Interface Software Inc. looks to strengthen the web of relationships within professional services companies with an upgrade to its InterAction customer relationship management software that will roll out next month.
InterAction 5 works in a similar way as knowledge management systems in that it unobtrusively collects information from employees of a company, matches data about the same person or company that comes from different sources, and then makes employees who are interested in that subject aware of those connections. Data comes from various back-office systems, including accounting, human resources and billing systems, as well as from LDAP directories and messaging systems.
Version 5 includes new bidirectional synchronization with Exchange Server from Microsoft Corp. and Notes messaging systems from IBMs Lotus Software division, as well as a new personal information manager synchronization architecture.
Several new features in the upgrade, including Relationship Map, Who Knows Who and Related Contacts, help members of a law firm, an accounting firm, a consulting company or a similar professional services business uncover unseen relationships between their colleagues and current or potential customers, according to Interface officials in Oak Brook, Ill.
"The total value of what a professional services firm has is what its employees know and, in particular, who they know," said Rick Klau, vice president of vertical markets at Interface. "They need to share that information."
InterAction 5 also provides new capabilities for letting users control who gets to see the information drawn from their systems, new data change management features, and data quality tools to cleanse and standardize data.