Onyx and IBM Team for On-Demand CRM

Onyx software announced today that it has teamed up with IBM to offer a new, hosted, "on-demand" CRM solution targeted to the mid-market. Available for a monthly charge and implemented in 30 days or less, the on-demand CRM service is being managed and delivered by IBM. The utility service is based on open architecture supporting multiple users from disparate platforms, and will be accessible by customers using nothing more than a Web browser, says Eben Frankenberg, executive vice president of business development at Onyx. The solution is part of Onyx's ongoing embedded CRM strategy, in which Onyx CRM functionality is added to a larger solution, in this case a hosted model delivered by IBM, according to Frankenberg. "We feel this new partnership solves a major problem found in other ASPs: a lack of customization," Frankenberg says. "This is a highly customizable design, and users can take the software in house if they choose. There are flexible migration paths here, whereas with other ASPs a company is locked into the vendor's model indefinitely." Frankenberg says that the product is best suited for midsize businesses, and can be scaled down to be effective with as few as 25 users. "We also think that there will be a number of large companies interested in having smaller departments use the solution," he says. In addition to customization options Frankenberg says that the new on-demand CRM will offer robust security, since it is being delivered and serviced by IBM. Scott Nelson, vice president and research area director at Gartner, agrees: "Although there is appeal for ASPs on an economic level, there are still some psychological barriers to be broken down--mainly, security issues," he says. "Having IBM behind a solution should alleviate some people's worries." Nelson also says that IBM's involvement in a hosted CRM model will lend credibility to the hosted option. "I am not sure if this specific solution will be the one that is chosen, but having a big name like IBM involved will certainly help the space in general, so overall it is a good move for Onyx," Nelson says.
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