Soffront and Edgewood, BeRelevant's Social CRM, Sage and Castle CRM, Intelestream and Visao

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David Sims
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Soffront and Edgewood, BeRelevant's Social CRM, Sage and Castle CRM, Intelestream and Visao

The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Al Stewart's Year Of The Cat. Yes it was more than an extended single, there was a whole album, and it's pretty good - listening to "Flying Sorcery" now:
Soffront Software, a vendor of mid-market CRM software, has announced that Edgewood Partners Insurance Center is using Soffront CRM to "improve customer support, sales opportunities, and marketing activities."
EPIC is a Californian insurance brokerage, risk management, and employee benefits consulting firm. The firm's officials say they chose Soffront CRM over others because it fulfilled all of their needs within their budget: "We are impressed with the software's ease of use and ease of customization," says Brian Talebzadeh, EPIC's Information Technology Managing Partner.
The IT department at EPIC is using Soffront's Help desk module to "more efficiently manage customer information" as well as to "enhance communication with clients," company officials say. "With Soffront all customer information is easily available and organized," Talebzadeh says, adding that the software "allows us to automatically track customer issues, quickly assign ownership, and escalate issues."
The Web-based, self-help and knowledge management functions of the software provide knowledge base capabilities to EPIC's customers, partners and employees, company officials say. EPIC's sales and marketing departments are streamlining processes using the sales module of the CRM software.
BeRelevant has introduced a new Social CRM platform which company officials say uses virtual collaboration to "proactively gather and prioritize insights from customers by engaging them through Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and e-mail."
What this does, company officials say, is let companies discover "what is most important to their customers and drive positive word of mouth."

BeRelevant's Social CRM platform uses customer-sourcing and virtual collaboration technologies, company officials say, to "capture the collective wisdom of hundreds to thousands of customers in their own words," distilling actionable insights: "The results enable companies to make decisions that drive customer co-innovated products, improved acquisition and retention, improved loyalty, and positive word of mouth."
Company officials bill the platform as going beyond social media monitoring, as one that "integrates with Social Media, enabling companies to engage customers where they are," such as "on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn."

It's being pitched, too, as a way to extend existing CRM systems by enriching customer profiles, segmenting the customer base into promoters and detractors, and identifying influencers: It "provides an insight hub that fosters closing the loop with each participant while dispersing insights internally for action," according to CEO Randy Hamilton.
"Companies get so much feedback these days that it is almost impossible to make a decision. And social monitoring just doesn't seem to be living up to expectations," Hamilton says, adding that the platform includes "best-practice conversation templates, real-time reporting, the ability to close the loop individually or by customer segments," and that it is integrated with existing social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Sage North America has announced that Castle CRM has added a cloud computing version of Sage SalesLogix to its CRM offerings.
Castle CRM, a Sage CRM Solutions business partner, has deployed an initial phase Sage SalesLogix cloud implementation for M. Frank Higgins and Co. Castle has also created a data migration tool to help customers who select Sage SalesLogix transition from competing CRM systems "at no additional cost," company officials say.
"The Sage SalesLogix cloud computing and Castle CRM value propositions both focus on customer benefits not vendor conveniences," says Tony Castle, CEO of Castle CRM. "Data security is paramount for our customers because they will not risk co-mingling their data with a vendor's other client data."
Castle CRM implemented Sage SalesLogix version 7.5.2 in the cloud for M.F. Higgins and Company, a commercial flooring contractor in Newington, Connecticut. Castle built customizations in Sage SalesLogix for Higgins, including a manpower report that helps the company schedule employees and resources on concurrent projects, replacing multiple iterations of spreadsheets.
"We do not staff IT personnel nor have the infrastructure required for many CRM systems," explained Steve Cloud, president of M. Frank Higgins and a guy who should start his own self-named computer consulting firm, adding that Higgins next plans to work with Castle CRM to add Sage SalesLogix Mobile for its employees.
Intelestream, open source CRM consultants and developers of intelecrm, the small business on-demand CRM product, has announced a partnership agreement with Visao, which is joining the Intelestream Channel Network as a Gold Partner, the highest level available. 
As a Gold Partner, Visao can directly sell, provide consulting services, and further customize the intelecrm application. The company will also use its experience to provide on-demand training to intelecrm users and administrators, Visao officials say.
As a former Technical Training Specialist with a prominent open source CRM vendor, Visao CEO Emilio Taylor is "well positioned to offer intelecrm training solutions provided by his team," says Channel Partner Manager for Intelestream Julian Kopald. "Although we are especially thrilled about this aspect of the Visao partnership, the company's services will of course extend beyond training."
Developed by Intelestream in 2008, intelecrm is marketed as a product offering "enterprise level CRM functionality to small and medium sized businesses" by the company. Pricing for the application follows a model that charges subscribers according to the quantity of records and data storage used, rather than the number of users accessing the system.
Intelestream also has applied what the company terms as a "pay-for-what-you-need" approach to intelecrm, where customers are billed for only the features and add-ons they require. Company officials say this is "an especially appealing option" for small businesses on a budget. Basic edition pricing for intelecrm, which includes unlimited users, starts at $20 per month.
The application is designed as an affordable, turn-key CRM solution that can be easily customized according to individual requirements - "an Iinternet connection and a Web browser are all that is needed to use the application," company officials say.
Intelestream Inc. is a Chicago based Customer Relationship Management product development and consulting firm that offers Open Source CRM Professional Services. Intelestream is the developer of intelecrm, the online CRM for small and medium sized businesses with a highly affordable pricing model for unlimited users. Intelestream also develops industry-specific verticals based on a CRM workflow. Our consulting expertise includes intelecrm, SugarCRM, info@hand, and other Open Source CRM related services. With Intelestream's diverse team of experts in both business and technology, the company is made up by many of the brightest minds in CRM.

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