CRM Announcements

By Geoffrey James

Sage Software (aka Best Software) announced an updated version of ACT! 2005 Link for the Palm OS platform providing two-way data synchronization compatible with the Palm OS Garnet 5.4 from PalmSource, Inc. and many popular mobile devices. The synchronization features integrate ACT! data with Palm-powered devices so users can synchronize up to 20 notes and history items for each contact, map contact data fields and synchronize them directly to Palm OS address book data fields, view calendars on their mobile device, and set contact access permissions.

Commence announced a release date for its new CRM Framework, which will include a suite of ready to use applications, a database, a workflow and synchronization engine and a set of tools to enable complete system modification. While some training will be required, customizations will be possible in the Commence product without programming knowledge.

Pragmatech announced the release of Version 6.1, which provides enhanced management reporting capabilities and allows customers to cut in half the time sales reps spend creating customized documents such as proposals, presentations, RFP responses, statements of work and sales letters. Overall, the new features reduce the time it takes for customers to complete an end-to-end implementation of the Pragmatech sales productivity solutions.

Onyx announced a portfolio to enable organizations to capture and centralize customer information, execute business processes and analyze results. Onyx announced two new products, Onyx Process Manager, a business process management (BPM) solution designed for customer-related activities, and Onyx Analytics, a customer reporting and analysis solution, built on the Cognos ReportNet platform and optimized for Onyx.

Siebel Systems announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire edocs, Inc., a provider of ebilling and customer self-service software solutions. Through the proposed acquisition, Siebel intends to deliver a comprehensive self-service solution and strengthen Siebel Systems’ offerings of customer-facing solutions to support multiple channels. The acquisition brings together a provider of ebilling and customer self-service solutions with a provider of customer service, call center and field service automation solutions.

IDC issued a recent forecast that shows growth in the customer relationship management (CRM) services market is likely to be modest to moderate over the next 18 to 24 months and moderate to strong over the full five-year term ending in 2009. The CRM services market has been revitalized over the past year due to a recovering economy, higher-than-expected business profits, a trend toward more complex consulting and systems integrations contracts, and a flourishing interest in transformation outsourcing.