoft (News - Alert) ASP. Initially we are supporting Sage CRM and Microsoft CRM, and we plan to release a PHP-based version for Sugar CRM by Q2 2008", says iCatchIT CEO and Web site development officer Jonathan Corners.

SMaps automatically links addresses and locations of individuals or companies to their location in Google Maps. Viewing full contact information from their CRM database with Google's mapping functionality makes scenes from recent movies like Minority Report "a reality for companies," according to the CRM Workers.
The product lets users use Google's mapping capability with their CRM information such as contact details, price and order history to zoom in and make decisions.

SMaps is billed as a product to "boost efficiency of mobile workers, helping them save time and cost." The Target List functionality provides "access to geographic information to sales managers and personnel who can then use that information to focus marketing and sales efforts," explains CRM Principal Consultant for Asia Pacific David Gill.

"Using popular server-side scripting technologies as an interface between the API and address databases allows us to quickly adapt the product to a wide range of mapping/address applications," Corners added.
Last week, according to SugarForge contributor Lyle Arnot, SugarBird, the former Asertiva Thunderbird Extension for Sugar, was released.

"Please check the changelog for fixes and new features information," Arnot says, adding that it's "now with SugarCRM (News - Alert) 5 support, and a new soap engine that fixes many connection problems."

From now "we will focus on Lightning (Calendar) Support," Arnot explained. "Features like Send and Archive are now not possible without hacking Thunderbird."
He said Sugar would try to contact Mozilla developers to find a solution.

Earlier this month Intelestream, a SugarCRM consulting firm, and Serence, developers of KlipFolio dashboards, announced the formation of a partnership to work together to offer KlipFolio for SugarCRM.
Jason Green, Founder and CEO of Intelestream, said his firm would use KlipFolio for SugarCRM internally "and recommend it to all of our clients. In our experience, we have found managers are able to make informed decisions by a quick glance at KlipFolio for SugarCRM when they do not have time to log into their CRM."
Green said he thinks KlipFolio for SugarCRM promotes user adoption by engaging new users of SugarCRM "with their instance as a sidebar to all applications."
David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To see more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

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