SalesLogix Unveils Version 6.2

Best Software's SalesLogix unit has released SalesLogix 6.2, the newest version of its midmarket CRM suite. First announced almost two months ago at the company's annual partner conference, the product has been released after clearing final testing. Among the advances in SalesLogix 6.2 are more tightly coupled sales and customer service capabilities, better access to opportunity data (including new-opportunity analytics), improved language support, and an expanded roster of customizable features. While dedicated support professionals will likely still employ a separate, support-focused client in 6.2, additional customer management history and functionality is now available inside the primary sales interface. "We've moved the core of customer service and support functionality onto our common Windows client and Web client, but there are still some more advanced features [such as RMA] that haven't moved yet," says Anthony Wooten, vice president of product management at SalesLogix. The extra caution holding back the release of version 6.2 may be explained by choppy waters that surrounded the release of the original SalesLogix 6.0, something industry watchers believe may now be behind the company. "A lot of vendors have had trouble at one point or another with a major release--perhaps because it is a major release, and they are trying to cram too much into it," says Denis Pombriant, managing principal at Beagle Research. "Based on what I've heard from them, they've been very scrupulous about making sure they put 6.2 through all the paces they could, even delaying the release of the product until they really felt they had something solid." "What the marketplace said loud and clear four or five years ago was that CRM was too expensive to customize," Pombriant says. "When you look at the strategies employed by both SalesLogix and Salesforce.com, what they've done is offloaded the burden of customization from themselves to partners, and are offering a standard, serviceable product" to those who do not need the sophistication of a tailored system. With the framework for SalesLogix 7.0 already laid out, some customers may be shy about committing to new customizations in 6.2. According to Wooten, most of the customizations, such as interface and data, will import to the new system, although the business-logic layer will need to be reimplemented. Pombriant says the real intrigue for SalesLogix and its users will begin when Best deploys its integration platform across its entire product line of front- and back-office solutions, which will not appear until next year. "You see a strategy there that is attempting to provide a full [enterprisewide] suite of loosely coupled applications that would enable them to compete on a more or less equal footing with the other vendors in the industry, especially for middle-size [clients.]" Related articles: Best Software Unveils Triple-Barrel Midmarket CRM Strategy
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