Thursday, May 11, 2006

Comparing CRM software offerings

There are many Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software products out there in the great wide world. They run on different platforms, have vastly different capabilities, and they range in purchase cost from modest to extremely expensive. You can obtain them from retailers with little or no knowledge of how the package operates through to vendors that specialize in CRM and have vast experience in the field.

I'd class myself as a multi-specialist but CRM isn't one of my specialties. Nevertheless, I do offer a CRM product myself -- and it's freeware, no registration required, so you can't complain about the price! It's a Notes/Domino application that's designed to be simple to install, easy to operate, reasonably tailorable, and "good enough" for small to medium organizations of all types. Its name is CAPTURE, standing for "Customer And Project Tracking + Usage Reporting Extensions" -- where the "usage reporting" part indicates that it has NotesTracker built in, so that for auditing/compliance you can track all database actions (such as document reads, field updates, deletes). You can download CAPTURE from asiapac.com.au or notestracker.com and there's built-in documentation accessible via the "Help Using This Database" menu item. CAPTURE is downloaded fairly frequently, without any negative feedback, so it's worth a look!

The real point of this posting is to mention a free report that I've just examined called "Seven Questions Most CRM Vendors Are Afraid You’ll Ask: Success Secrets for Evaluating Customer Management Software." I was able to download the PDF file after registering with Onyx Software so I presume that you could get a copy the same way.

I found this 21-page report rather interesting, and would be inclined to give my free CAPTURE application a tick in quite a few of the categories -- but not all of them by any means, since CAPTURE was never meant to be all-encompassing. The fact that CAPTURE is Notes/Domino based is a big plus in its favor.

I' think that the report will prove to be quite valuable to any of you trying to make a decision about this type of software. (Naturally enough, if you decide to take up this offer from Onyx Software it's only fair and reasonable for them to follow up with you, so don't get upset by this.)

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