Commence, a provider of mid-market CRM solutions, has released version 5.5 of its Commence CRM On Demand system with a new internal chat and follow system, Microsoft Word and calendar integrations, and a click-to-dial feature on mobile phones.
Commence provides a one-screen solution built to handle email marketing, help desk ticketing management, and marketing campaigns while integrating with Outlook and Google Calendar, Tasks, and Maps. Other notable features include account scoring, organizational charts, lead management, and a built-in project management system.
The core new feature in the latest version is called Conversations, an internal instant messaging system that lives strictly within the platform. With group chat features and a Twitter-like follow feature, managers can reach multiple employees at once and keep tabs on the internal dialogue.
Larry Caretsky, president of Commence, calls it "part Twitter and part instant messaging."
"Conversations is an enhanced internal communication tool that is build right within the CRM software. It's a handy application that complements email and your telephone and is used to enhance communications with internal or external staff," Caretsky says. "What's nice about Conversations is that once a message is posted it will immediately appear on the dashboard of the Commence CRM users you have sent it to and they can respond accordingly. There is no requirement to open a folder like there is with email, and if the end user is on the telephone they can still read and reply to the message."
"It's a nice feature that provides us with point-to-point communication with our internal staff," says Alaric Jenkins, managing director of Info Stor. "And because it's built into the CRM product, it's faster and more efficient than email."
Other new features in Version 5.5 include the following:
- Microsoft Word Integration: Version 5.5 allows MS Word users to pre-populate letter templates with information stored in Commence.
- Click to Dial: On both iOS and Android phones, Commence users can tap a contact's phone number to dial it.
- Customization of column widths for ad hoc reports.
- Enhanced Group Calendar functions.
"Every single quarter we invest in our technology and produce a new version," Caretsky says. "Version 5.5 shows that after 25 years, we're still improving our product and providing a mixture of technical support and on-demand service that few other companies offer."