New Hosted CRM Provider Aims High

Entellium boasts of new functionality at a lower price point in its quest to undercut its better-known rivals.

Despite boasting of new functionality at a lower price point than the competition, new hosted CRM service provider Entellium Ltd. will face an uphill battle against well-known rivals Inc. and Siebel Systems Inc.

Entellium, a Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, company that launched in North America last week, is seeking to tap into the red-hot market for hosted sales, marketing and customer service applications, primarily targeted at small and midsize companies and departments of larger organizations.

San Francisco-based, with 9,500 customers and 140,000 users, leads the hosted space, which Siebel, the overall CRM market leader, recently entered.

Entellium, with 100 customers and 3,000 users, said it will keep its development in Malaysia, allowing it to charge $59 per user per month for its service. Customers will be able to license individual modules such as sales, customer service or marketing for $45 per user per month.

Officials said Entellium has advanced workflow capabilities to handle things such as report distribution and customer and lead routing, plus voice access to the service and a multitiered architecture to support channel management.

An early adopter in North America, Telus Corp., in Vancouver, British Columbia, is using Entelliums service to manage its dealer channel as well as reselling the service to its channel partners for their own use, according to Gord Simpson, director of Telus Complimentary Channels.

"We wanted something flexible, accessible from anywhere to multiple people through a Web portal," said Simpson in Toronto.

Forrester Research Inc. analyst Erin Kinikin in Santa Clara, Calif., acknowledged Entelliums pricing and feature advantages but was skeptical of how much success the company would have in a market that was getting crowded.

The competition isnt standing pat. last week announced separate partnerships with Nextel Communications Inc., in Reston, Va.; Vettro Corp., in New York; and Sendia Corp., in Santa Monica, Calif., that further extend the companys hosted CRM services to wireless devices.

Also last week, Siebel, of San Mateo, Calif., announced eight new vertical-specific editions of its CRM OnDemand service.

Siebel CRM OnDemand industry-specific editions for the insurance, high-tech, automotive, and communications and media industries will be available this summer, with editions for the financial services, life sciences, manufacturing and consumer goods industries available by the winter, company officials said.

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