A Pivotal Release

The end of this month will begin a very important period for Pivotal as the mid-market focused company releases Pivotal 5. The launch marks the first time in three years that the Vancouver, BC-based CRM vendor has rolled out a full-suite release.

Pivotal is touting release 5 as a complete mid-market solution, offering features that can address an enterprise's sales, marketing, and service needs. Jesper Andersen, executive vice president of products for Pivotal, says the company has high expectations for the product.

"There are three key needs a mid-market solution should address," Andersen says. "One is the flexibility of the product. Second is that is must be a robust suite with the ability to bring customers in with a single module and allow them to move to other modules as needed. Third is that it needs to be easy to implement. We feel that Pivotal 5 addresses all of those needs."

Though firmly entrenched as a mid-market player, Andersen explains that for Pivotal, the mid-market stretches as high up as companies with revenues of $2 billion to $3 billion.

One of the cornerstones of this new release is the Pivotal Marketing element. Pivotal Marketing 5 features Pivotal Marketfirst, a platform the company claims can create a wide array of marketing campaigns that are fully integrated with the rest of the suite. These capabilities come as a result of Pivotal's October 2002 acquisition of marketing automation developer Marketfirst.

Rob Johnson, vice president of research with AMR Research, believes that Marketfirst is one of the key elements to Pivotal's potential success with this release. Johnson says Pivotal's full-suite release marks a return to form for this mid-market player.

"Two years ago Pivotal was one of the more visionary players in the mid market," Johnson says. "That all changed when Bo Manning came on as president and CEO. He shifted them back to focusing on the basics. Considering the market as it is now, that was the right shift. However, this release actually fulfills some of the earlier promise that Pivotal had shown."

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