With the latest update to SalesLogix, Best Software Inc. has improved the product beyond what a .2 release would imply. SalesLogix 6.2 includes several enhancements to customer service and sales processes while improving administration, which should boost efficiency for most users. The cost of SalesLogix, which shipped last month, varies widely depending on the modules purchased. The core SalesLogix CRM (customer relationship management) suite, which includes the sales force and customer service applications, costs $1,750 per server, with an additional per-user cost of $795. The Advanced CRM Suite that eWEEK Labs tested includes Web access and is priced at $7,250 per server, plus $795 per usera substantial investment. The per-user cost is higher than that for Maximizer Software Inc.s comparable Maximizer Enterprise 8, for example, which costs about $600 per user.In tests, we found that the improvements to the customer service portion will make it easier for companies to provide broader customer service options. The customer service component now can tap into SalesLogixs SpeedSearch feature while gaining ticket and contract management tools. We found SpeedSearch, which is an internal search application, to be quite useful because it includes good filtering capabilities and can search a wide range of documents, such as support documents, in addition to SalesLogix data. In many ways, the search capabilities are better than those in hosted offerings such as namesake services from Salesforce.com Inc. and NetSuite Inc. However, administrators will need to do some tuning of SalesLogixs components to get the most from SpeedSearch because some tables arent automatically included in SpeedSearchs defined search criteria. Click here to read Labs review of four hosted CRM systems, including Salesforce.com Spring 04 Enterprise Editition and NetSuites NetCRM 9.5. In testing the ticket management capabilities, we found that underlying workflow performs effectively. Tickets can automatically be assigned to a particular resource, and tracking the resolution of tickets generally worked well. The ticketing process did not operate as smoothly as wed like, however; we needed to save a ticket prior to and separately from punching it in, rather than as a single step, although this can be customized in a number of ways depending on a companys processes. We found it easier to manage sales processes through improvements in the opportunity management component, including a new user interface. For salespeople, the new opportunity manager interface offers a quick summary of opportunity details and includes hyperlinked quick lists for speeding collection of information about an opportunity. Generally, we found SalesLogix easier to use than Maximizer, although SalesLogix tends to organize data in multiple windows instead of Maximizers single-window approach. SalesLogix has nice convenience features such as a proposal generator, although we would describe that as a quote generator because it cant create a comprehensive response to an RFP (request for proposal) in the way Pragmatech Software Inc.s Proposal Automation Suite can. Technical Analyst Michael Caton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at http://enterpriseapps.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.
Although many of SalesLogixs administrative elements were improved, companies will need to invest in administrative and development expertise to set up and tune the software for changes in sales and support processes.