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Enterprise software news, solutions, and analysis for IT professionals
  • Microsoft cuts price, still lags in hosted CRM

    Posted December 13, 2005 - 11:15 am

    When Microsoft began shipping its new Dynamics CRM 3.0 update last week, it also tweaked the software's licensing structure to encourage more partners to offer the CRM (customer relationship management) system as a hosted, subscription service. But Microsoft's change is essentially a cosmetic one: The architectural overhaul necessary to make Microsoft a true force in the on-demand software market won't happen until Dynamics CRM's next update, scheduled for release no sooner than 2007.
  • CRM hosting heats up

    Posted October 7, 2005 - 10:46 am

    Hosted offerings are one of the main driving forces behind the growth of the CRM market, says Rob Bois of AMR Research. In fact, according to AMR, worldwide spending on hosted CRM rose 105 percent in 2004 over 2003.
  • The secret to CRM success

    Posted June 3, 2005 - 3:35 pm

    You can have the best intentions, understand of the value of CRM and be prepared to spend big money to buy and develop it, but at the end of the day, there's one key group that can sabotage it -- its users, the sales force.
  • As Salesforce.com grows, analysts probe ROI

    Posted May 26, 2005 - 3:56 pm

    Salesforce.com Inc. recently reported first-quarter results showing growth of more than 80 percent in its paid-subscribers count and revenue from the year-ago period, then followed that news by announcing two high-profile endorsements this week: a partnership with Accenture Ltd. and a 5,000-seat licensing deal at Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc. But as Salesforce.com's star continues to rise, analysts are stepping up their warnings to customers that hosted applications can carry steep costs over the long run, especially for larger organizations.
  • A field guide to software as a service

    Posted April 26, 2005 - 3:22 pm

    This survey of software as a service (SaaS) offerings divides the field into four broad categories: back-office applications, messaging, integration, and CRM. See which vendors comprise the top tier of each of these groups.
  • Siebel struggles with changing CRM market

    Posted April 7, 2005 - 9:15 am

    Siebel Systems Inc.'s warning Tuesday that its sales last quarter were significantly short of expectations has analysts watching and waiting to see whether Siebel's problems are short-term and company-specific or are a sign of broader weakness in the enterprise applications market.
  • Microsoft CRM: Buy now or wait?

    Posted March 30, 2005 - 1:36 pm

    Microsoft's announcement that it will delay the release of Microsoft CRM v2.0 has many SMBs in a quandary. Users of the current version who need a more robust CRM solution must assess whether to keep waiting or turn elsewhere.
  • Customization comes to low-end CRM

    Posted March 18, 2005 - 10:57 am

    The knock against low-end CRM (customer relationship management) software has traditionally been that it takes a one-size-fits-most approach that does not work for businesses with complex processes. If you need customization, you're steered toward the wares of enterprise vendors -- with their correspondingly high enterprise-class price tags. But as vendors in the crowded market advance their technology and look for competitive advantages, sophisticated customization features are creeping into less expensive applications.
  • Is this the end of IT as we know it?

    Posted December 15, 2004 - 5:28 pm

    With companies like IBM, Oracle and Siebel putting their mouths and their money behind on-demand applications, it's hard not to get swept up in the hype. But just how far-reaching will it be - and when?
  • Deployment options put speech within reach

    Posted November 17, 2004 - 2:45 pm

    Speech applications that enable intelligent call routing and customer self-service are coming down to the SMB level with configurable solutions and outsourced services that don't lock users in to a proprietary platform.
  • 10 technologies that are reinventing the CRM industry

    Posted November 17, 2004 - 2:43 pm

    VoIP, Web services, speech applications and seven other technologies are changing the way companies interact with their customers. This article outlines what you need to know about each.
  • Small businesses take incremental approach to CRM

    Posted November 17, 2004 - 2:40 pm

    SMBs considering a CRM strategy may want to enter the waters slowly, with a customer care solution or salesforce automation. But once you wade in, an increasing number of vendors will be waiting to guide you into the deeper end of the pool.
  • The next great CRM success strategy

