Our Enterprise CRM Buyer's Guide covered Oracle, SAP, Salesforce.com, SAP, Microsoft, RightNow, Pegasystems and Sword Ciboodle.
While many of those vendors also play in the midmarket and small business CRM markets, they won't be included in this midmarket CRM guide or our small business CRM guide. The reason: We're trying to cover a range of companies, and most of them can lay claim to being represented in at least two of the three market sectors.
This midrange customer relationship management (CRM) guide, therefore, will focus on SalesLogix, SugarCRM, CDC Software Pivotal, FrontRange Solutions' GoldMine Enterprise Edition, and Maximizer CRM.
Forrester placed CDC Software among the leaders in CRM suites because of a flexible, quick-to-implement solution.
"CDC Pivotal has traditionally been more of midmarket solution, but we also evaluated them in the large company report and the small company report," said William Band, an analyst at Forrester Research.
He noted that CDC's Pivotal leverages Microsoft technology to offer a solution that is adaptable to complex use cases. The suite is tightly integrated with Microsoft Office, for example. Pivotal has a metadata-driven architecture to facilitate changes such as modifications of the user interface, business processes underlying database entities or business objects. As it uses a centralized database, it can also be mined for business intelligence purposes. Industry tailored versions are available for financial services, homebuilding/real estate, manufacturing and healthcare. These mirror the needs of their respective fields.
Sage SalesLogix is a customizable approach to CRM aimed at sales force automation, campaign management, service and customer support. On-premises pricing begins at $795 per licensed user. SalesLogix Cloud pricing is $65 per named user per month. SalesLogix Mobile is provided at no additional cost to SalesLogix users on the latest version.
This ports SalesLogix to the iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry Torch as well as HTML5/CSS3-compliant browsers such as Safari, Google Chrome, Opera and Firefox. The new customizable, browser-based SalesLogix Mobile works with SalesLogix on-premises and SalesLogix Cloud systems and interacts with each device's navigation, mapping, dialing and email functions. SalesLogix Mobile operates online and offline, is centrally managed and customized, and updates automatically over the air.
"SalesLogix Mobile users can quickly create, view and edit customer information including accounts, contacts, leads, opportunities and tickets," said Larry Ritter, senior vice president and general manager, Sage North America. "They can also access a Quick Actions menu, view and schedule activities, and record notes."
In addition, this new mobile app lets users manage meeting schedules, personal activities, phone calls and to-do lists, log email and phone interactions to customer history, configure features to match user preferences and receive automatic updates over the air.
SalesLogix Cloud is built upon the Amazon Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) platform. The value added to EC2 by SalesLogix includes complete data ownership, control over the upgrade process, deployment flexibility and user customization.
"You can't treat Mobile CRM like a separate app with separate administration, platforms, mixed security models and licensing," said Ritter. "You have to use a task-oriented approach for delivering only the pertinent features and data through an optimized interface."
Looking forward, the company is developing services which will be delivered via the web on a subscription basis to enhance the productivity on-premises or cloud software experiences.
SugarCRM's newest midmarket product, launched last month, is Sugar Corporate. Sugar Corporate encompasses sales, marketing, and customer service automation features, social CRM capabilities and Sugar Mobile Plus.
Sugar Mobile Plus gives users access to SugarCRM data from their smartphones or tablets via a native application with offline sync capabilities — users can access and update customer information even when roaming away from their mobile network. Their mobile information is automatically synced when they reconnect to the network.
"Sugar Corporate is built on Sugar's open source software platform, so customers can use it in its out-of-the-box configuration or customize it down to the source code level for integration with their existing and future business processes," said Chris Bucholtz of SugarCRM.
Key features include: lead, opportunity, and account management; campaign management; email marketing; case management; incident tracking; dashboards for management reporting; support for 22 languages and multi-currency support; integration with WebEx, GoToMeeting, and LotusLive; social media integration with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Hoovers, Jigsaw, and Zoominfo; InsideView sales intelligence; plug-ins for Outlook, Word, Excel; and Gmail and Google Docs integration. Pricing is $540/user/year, 5 users minimum.
FrontRange GoldMine Enterprise Edition (GMEE) has pre-integration with VoIP-based phone systems with skill-based routing, screen pops, call recording, whisper coaching and more in order to improve user experience, first call resolution and efficiency. A "Click to Configure" feature is designed to lessen customization complexity. A self-service module enables external clients to submit, track and view case information directly with the core customer service and support teams. Enhanced CRM analytics include over a dozen new dashboards. Pricing is $995 per named licenses or $1,495 for current.
"Consumers of all ages look to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and customer communities as sources of information," said Greg Anderson, general manager of CRM at FrontRange Solutions. "This means companies websites and other web properties need to connect with all the proper social properties and allow customer service agents to have a unified, historical view of how each customer prefers to interact with your business."
Forrester's Band cited Maximizer (along with FrontRange, SugarCRM and SalesLogix) as a sound CRM solution at a low price point best suited for midsized organizations. Like the latest version of many of the others in this guide, Maximizer CRM 11 serves sales, marketing, customer service and support through the web or on smartphone. Wizard-driven dashboards display key performance indicators. Quota management, sales opportunity monitoring, sales email templates, marketing campaign management, and support for SharePoint are some of the other enhancements to Maximizer.
Its latest release is a cloud-based version known as Maximizer CRM Live. Pricing starts at $39 per user per month for 5 or more users, or $49/month for less than 5 users. A 30-day free trial is available.