Begin to Round Out Their CRM Suites
Jakovljevic - March 17th,
In February, front-office vendors Baan Co. and SalesLogix Inc. rounded
out their customer-relationship management application suites adding new
marketing, service, and E-commerce capabilities. Their announcements were
made at the DCI Customer-Relationship Management Expo in Chicago.
Baan, which had emerged as a front-runner in the front-office among enterprise
resource planning vendors only to lose that lead because of financial
and management turmoil, has finally delivered on some of its original
promise with the new release of BaanFrontOffice. The new BaanFrontOffice
is the first release that fully integrates a string of acquired front-office
products with each other and with other Baan applications so that sales
and pricing information is linked to product information running in the
back office. The release also includes a new marketing component, a new
product-pricing module, and an upgrade to its configuration tools.
Marketing includes campaign planning based on analysis of customer data,
campaign execution, and lead management. Baan E-Configuration takes the
configuration functions already available to salespeople and places them
on the Web for E-commerce customers' use. Baan Pricing helps salespeople
determine the pricing of complex products for industries such as manufacturing.
The Baan products are available immediately, starting at roughly $1,500
per seat for one module.
released its new CRM upgrade, SalesLogix 2000, adding new marketing, customer-service,
and E-commerce capabilities. "We have a full CRM suite now," says CEO
Pat Sullivan. New marketing tools include campaign management, data mining,
and campaign feedback that ties campaign results to increases in sales.
suite also adds online self-service capabilities. For E-commerce, SalesLogix
OrderWizard sets up a shopping-cart application, and SalesLogix OrderExpert
walks customers through the purchasing and ordering process. A configuration
developer's kit helps businesses set up such functions as guided selling
on the Web. Other new features include application integration to ERP
packages such as Oracle, PeopleSoft, and SAP, and wireless connectivity
to cell phones and handheld devices. SalesLogix 2000 is available immediately,
with server licenses ranging from $3,995 to $14,995 and user license fees
ranging from $595 to $995.
The market should expect a spate of similar announcements in this space
as vendors scramble to belatedly jump on the e-Commerce/CRM bandwagon.
Notwithstanding Baan's current financial troubles, the above mentioned
product releases will give all major CRM aspirants, including the CRM
leader Siebel Systems, a run for their money.
also believe that the year 2000 will be a trying year especially for the
larger ERP players, particularly when competing for a bigger chunk of
the Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SME) market segment. In this segment,
there is much less patience with product delays, a patchwork of disparate
interconnected products, and exorbitant cost of implementation. While
almost every major ERP vendor has announced a CRM strategy, most of the
actual Web-enabled, complete applications have yet to appear.
In spite of massive market demand, most e-Commerce and CRM initiatives
from software vendors are a long way from becoming a reality.
users of Baan or SalesLogix should contact their long-term software provider
and inquire about the proposed offering. Also, both current and potential
users are advised to request the Company's written commitment to promised
functionality, length of implementation, feasibility of integrating it
with the system in place, and seamless future upgrades, before embarking
on an implementation journey.
addition, Baan users should not neglect the Company's dire financial situation.