By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Reckless Kelly's double live album Reckless Kelly Was Here:
CRM vendor Entellium has announced the full availability of a new version of Rave, its CRM software product sold mostly to small sales organizations.
Rave is marketed on what company officials call "time-saving, efficiency-enhancing features," such as an intuitive user interface, workflow and automation capabilities and a "smart client" architecture that lets sales reps work both online and offline.
Rave was developed using Gamer Influenced Design, an Entellium-grown concept that incorporates many of the elements found in video games. GID gives traditional (read: boring) business software a makeover by integrating gaming design techniques.
"Rave is CRM re-mastered for sales people," declared Paul Johnston, President and CEO of Entellium, calling it a "fun-to-use package that pure play-on-demand services can't achieve."
In developing Rave, Johnston said, the company sought "a sales productivity tool that embraced many key features found in today's leading video game designs," because "after doing a great deal of research, we found that gamers and sales professionals are remarkably similar. Both play against the clock, score points and require a play-to-win mentality to succeed."
Based on these similarities, Johnston found there is "a great deal that business software can learn from the gaming world related to product design."
The company said in developing the product they took into account some of the most commonly-heard complaints from salespeople about CRM, including the old one about how CRM products took too long to bring up new pages and save edits, users were required to traverse multiple screens and tabs to input data and suffered click fatigue, not enough routine sales tasks were automated by CRM tools and access to sales and customer data away from the office was unreliable, due to ineffective offline clients.
Rave, which is available for a free trial download at ravecrm.com, is available immediately on a subscription basis at a list price of $400 per user, per year.
Company officials are counting on what they call the product's "simple, intuitive navigational experience" to appeal to such dissatisfied people. It includes a built-in Live Chat feature for 24x7 customer support and pre-built reports and data mining tools for managerial visibility into the progress of each sales rep and their pipeline.
Other bells and whistles include "Star Rankings," which lets users know where their most important contacts, prospects and deals are at a glance, and "Activity Maps," billed as a way around those "tabular, grid-based views of CRM data which don't provide an easy way to spot trends, see anomalies or connect different data points."
CRM and SFA vendor Satuit Technologies, which focuses on the professional investment market, has announced the hiring of Dale S. Gillette, a financial services veteran, to the position of Vice President of Strategic Relations.
Gillette comes to Satuit from Wellington Management Company's Information Services Division, where he served as a systems manager supporting the information technology needs of the Institutional Relationship Management, Marketing, and Business Development teams in 3 U.S. offices and 5 global offices.
Prior to Wellington Management Company, Gillette's experience included management roles with Putnam Investments, Bankers Trust, Chase Manhattan Bank, Security Pacific National Bank, and State Street Bank.
Astonish Results, a digital marketing and training company for the mortgage industry, has announced the launch of Astonish CRM, a mortgage-focused Customer Relationship Management product with fully integrated event-triggered e-mail marketing.
The product "rounds out the Astonish digital marketing system," company officials say.
"We've always felt that in order to help mortgage companies find, close and keep more customers, we needed to provide them with a CRM / email marketing solution that automated much of the follow-up," said John Boudreau, director of operations at Astonish. He cited the "integrated e-mail marketing capability" as a salient selling point.
IEnterprises, Inc. and SugarCRM have announced that they will be offering "Mobile Edge for SugarCRM," a wireless "extension" for SugarCRM users to put their SugarCRM available on BlackBerry smartphones. It can be purchased through SugarExchange.
The product uses an open standards Web services interface, integrated to the two SugarCRM product lines. Customers can choose hosted or behind the corporate firewall deployment.
Questra Corporation, a vendor of Intelligent Device Management products, has announced that the Questra IDM Application Suite version 5.2s, in compliance with industry-standard Enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture, is generally available.
Version 5.2s lets users combine device performance data with other business application data. It's the foundation for Questra's own value-added products, including the Questra RemoteService Composite Application version 2.0, which is also now available for purchase.
Generally IDM tools have been freestanding enterprise applications. Now, using industry standards, applications within the Enterprise SOA-enabled Questra IDM Suite can be integrated with other enterprise applications, such as CRM and ERP systems, company officials say.
The Questra RemoteService Composite Application version 2.0, which lets device manufacturers provide automated service notifications, runs on the SAP NetWeaver platform and has "SAP xApps Certified - Powered by SAP NetWeaver" status.
StayinFront, Inc., a vendor of customer relationship management (CRM) applications, has announced it has won a new contract with BELNET, the Belgian national research network that provides high-bandwidth Internet connection to Belgian universities, colleges, schools, research centers and government departments.
BELNET wants StayinFront CRM to manage all contact, product, order, contract, billing, supplier and customer support data that BELNET has been using several information systems to handle.
Sage Software has announced the new ACT! by Sage Premium Dual Access licensing, and the ACT! Business Care support and maintenance plan.
ACT! Premium Dual Access enables online/offline access to centralized customer data for sales teams, small to mid-sized businesses, and larger workgroups. ACT! Premium Dual Access also includes one year of ACT! Business Care and is priced on a volume basis at $529.99 per single-licensed user.
Joe Bergera, senior vice president and general manager for ACT! and Sage Software Global CRM, said the vendor designed ACT! to "support an online/offline user experience."
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