Centric CRM changes name, releases 5.0 version

By , IDG News Service |  Software

Centric CRM said Wednesday it has changed its name to Concursive Corp., a move
that coincides with the 5.0 release of its product.

The name change was necessary to better reflect the widening scope of the Norfolk,
Virginia, company's open-source software, according to Michael Harvey, executive
vice president. "We are providing a much broader application than is just
captured by the term CRM," he said.

The software, now dubbed ConcourseSuite 5.0, includes Web site creation and
deployment tools, CRM functionality, collaboration-oriented features and content
management. It is available in both hosted and on-premises form.

Customers can also extend the core platform by plugging in portlet applications.
The product comes with a number of prebuilt portlets, including ones for analytics
and charting, according to the company.

"It would not be inconceivable for someone to turn every part of the experience
we provide off and have everything be done through these portlets," Harvey
said.

The company will continue to court primarily midsized companies, not large
enterprises. "We're certainly not going to turn down any Fortune 500 companies.
... But quite often those companies will have an entrenched system, so the sale
becomes more complicated," Harvey said.

Sheryl Kingstone, an analyst with Yankee Group, said that as Centric CRM, the
firm's profile was fairly low, "So if you're going to change your name,
now is the time to do it."

Reasons beyond new product features influenced the company's decision, according
to 451 Group analyst China Martens: "What they were telling me is they
were running into all the other 'centrics' around." Those include Centric
Software, which makes applications for product and project management.

Martens said CRM vendors are trying to differentiate their offerings from that
of competitors. "Theirs is going to be collaboration and Web 2.0. ... It
makes sense. It's one of those areas right next to CRM," she said.

But Martens said Concursive's platform isn't quite baked. "I think we'll
get a better sense next year in [version] 6, when everything's fully incorporated,"
she said.

Maintenance fees for ConcourseSuite Enterprise Edition start at US$250 per
seat per year.

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