Sage CRM Update, ACT! to Microsoft, Logix Gets ReckonUP CRM, and Jitterbit, Software Advice, OpenMFG Now xTuple

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Sage CRM Update, ACT! to Microsoft, Logix Gets ReckonUP CRM, and Jitterbit, Software Advice, OpenMFG Now xTuple

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Cracker's Greenland:

Business software vendor Logix Microsystems has announced the acquisition of ReckonUp, a customer relationship management (CRM) product, from Prize Corporation for $4 million.

ReckonUp is a Web-based tool for automobile dealers to "improve operating efficiency and manage database of current and prospective clients," according to Logix officials.

"This acquisition will further accelerate our vision to become the leading provider to the $650 billion automotive dealership market," Logix Managing Director Sanjay Soni said in a communique to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

The company has acquired the assets related to the CRM product, which include the team, customer base and technology platform, for an all cash deal, Logix said.

Prize Corporation provides Web-based applications to automobile dealerships.

Sage has launched a customer relationship management (CRM) system, Sage 200, aimed at the small to medium enterprise market. David Pinches, Sage head of product management, said the product would be pitched to firms of over $100 million.

Industry observer Nick Booth writes that "whereas SAP is approaching the market from a high end enterprise level, Sage claims its product is more grounded. 'You are always more likely to succeed in the mid range market when building from the bottom up,'" Pinches tells Booth.

Sage's CRM system is being built on the foundation of its MMS financials module, Booth explains, adding that Pinches says "adding CRM functions to the core financial product is a logical upgrade that can easily be implemented to cover all the business processes in an organisation," in Booth's words.

Industry observer Angela Eager briefly recaps the application history, saying "MMS was the result of a project to migrate Line 100 functionality to the newer .NET architecture. Sage 200 4.1 is based on retained yet re-engineered MMS code, coupled with Sage CRM capabilities and a range of integration tools, all presented as a platform for delivering integrated front to back office processes."

She explains that customers can add additional modules such as bill of materials, commercials and project accounting, plus a industry specific module for the construction sector. "Sage plans to add a manufacturing module, plus extra functionality modules including payroll, asset management, forecasting and business intelligence," Eager writes, adding that "a telesales agent using the CRM functionality to manage customer call back could also access the customers' financial status and order status and even kick off an order process, all from what would be perceived as a single application."

Pinches tells Eager that "twenty percent to 30 percent of our focus is on bringing our technology into integrated suites but it does not make sense to lose the work we have done over 20 years to get [there]." Eager says: "Where Sage 200 4.0 was characterized by separate products with lose integration, 4.1 is a much tighter proposition based on the core platform of financials and CRM, installed as single instance with configuration options and optional add-on modules."

In mid-July industry observer John Stokdyk had reported that as part of the launch program for the rebranded Sage 200 Suite version 4.1, "Sage announced a 27 July deadline for free upgrades from Sage Line 100… After that date, customers with five or more users -- and a valid Sage annual licence plan agreement -- will have to pay over $4,000 to upgrade." Users, of whatever size, without a SALP agreement will have to pay about $7,000 to migrate to the new package.

Jitterbit, a vendor of open source integration productivity software and have announced that Jitterbit's open source integration suite is now certified and available through's AppExchange and can directly integrate with implementations.

With Jitterbit, users and developers can connect and transform customer data into from a variety of data sources and formats. An open source integration product, Jitterbit addresses the problems of cost and complexity associated with connecting applications, data and partners.

"Jitterbit is a strategic integration partner for, and their certification on the AppExchange means customers can now integrate their CRM data into their IT environments," said Shay Casey, a manager of's Appexchange Certification Program.

When it comes to integration, Salesforce customers have had limited options, relying on expensive, complex and proprietary products that require specialized technical staffing, Jitterbit officials said, adding that it "allows users to integrate their data out of the box without any coding expertise."

Software Advice has launched its Retail Software Advice Web site (, a free resource designed to match prospective retail software buyers with CRM and other software products.

Software Advice's industry segmentation by retail segment, size of business and software requirements allows retailers to identify software suited for their company. Buyers can create a "short list" of software products in minutes, company officials claim. A proprietary matching algorithm is used for retailers to select from a list of products, and help software vendors reach their target customers.

"It is becoming increasingly difficult for retailers to identify which software products are designed specifically for their requirements. We aim to clarify the fragmented market for both buyers and vendors," said Austin Merritt, Director, Operations of Software Advice.

For no charge, Retail Software Advice provides buyers with search capability that suggests products based on buyers' retail segment, size of business and unique software requirements, as well as comparisons of recommended software based on the product's functionality, technological foundations and target customer profile and detailed profiles of each software product, including screen shots, key differentiators and feature lists.

CRM vendor Business IT Professionals, Inc. (Biz IT Pro) has announced implementing a CRM product, including data migration from ACT!, for the North Carolina law firm DiLeone & Associates, P.C.

"ACT! was bursting at the seams for our firm," said Ralph DiLeone, Managing Partner, DiLeone & Associates, P.C. "We had trouble sharing data with multiple users, and we were facing performance issues, as well. We no longer felt the ACT! platform was best suited for our needs, which led to our decision to engage Biz IT Pro to provide a Microsoft CRM product for us."

"One of the biggest challenges we faced," explained Steve Noe, President, Biz IT Pro, "was integrating the smart phones used at the firm. The phone wouldn't link into ACT!, which affected their ability to work in a mobile environment the way they wanted to. Once we moved their data to Microsoft CRM, we were able to fully integrate with MS Mobile and MS Office, which the firm heavily relies on."

Once Biz IT Pro implemented the CRM product, the firm's data was merged from ACT! to Microsoft CRM using an end-to-end integration tool developed by Scribe Software.

OpenMFG, a vendor of ERP products, has changed its name to xTuple, following the release of PostBooks, described by company officials as "a free and fully open source accounting, ERP and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software package for enterprises of virtually any size."

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