Salesnet and UniPress Software Announce an Alliance
Some vendors are using partnerships as their way to sail through the rising tide of competition from the sales, service, and marketing sectors of the CRM scope. UniPress Software and Salesnet have followed suit, recently announcing their partnership to supply Web-based CRM and service desk solutions that can integrate with each company's products.
With the union UniPress Software, a Web-based service-desk automation software provider, can integrate its FootPrints application with Salesnet's sales-focused CRM application, allowing users to manage both worlds of sales and service desk activities. "With them in customer service and us in sales, by partnering together we can offer the best, deepest solutions for those organizations that want to have an integrated sales and support approach," says Dan Starr, Salesnet's CMO. "By bringing these two solutions together it really enhances the quality and consistency of how companies engage with their customers and prospects throughout the life cycle of that customer."
According to UniPress President Mark Krieger, the integration delivers information to the sales department, information that may act as a catalyst to close a deal. "What we're giving the customer are two Web-based products, Footprints and Salesnet, which different organizations in the company can use," he says, "but which the sales organization really primarily needs to know before they call someone and talk to them or contact them in any way."
The 451 Group's Martin Schneider, enterprise software analyst, says that "it doesn't take a genius to see that this is kind of a countermove," to Salesforce.com's Supportforce.com release, but he adds that the partnership "from a functionality standpoint just makes sense."
If Salesnet wants to compete, Schneider indicates that integration is a step in the right direction. "They've got to be able to go to market with a lot of preintegrated products and other kinds of end-to-end solutions--for lack of a better term--to really keep up the competitive pace with Salesforce and now RightNow...and the typical, traditional on-premise CRM players like Siebel and SAP as those companies go down market into Salesnet and Salesforce.com's home turf."
Fred Landis, CRM program leader at Frost & Sullivan, says that Salesnet's partnership with UniPress demonstrates the growing demand for hosted CRM applications beyond simple SFA. "This market is becoming more populated with the enterprise players offering hosted versions of their products, while incumbent, hosted vendors like Salesforce.com have added to their product lines in house and through partnerships. At this point Salesnet will also need integration with contact center vendor offerings to provide an end-to-end hosted solution for sales and customer support."
The partnership announcement comes just a few weeks after Salesnet announced three product releases. UniPress, however, is slated to announce the availability of FootPrints 6.6 next week. Its Live eSupport element now includes Voice over IP. According to Krieger, the major improvement is that the FootPrints Dynamic SQL Database Link now supports table views for Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, and Access. "When we came out with the feature, we were only able to get data from a table, but not from a table view. The ability to get something from a table view makes it much more powerful, because the data you can get can be from multiple places within [a database outside of FootPrints]."
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