Oncontact Touches the Online CRM User

Oncontact Software today launched an interactive Web site that is designed to promote the newest version of the company's CRM software, which was released in late November. The newly designed Web site includes an online demonstration of the software, which highlights what Oncontact calls the solution's "run with it" functionality -- giving users the same look, feel, and functionality, regardless of whether they are using the product at the desktop or at a remote location, or are synchronizing with other users, says Oncontact president Jon Zimmerman. In addition to the online demonstration, Oncontact's Web site features case studies, a library of white papers, and a complimentary Forrester Research report. The site also features a CRM blog offering tips and trends to improve business efficiency. "If people are looking for information on CRM, they would typically have to pay $300 for the Forrester Research report; we're offering it to them for free," Zimmerman says, adding that the blog helps Oncontact customers get a better idea on the best was to implement, use and benefit from CRM. Such information will help Oncontact users stay ahead of their competition, according to Zimmerman. The CRM materials notwithstanding, the catalyst behind the new interactive Web site is the company's CRM solution, OnContact CRM 6.1 Web, described as the the industry's first CRM solution that enables users to access data via the Web, network, and synchronization. This ensures that customers have a consistent user experience and feature set no matter how they wish to access their CRM system, according to Zimmerman. With all the options for accessibility, users will always be equipped with the resources they need to stay up-to-date with their accounts, calendars, opportunities, sales history, and support data, he says. Other CRM solutions are designed primarily to operate via the Web, so versions designed to run in network or synchronous modes don't have all of the same functionality, according to Zimmerman. That means users may not get all the advantages of the software when running it in the second two environments, he says, citing as an a example a user who may be able to integrate with Outlook in the hosted environment, but not in the other modes. OnContact CRM 6.1, by contrast, offers the same functionality across all environments. Oncontact CRM 6.1 Web is a Microsoft .NET, Vista-compatible solution -- also backward-compatible to Windows XP -- that only requires a Web browser for access. The application uses a consistent data model to provide the homogeneous look and feel regardless of the environment. In addition, Oncontact Software features a customer and partner Web portal, ClientNet, to give an organization's customers and partners the ability to log into the company's corporate Web site to view their sales history, review service cases, provide Web-based self-service, and download company-specific information. The increased visibility aims to further enhance client relationships, Zimmerman says. While describing the market opportunity as "huge," and noting that some Oncontact customers are already using the software, Zimmerman declined to forecast sales for the application for the short or long term.

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