Don't Call It Centric CRM

Centric CRM ticked a few resolutions off its list early, making some significant corporate changes before ringing in 2008. Earlier this week, the company announced new names for itself, to mirror a changing corporate focus, and for its primary software application, which has also been updated. The new corporate name, Concursive Corp., is intended to represent the Norfolk, Va.-based CRM software maker's shift to applications that move beyond traditional CRM functionality, says Michael Harvey, executive vice president of the company. "Thinking of CRM as three silos of sales, marketing, and customer service won't work anymore," Harvey says. "That's not how customers interact with companies or how companies interact with customers. We wanted to give ourselves a more expansive name that allows for the inclusion of CRM in what we're offering, but also allows our customers to focus on the fact we're delivering a much broader footprint than what's traditionally thought of as CRM," he says. To that end, the name change coincides with the release of the company's ConcourseSuite Version 5.0. The system, formerly called CentricCRM, integrates CRM, content management, and other enterprise capabilities. It operates as either an on-premise or software-as-a-service solution. ConcourseSuite now ties together all front-office activities, including Web-site management, content management, social networking, and other customer-communication channels, Harvey says. The biggest addition, he adds, is the Web-content capability that allows companies to manage their online presence from within the CRM software. "The same application that you use to track and generate leads, you can use to stage, edit, manage, deploy, and in all ways take care of your online presence," he says. For instance, information from visitors to the Web site can be immediately stored in the CRM application as a sales lead. That information can automatically be included in future marketing campaigns. "In this day and age, a company's Web site is typically the first line of contact with a customer," Harvey says. "To not have it be part of the rest of the front-office operation increasingly will be a nonstarter." The upgrade also allows companies to develop and integrate their own applications using the open Java-Portlet specification and to share data with other software systems like those used by the human resources and financial departments and in the inventory, delivery, and logistics areas. Depending on the way it's configured, the software could be deployed across the entire company, including divisions, dealers, and franchises. "We're finding more companies will look like this -- maybe a dealer or franchise network -- so we're designing with them in mind," Harvey says.

Related articles: Centric CRM Updates Its Offerings With an updated version of its flagship product, Centric CRM 4.1, the open-source provider expands the number of databases it supports and adds e-commerce capabilities; it's part of the product's evolution, according to one analyst. Teaming Up to Open the Open Source Door Centric CRM and SpikeSource announce a partnership to make open-source software more accessible to smaller enterprises. CRM With No Money Down Open source CRM vendors are trying to transform the industry. The Cycle of Life Continues for CRM Many vendors have either dropped out of the market or been acquired, but a slew of new, smaller companies with innovative solutions has stepped in to take their place.
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