Zurmo CRM Debuts Social Conversations

Open Source CRM software company Zurmo, which has a general audience release planned for this fall, today introduced Social Conversations, designed to help expedite internal communication and cut down on email exchanges within an organization.

"When a conversation is started, the person who has started it can select who has access," comments Stafford McKay, marketing and community manager for Zurmo. "They can be one-on-one conversations, or between many. People can be brought in when their feedback is needed and duck out when it's no longer needed. Comments are made right in the conversation."

The Social Conversations feature is the first of several planned social functionalities for Zurmo CRM, which could eventually include external integrations with Facebook and Twitter profiles. A Zurmo Social Conversation can either stand alone or be part of a CRM record (for instance, if multiple salespeople are collaborating on an opportunity).

"For an organization's internal communication, email is an archaic form of communication," said Jason Green, founder of Zurmo, in a statement. "[Emails] slip through the cracks. There are too many people on the CC list. They waste our time. The idea behind Social Conversations is to keep internal communication easy and under a single environment."

McKay calls Social Conversations "exclusively user-generated," pointing out that access to the conversation is granted by the person who begins the conversation. A future phase of the rollout of Zurmo's social CRM capabilities will include a social activity feed, which can be viewed by everyone in the organization's CRM system, as well as profile pictures, custom list columns when searching, missions, and user interface for sending emails.

Zurmo, which launched in beta in late May, was developed on the premise of being mobile, social, and gamified. The development team wanted to release a solution to market that not only used gamification to accomplish business goals like clinching a sale, but to encourage the use of the system itself. For instance, CRM users can win badges for logging in and using the system after 9 p.m.

Next on Zurmo's agenda is adding more gamification and social elements to the CRM system to encourage usage. "We want Zurmo to be the 'center of gravity' for users," McKay notes.

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