ADAPT and Toshiba to Market Wireless CRM
CRM software provider ADAPT and Toshiba Computer Systems Group (CSG) have announced a partnership today wherein both companies will market a new, wireless CRM suite. But according to one analyst, the product is nothing out of the ordinary.
Under the terms of the agreement CSG, a division of Toshiba America Information Systems, will preinstall ADAPTcrm CRM software on Toshiba Magnia(R) Z310 wireless servers. Both ADAPT and CSG will sell the resulting turnkey solution, which will accommodate five users, at an entry price of $9,849.
The wireless solution is designed to allow users to constantly maintain a connection to access and update critical customer-related information while roaming throughout their offices. The companies claim that since both ADAPTcrm and the Magnia Z310 are highly scalable, customers can add more CRM users and processing power when needed.
"We are happy to now offer our customers an all-in-one CRM wireless network solution that is easy to use and administer," Bill Greenlund, Toshiba CSG's vice president of server product marketing, said in a statement.
Sheryl Kingstone, CRM program manager with Yankee Group, says that simply going wireless will not advance the state of mobile CRM. "Wireless itself is not where the slam dunk is," she says. "What's really needed is a combination of real-time access to information, but also mobility; the solution needs to be workflow oriented."
Kingstone says that the only attractive feature is that the CRM software comes pre-installed on the server, but even that feature is nothing to get excited about. "The installation of a CRM process is not the difficult part--who cares?" she says. "What's important is that the CRM solution is integrated with other parts of the enterprise and follows a business process that adds value to the user. That takes strategy and professional services for configuration and integration...and what happens when that so-called critical information is in the back office and not your CRM system?
"CRM needs to be unplugged, but there's a good way and a bad way," Kingstone says, noting that mobile CRM solutions should be able to integrate into back office software.
Marc Wolfe, vice president of marketing at ADAPT, says that the ADAPTcrm suite embedded in the new product integrates well with back-end software, but more important, the product isn't necessarily designed to be a mobile solution.
"We have other mobile solutions, like our ADAPTanywhere product," he says. "This new product is about mobility within the four walls of a business, but is more importantly about providing complete CRM functionality for small and emerging businesses at a low cost."