Much like a cable company's bundling of wireless internet, phone, and cable television, CRM player Maximizer is rolling up its mobile, Web, and desktop CRM solutions into one-license access for its small-to-midsize (SMB) customers. The licensing, according to Bob Neudecker, lets organizations, "choose how and why they use CRM" and furthers the company's push toward mobile access. Maximizer CRM 11 has provided new points of access for its Web version and delivers new marketing capabilities. Most notable perhaps is Version 11's continued emphasis on smart phone applications. "We wanted to capitalize on smart phone users' demand for [mobile applications]," Neudecker says. "So we have been aggressive with our R&D."
Version 11 highlights include:
- A new user interface that resembles Microsoft Office's "ribbon style;"
- Wizard-driven dashboard creation;
- A tab interface on the Blackberry mobile applications that enables easy multi-tasking;
- Firefox compatibility to expand the software to Mac users;
- LinkedIn integration;
- A new Sales Quota Management tool;
- GPS functionality including turn-by-turn maps and navigation; and
- Multimedia support for video, voice and images that can be saved to a Maximizer CRM record.
Maximizer didn't pull the new features out of thin air. "The UI on the BlackBerry is huge response to customer feedback on Version 10," Neudecker says. Through usability testing, the company saw that many mobile users were going in and out of the Maximizer app. The tabbed interface allows that to be done easier. Neudecker points out that whereas Version 10.5 focused on mobility and dashboards. This release goes even further in empowering sales and marketing people. "We took customer feedback to hit it over the roof," he says, adding that dashboards can now be created with a wizard and little-to-no IT support.
"Maximizer has made forward steps in terms of staying up with the times, and in leading in certain areas," says Barton Goldenberg, president and founder, ISM, Inc. "The clean interface, the functional, richness, and the mobility thrust is pretty impressive."
Another new aspect is marketing campaign support across the Web. Users can track mail campaigns and view reporting from any log-in destination. "[Maximizer has] moved into the marketing campaign area and they put together a nice offering," Goldenberg says. "It's not the most comprehensive in the world, but I don't think it needs to be."
William Anderson, executive vice president of technology of Maximizer Software hinted at a few improvements that Maximizer will make in its next version. He said to look out for more location-based services, as well as applications for iPhone, Android, and even Palm devices. Maximizer has, to date, had the native application on BlackBerry, but its Web browser enables users to log in on any Internet-enabled devices through the browser. Anderson says that the company also plans to integrate more social networks into its CRM.
Pricing for Version 11 is $699 for a Group edition license and $899 for the enterprise edition. With the bundling of the Web, desktop, and mobile licenses, users can save several hundred of dollars, according to the Maximizer team. Additionally, Maximizer is running a promotion where new customers can have full maintenance for one full year for free.
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