One reason often given for failed customer relationship management projects is that salespeople prefer to do most of their work through their e-mail clients. Two CRM products that work closely with e-mail—BizAutomation.coms BizAutomation CRM + Business Management and Avidian Technologies Prophet 3.0 Enterprise—could bridge that gap.
BizAutomation runs on top of Microsoft Exchange and presents itself through Outlook Web Access. It costs $400 per user for a perpetual license and $50 to $60 per user per month for the hosted version. Prophet 3.0 Enterprise costs $499 per user and integrates with Microsoft Outlook 2000, Outlook XP and Outlook 2003.
During eWeek Labs tests, both products offered good synergy for companies that have made an investment in Outlook and Exchange and want salespeople to capture daily interactions with customers.
BizAutomation will be a good solution for companies that are looking specifically for a Web-based CRM application and dont have to support a disconnected mobile sales force. BizAutomations solid project management tools make it well-suited for companies that sell services as well as products.
Prophet 3.0 Enterprise will work best for small teams in which all users have a strong affinity for Outlook, need to work offline and can buy into the data-sharing aspects of the product.
Technical Analyst Michael Caton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.