Maximizer Says, ''Leave Your Laptop at Home''
Maximizer upped the ante today for its "work the way you do" product line with the release of Maximizer Enterprise 9.5. The enhanced version of Maximizer's CRM suite includes a more robust integration with mobile CRM solutions as well as a tight integration with Microsoft Outlook. This marks a move toward greater ease of use for users both in the office and on the road.
CTO Tom Bennett challenged other SMB CRM providers, touting the new software in a statement: "It is functionally more powerful than SalesLogix and Microsoft CRM but can be implemented as quickly as hosted systems like Salesforce.com--and is much more appropriately priced for the SMB space." Analysts are not quite so effusive in their praise, but Liz Herbert, an analyst at Forrester Research, says that one of Maximizer's greatest strengths is that the company offers highly developed sales and marketing solutions. "Many players are only focused on one of these pieces."
The company, which currently has a customer base of more than 7,500, hopes to increase this number with the new release. The new product provides support for Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Workgroup, Standard, and Enterprise. In a further step toward Microsoft marriage--which will make the product more familiar in look and feel, according to the company--is the availability of a Maximizer Enterprise Toolbar in Microsoft Outlook. This feature will allow users to view messages in Enterprise 9.5 as well to share contacts seamlessly between the Maximizer and Microsoft applications.
Perhaps the strongest selling point for this version, given the "point five" moniker as it builds off of the 9.0 platform, is the product's mobile integration. Leslie Ament, director of the Customer Intelligence Research Practice at Aberdeen, sees this playing into a desire in the CRM market for mobile technology, a need that has been growing stronger in the past year. "Many companies have purchased CRM products and now they want their sales side to use these CRM systems more fully," she says. Will Anderson, Maximizer vice president of product management, says, "Salespeople by definition are the road warriors." He says that Maximizer's goal in mobile integration is to make the software available to salespeople at any time they are doing business. This means the product must be available in a sales person's car, on the train, and in a prospect's waiting room.
To allow for anywhere-anytime capability, Maximizer is providing users with mobile integration through Palm, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and MaxMobile, a native application for Windows Mobile. These options will enable salespeople to get information easily in and out of their CRM system while it's fresh in their minds without the need to invest in additional mobile products. This shows a sense of practicality on Maximizer's side and a strong grip on the attitude of the salesperson, Ament says. "How many sales people are really going to drive their laptop to every meeting?"
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