The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Jimmy Buffett’s Living and Dying in 3/4 Time:
StayinFront, a vendor of enterprise-wide customer relationship management (CRM) products, has announced details of its flagship product’s newest version, StayinFront CRM 10.
Company officials say it “enables organizations to create the business model and application logic once,” and deploy the product “across multiple platforms, including LANs, WANs, Tablet PCs, and mobile devices.”
StayinFront’s advanced data replication and remote management technology lets users such as sales reps work with data even when they are not connected to a network.
New to StayinFront CRM 10 is an updated user interface with what company officials call a “fresh, contemporary appearance… which requires minimal training,” and is “optimized to make best use of device screens.”
A .NET framework-based application, StayinFront CRM 10 runs as a managed application using Microsoft’s Common Language Runtime. Visual Basic.NET is built into StayinFront CRM 10 for executing business application logic.
StayinFront CRM 10 is a “Smart Client” application, and is deployed across a WAN or the Internet using the “ClickOnce” deployment mechanism. It includes support for a wide variety of features, such as established workflow capabilities that parallel the manner in which the organization already works instead of imposing new business processes where none are needed.
“StayinFront CRM, with its strong interoperable Web Services, takes full advantage of Microsoft’s Smart Client application,” said Thom Robbins, director of .NET Platform Marketing at Microsoft — not to be confused with another famous Seattle-area resident, Tom Robbins.
Gartner Research vice president, William Clark, has noted that the proliferation of mobile devices and smart devices means organizations “take a multi-channel approach for business applications that relies on re-use of intelligent clients, rather than in re-coding projects that require them to hire IT specialists or contract professional organizations.”
Hyfinity has announced that six British local authorities have deployed Lagan Web-based Integration Adaptors to link their Lagan CRM and Case Management system to Northgate’s Sx3 Revenues and Benefits back office applications.
The integration adaptors were built under an OEM agreement for Lagan, using Hyfinity’s innovative rapid Enterprise Web 2.0 & SOA platform technology.
The councils include Argyll & Bute (delivered by Steria managed services), Bassetlaw DC, Bristol City Council, Hambleton DC, North Kesteven, and Nottingham City Council (delivered by Capita managed services). The majority of these live deployments have been carried within just a few weeks. This opens the door to rapid transformation within local government.
Lagan has a global OEM contract with Hyfinity to build and roll out CRM Integrations to back office applications, using Hyfinity’s MVC Enterprise Web 2.0 technology.
Under the terms of the agreement with Lagan, the transactional e-forms and Rich Web Applications seamlessly present themselves as part of the Lagan CRM and Case Management application. This enables a council’s customer service operative to manage a customer interaction and account completely from within the Lagan system, including getting customer or query specific data, amending transactional information that may actually be located within a number of applications. This leads to more efficient and effective interaction processing and higher levels of customer service.
Promero has announced the general release of its hosted customer relationship management software ProStar CRM upgrade version 1.4. The release includes enhanced features Auto Lead Distribution, work groups, integrated Web form generator, integration with virtual call center software like Oracle’s Contact Center Anywhere, 100+ marketing and sales reports, ChatLive, forecasting, and lead-source tracking.
The company is trying an aggressive new pricing model that includes setup fees of only $495, $20 per month per user fees, and the option for $495 per month for unlimited users.
ProStar CRM was developed on the open source code of SugarCRM and recently converted to .NET language with the cooperation of SplendidCRM. The product has been improved for speed, scalability and additional features, company officials say.
“When businesses spend money on advertising, owners want to know immediately if leads are generated, if leads are worked by the sales team in a timely manner, and if leads convert to sales,” said Gregg Troyanowski, president of Promero.
Troyanowskis said Promero itself has “used many CRM applications from the simplest including Act! and Goldmine to the most sophisticated like Onyx. ProStar CRM is the easiest and most flexible CRM that we’ve use. Now we host it for our customers.”
Founded in 2001, Promero is a member of the Oracle Partner Network and an application service provider of Internet-based call center, CRM and lead management software.
BScaler officials say they have a strategy for targeting Importers, VARs, Resellers and Distributors, which involves moving “beyond CRM.”
Steven Mulhall, VP of Sales and Marketing, said more than just CRM, “they need versatile sales commissions, really good RMA management and a customer portal, for starters. It’s a Web-based total business management product, a large-scale ERP for small to mid-size enterprises.”
Mulhall said time works against their importer and reseller customers, “and so do thin margins. The BScaler Enterprise Resource Manager, with its real-time dashboards and unified database, saves them time and prevents mistakes, and that gets their attention.”
“The BScaler Customer Portal automates everything that their customers want,” added Lee Boylan, Director of Marketing. “They get their own price list, create orders, check their account balance and credit availability, and view transaction history; even create service tickets.”
Mulhall said the company focuses marketing around three questions: “How many IT people do you have, and how responsive are they?”; “How many PCs/point products hold your business data?”; and “How long does it take to move information from one computer into another one?”
Such firms “usually admit that manual data re-entry makes errors, too. At this point, we smile and they get the picture,” Boylan said: “Accounting is another touchy area.”
Saaspoint, a dedicated Salesforce.com consultancy and systems integrator, has announced the availability of its Mobile Field Scheduler for Salesforce.com AppExchange. The Mobile Field Scheduler allows field service organizations to manage and deploy technical support teams on the road.
Users can now graphically view locations of field staff with ease, plan more productive itineraries or reschedule them dynamically using Salesforce.com mobile and Google Maps technology. Data exchange between two Web services has been made as easy as if they were on the same computer — a mash-up.
Andy Clark, Saaspoint Apex Division Manager, said the firm has “tightly integrated mash-ups such as Google Maps to create a more valuable tool for organizations.”