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A New Outlook on Time
Leverage the efficiencies e-mail offers.
For the rest of the October 1999 issue of CRM magazine please click here
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Not too long ago, time management was a matter of marking an appointment in your day planner and picking up your dry cleaning during lunch. Then e-mail entered the scene, and time management became an automated task, with the added benefit of actually saving the time it managed.

Time management functionality in today's CRM industry is more flexible and robust than ever before. Tight bidirectional integration with groupware environments has taken time management to a new level. Current time management functionality allows the user to schedule appointments with other users in the organization as well as to automatically generate schedule requests via e-mails to external contacts.

The following is a summary of the main business functionality provided by best-in-class time management software.

E-mail
Electronic mail is downloaded into an inbox, which displays incoming messages by date, time, name of sender and brief description. Messages can be opened and attached to existing contact and account records, or if no record exists, a new record can be automatically created and the e-mail message logged into the activity history. E-mail is supported through integration with third-party packages such as MS-Exchange or Lotus Notes.

The following programs exemplify comprehensive electronic mail: Goldmine v. 4.0 by Goldmine Software Corporation; Pivotal Relationship 99 by Pivotal Software, Inc.; SalesLogix Sales Information System v. 3.0 by SalesLogix Corporation.

Calendar Management
Calendar functions offer day, week and month view of scheduled activities with time and a brief description. Drilling down into Activities provides details such as type of activity, participants, location and detailed description. Conflicting events are highlighted and a pop-up message notifies the user of the conflict, which the user can choose to override.

The following programs exemplify a comprehensive calendar functionality: CallBack v. 7.2 by CallBack Software; ClientXchange v. 8.7 by Client Technologies; Pivotal Relationship 99 by Pivotal Software, Inc.; SalesBook v. 5.3 by DownEast Technology, Inc.; SalesLogix Sales Information System v. 3.0 by SalesLogix Corporation; Siebel 99 by Siebel Systems, Inc.; UniverSell Business to Business v. 6.3 by MEI Technology Group; Vantive Sales 8.0 by The Vantive Corporation.

Scheduling Options
Individual scheduling allows for scheduling an activity by date, time, type, note, representative and for attaching the activity to an opportunity, contact or company by drag-and-drop mouse-click scheduling.

The following programs exemplify comprehensive individual scheduling: Applix v. 7.4 by Applix, Inc.; Baan FrontOffice v. 98.4 by The Baan Company; Pivotal Relationship 99 by Pivotal Software, Inc.; UniverSell Business to Business v. 6.3 by MEI Technology Group; UpShot Sales v. 2.0 by UpShot.

Group scheduling allows a user to create a group and to schedule an activity that would automatically appear in each group member's calendar. The user can view the individual calendars of each group member as well as view a calendar of the group's open dates for scheduling availability.

The following programs exemplify comprehensive group scheduling: Applix v. 7.4 by Applix, Inc.; Baan FrontOffice v. 98.4 by The Baan Company; CallBack v. 7.2 by CallBack Software; Enterprise Series v. 6.9 by Data Code, Inc.; Jsales v. 2.0 by Sales Vision, Inc.; Pivotal Relationship 99 by Pivotal Software, Inc.; SalesLogix Sales Information System v. 3.0 by SalesLogix Corporation; The IntellAgent Control System v. 4.6 by IntellAgent Control Corporation; UpShot Sales v. 2.0 by UpShot; WorldTrak v. 4.0 by WorldTrak Corporation.

To-do Lists
To-do lists offer a prioritized order of to-dos, which can be tracked by contact, due date, start/end date, comments, activity, representative and next action. The user can drill down for more detail by clicking on a line item.

The following programs exemplify comprehensive to-do lists: Abalon Customer Management Solution v. 3.85 by Industri Matematik; Applix v. 7.4 by Applix, Inc.; Baan FrontOffice v. 98.4 by The Baan Company; Pivotal Relationship 99 by Pivotal Software, Inc.; SalesLogix Sales Information System v. 3.0 by SalesLogix Corporation; Siebel 99 by Siebel Systems, Inc.; TeamPOINT v. 2.5 by POINT Information Systems; TeleMagic Enterprise for Windows by TeleMagic, Inc.; The IntellAgent Control System v. 4.6 by IntellAgent Control Corporation; UpShot Sales v. 2.0 by UpShot; WorldTrak v. 4.0 by WorldTrak Corporation.

Ticklers, Notes and Logs
The Tickler/Alarm function provides the user or group with notification of upcoming activities and scheduling conflicts. The user can set an alarm by time, date and priority.

The following programs exemplify comprehensive tickler/alarm: Applix v. 7.4 by Applix, Inc.; Baan FrontOffice v. 98.4 by The Baan Company; CallBack v. 7.2 by CallBack Software; MarketForce v. 5.0 by Software of the Future, Inc. d.b.a. MarketForce; Pivotal Relationship 99 by Pivotal Software, Inc.; SalesLogix Sales Information System v. 3.0 by SalesLogix Corporation; WorldTrak v. 4.0 by WorldTrak Corporation.

Notes are used to provide additional information about a contact, account, opportunity, campaign, activity, quote or any other piece of information or record in the database.

The following programs exemplify comprehensive notes: Avenue v. 5.0 by Saratoga Systems, Inc.; CallBack v. 7.2 by CallBack Software; MarketForce v. 5.0 by Software of the Future, Inc. d.b.a. MarketForce; Marketing Manager v. 4.0 by UpDate Marketing, Inc.; ONYX Customer Center v. 4.0 by ONYX Software Corporation; Pivotal Relationship 99 by Pivotal Software, Inc.; TakeControl v. 99 by Firstwave Technologies, Inc.

A Transaction log provides the user with a record's entry date, time and the name of the original representative or the representative who last updated the record.

The following programs exemplify a comprehensive transaction log: Applix v. 7.4 by Applix, Inc.; Baan FrontOffice v. 98.4 by The Baan Company; Goldmine v. 4.0 by Goldmine Software Corporation; Marketing Manager v. 4.0 by UpDate Marketing, Inc.; Pivotal Relationship 99 by Pivotal Software, Inc.; Prevail v. 4.6 by Synergistics, Inc.; SalesLogix Sales Information System v. 3.0 by SalesLogix Corporation; WorldTrak v. 4.0 by WorldTrak Corporation; UpShot Sales v. 2.0 by UpShot; Vantive Sales 8.0 by The Vantive Corporation.

In addition to each package's time management features, most of the packages recommended above integrate with third-party groupware, such as MS-Outlook, MS-Exchange and Lotus Notes.


This regular column is based on how-to advice and software reviews that have been taken from ISM's Guide To Sales, Customer Service & Marketing Automation. After testing of hundreds of packages, ISM has established selection criteria for software that takes into account business functionality, technical features and user-friendliness issues. The guide includes eight categories: customer service, contact management, account management, sales force management, time management, telemarketing/telesales, marketing and executive information. For more information, point your browser to www.ismguide.com or call (800) SFA-GUIDE or (301) 656-8448.
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