Surado CRM, Nuance Communications, Camrivox and Snom, Zoho's Single Sign-On

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David Sims
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Surado CRM, Nuance Communications, Camrivox and Snom, Zoho's Single Sign-On

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is the Rolling Stones' glorious ramshackle masterpiece, Exile On Main Street, the one rock album you'd want on a desert island:

Surado Solutions has announced the release of Surado CRM Online - Professional Edition, described by company officials as an on-demand/hosted CRM product.

The vendor already offers on-premise CRM products for small to mid markets, offline CRM and Web CRM.

Surado CRM Online is, a bit unusually, not pitched specifically to the SMB market, whereas most on-demand vendors are scrambling to hawk their wares to SMBs "traditionally under-served" by vendors in "these trying economic times," or something along those lines. Instead Surado simply bills it as being for "companies of all sizes requiring access to information anytime, anywhere." Now that's what we call inclusive language.

The product on offer combines what the Suradians describe as "the core Surado CRM suite including Contact & Account Management, Sales & Opportunity Management, Marketing and Customer Service." Far from trying to market simply another stripped down bare-bones "budget" package, Surado officials characterize the product as delivering "convenience, power and flexibility for businesses looking to move beyond simple, under-powered single user and work group" products.

One difference with this product is is the ability to start with the On Demand CRM and, "when it makes business sense," move to an on-premise or a complete offline CRM tool.

The release of Surado CRM Online - Professional Edition comes after development, testing and the build-out of a secure data center in Surado Corporate Center, located in the University Research Park in Riverside, California. Company officials say the release of the Professional edition marks "the beginning of a series of On-Demand CRM editions to be released throughout 2009."

"Our vision of providing delivery options, not just CRM products in the CRM marketplace, hits a new milestone with Surado CRM Online," says Sundip R. Doshi, CEO of Surado Solutions.

For a limited time, Surado CRM Online hosted solution is available for $9.99 per user per month for the professional edition.


Nuance Communications has announced that recent trials and deployments of the Nuance Mobile Care product has "proven to reduce calls being directed to live agents by over sixty percent."

The product is engineered to give users the ability to self-solve simple problems, including customer care and billing, directly and instantly on the handset.  This is being pitched as a way to eliminate wait times for customer service agents and reduce costs.

"The growing complexity of mobile handsets and services has led to a significant increase in customer care call volumes and resultant costs to operators," said Tony Cripps, Principal Analyst, Ovum. "Products that let operators fix common problems directly on a user's device without involving a live agent offer both user experience and cost saving benefits, especially important in the current economy."

 Based on aggregate data from deployments and trials of Nuance Mobile Care in North America and Europe, according to the Nuancians, the average live agent call costs approximately five bucks and the average subscriber initiates a call to customer service once a month. With the potential of deflecting over sixty percent of calls with an on-device, self-service options, well, do the math yourself, but it could translate into cost savings and an opportunity to extend self-service to the mobile device.

 Using Nuance Mobile Care as it's installed for clients today, customers can make account inquiries or pay bills directly without having to wait in queue, which has proven frustrating for users. Shocking, that, yes, I know. Who woulda guessed? You go to all the trouble of picking nice music for them and everything. Oh well, some people just aren't grateful for anything. With on-device self-service, Nuance has found, customers "gain more control of when and how they access help, and in a more relevant and intuitive way." 

Nuance officials cite research showing, they say, that nine out of 10 users preferred "the ease and speed" of products like Nuance Mobile Care over "other customer service options."

The product lets customers view their current plan details and upgrade their plan based on usage, and it promises support for a wide range of handset platforms including Windows Mobile, Symbian, BREW and other proprietary operating systems.


Camrivox, a vendor of Computer Telephony Integration software, and snom technology AG, a German developer and manufacturer of advanced Voice-over-IP phones, announce the availability of snom Flexor CTI for Dynamics CRM.

The software is designed to combine Dynamics CRM with snom IP telephony to deliver a CTI-CRM product for SME businesses looking to buff up their ROI, officials of both firms say.

Snom Flexor CTI for Dynamics CRM offers an enhanced customer experience, bringing such call features as on-screen call control, call logging and management reporting for total customer interaction. Delivered over the Web direct to a user's desktop, Flexor CTI requires no additional servers, company officials say.

Camrivox officials contend that the trend towards hosted CRM applications based on SaaS pricing "has enabled SMEs to compete with larger enterprises despite minimal resources." However, they note, "some have an aversion to hosting customer data externally and there remains a demand for on-premise" alternatives. By offering both hosted and on-premise versions, Dynamics CRM can appeal to such customers.

Snom Flexor CTI for Dynamics CRM is intended to complement the existing free snom Flexor CTI for Outlook, as it lets businesses to have a mixed landscape of users -- some with CRM and some with only Microsoft Outlook. All users can still have the same CTI with their snom phones and it allows for an upgrade path moving from Microsoft Outlook to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Snom Flexor CTI is available for on-demand CRM applications and is also available as a free download for Outlook.


Zoho has announced single sign-on support for Zoho CRM, the company's on-demand customer relationship management application for organizations not afraid to run their businesses online.

One Zoho account provides users with access to all Zoho applications, according to the Zohoians, adding that the single sign-on advantage extends to Google and Yahoo users, who can now log in to Zoho CRM directly with their respective accounts. Users sign in just once to use all Zoho applications.

"Zoho CRM is a mature product, but that doesn't stop us from responding to customer feedback," says Rodrigo Vaca, director of marketing at Zoho. "Being part of our single sign-on improves Zoho CRM's user experience, giving users access to other Zoho applications with the same account and is the first step to further integration between Zoho CRM and applications like Zoho Mail, Zoho Docs, Zoho Projects, and Zoho Creator."

Zoho CRM can be used for customer relationship life-cycle management, managing organization-wide sales, marketing, customer support and service, and inventory management in a single business system. With single sign-on, Zoho CRM users can log in just once and have access to other Zoho applications without being prompted to re-authenticate using different user name and password combinations.

Users can use the same Zoho account for other Zoho applications that complement Zoho CRM, such as Zoho Projects for project management, Zoho Invoice for customer invoicing, and Zoho Meeting for Web meetings, desktop sharing and remote support.

Zoho CRM is the last Zoho application to become part of the company's single sign-on, which now encompasses all Zoho applications. It's available in Zoho CRM Free Edition, Professional Edition, and Enterprise Edition.

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