    Posted September 30, 2004 - 2:04 pm

    A CRM system is not a magic bullet. It has to integrate with other systems -- such as inventory tracking and accounting applications -- and the end-to-end solution needs to match business processes.
  • The 2004 CRM Leader Awards

    Posted September 13, 2004 - 11:06 am

    SalesLogix, SalesForce.com, Onyx, NetSuite and Microsoft have been named the 2004 CRM Market Leaders in the SMB Suite arena by CRM Magazine. The magazine also picked six companies, known as the 2004 CRM Elite, that have gained measurable results from using CRM software creatively and nine influential executives in the CRM space.
  • Hosted apps aim to bypass IT managers

    Posted July 28, 2004 - 10:32 am

    Hosted applications vendors are deliberately shutting IT managers out of the software-purchasing loop in their bid to sign up end-user companies. However, CIOs and analysts warn that enterprises need to carefully distinguish short-term ROI rhetoric from long-term data integration headaches.
  • Slow Microsoft CRM pace frustrates partners, users

    Posted June 23, 2004 - 5:09 pm

    After launching in a blaze of hype early last year, Microsoft Corp.'s CRM (customer relationship management) software is on a slower-than-expected development path, frustrating some partners and customers.
  • New player in CRM game promises lower prices

    Posted May 17, 2004 - 9:08 am

    Entellium, a Malaysia-based, on-demand CRM provider, believes that it can hold its own against an already crowded CRM for SMB market. The company's CEO says, "We offer a superior product at half the price" and believes that this will message will appeal to most SMB customers.
  • It's not Google. It's that other big I.P.O.

    Posted May 10, 2004 - 2:54 pm

    The forthcoming Salesforce.com I.P.O. is likely to be a good measure not only of Wall Street's appetite for technology I.P.O.s but also of its attitude toward software as a service. Now about 5 months into the quiet period preceding the sale, the company as well as its CEO and co-founder Marc Benioff continue to attract attention.
  • Fresh face to appear in small and midsize space

    Posted May 7, 2004 - 8:19 am

    Smaller, niche companies are still breaking into the CRM market, in spite of a trend towards
  • The art of war

    Posted April 4, 2004 - 10:47 am

    It seems like only yesterday that CRM vendors pretty much ignored the midmarket crowd, choosing instead to focus on big money, enterprise vendors. Times have changed, and the big vendors who once looked to only the big customers are aggressively pursuing the smaller businesses, which can only be good for midmarket customers.
  • Rockwell FirstPoint Contact unveils speech rec system

    Posted March 22, 2004 - 3:36 pm

    Speech recognition is becoming the rule for call center routing systems; one good place to consider for acquiring speech recognition may well be your phone switch provider.
  • Users tout value of CRM

    Posted March 22, 2004 - 3:20 pm

    Gartner CRM Summit attendees have found their investments have been paying off, particularly in terms of customer satisfaction.
  • Measuring the value of CRM

    Posted March 16, 2004 - 10:28 am

    Smaller companies see the need for CRM, and more affordable packages are making entry much easier, but research indicates that only a small percentage are currently using it. Though, analysts say, that will change.
  • Negotiation of a CRM software license agreement

    Posted July 28, 2003 - 7:54 pm

    This previously recorded teleconference covers best practices for negotiating a customer relationship management (CRM) software license agreement. It explores negotiating strategy and process to follow to get a great deal and the terms and conditions to look for in a contract. If you don't have time to listen to the presentation, download the slides which are definitely worth a glance.
  • Unstructured content: Can your CRM initiative succeed without it?

    Posted June 17, 2003 - 3:01 am

    Mining databases is easy. The next frontier in customer relationship management lies in getting information from "unstructured" data, like contracts and rich media. If you can succeed in deriving useful patterns from this data, you might be able to relate to customers in a whole new way.
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