• March 30, 2005
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Onyx Pushes on With New Offerings

Onyx Software has announced a release plus numerous enhancements to two existing products, bringing new strength to the company's wireless grasp. Treo mobile-device users will have access to the same Onyx customer-management features that have made the software popular on notebook PCs and BlackBerrys, and mobile pros will be able to access critical tasks and client data managed via the Onyx Customer Management application on the corporate network. The ubiquitous BlackBerry receives a number of tweaks to its usability, and adds six new features. The two standouts (graphical reporting of weighted forecast and sales-funnel data and the ability to create, edit, and view forecasts and quotes) take advantage of the increasing size of BlackBerry displays. The other features, which improve customer data navigation and add reminders for sales opportunities and service requests, turn the little handheld into a powerful mobile sales office. "These new features speak well, not only to the power of the platform, but to our software's sophistication," says Ynette Gibbs, Onyx's senior director of product development. For those times when the mobile force isn't mobile, Onyx Employee Portal Offline Edition provides a browser-based notebook client that synchronizes over an ultralight mobile architecture. Version 5.5 allows users to customize synch options and choose the specific data they'll want to access when not connected to the Onyx Enterprise Application Server. According to the company, the new offerings and the recent hire of Robert Chamberlain as CFO put Onyx in a position to make some waves in 2005. Its strength has previously been focused on the midmarket, Gibbs says, but "in the last 18 months 67 percent of new business has been from enterprise companies with over $2 billion in assets." The various Onyx Mobile offerings use lean, browser-based interfaces that can be served and serviced from a standard URL. The software for all platforms is available as a bundle, so one fee allows a company to run it on any supported device. "Mobile workers don't always want to be connected," Gibbs says, "nor do they always want to be disconnected. The Onyx package enables users to flip between devices as needed to best accomplish tasks." Sales and support personnel, for example, often can take best advantage of CRM data when they are offline and/or between assignments. Onyx has plans in place to extend support to other mobile platforms. "As new and different devices gain a foothold in certain business environments or geographically," Gibbs says, "Onyx is ready to expand the product line." Related articles: Wireless Conference Highlights Security and Opportunity
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