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Entellium Releases eDesktop CRM


Tuesday, June 13, 2006; 04:20 AM

Entellium (www.entellium.com) announced availability of its eDesktop Release, a significant update to the company's hosted CRM suite.

The highlight of the release is Entellium eDesktop, a downloadable "smart client," designed to improve user productivity by addressing many of the usability problems inherent in browser-based applications. Available as a free download for Entellium subscribers, Entellium eDesktop provides a new front-end to Entellium's core CRM functionality and lets users work faster and more effectively whether they are online or offline. Entellium eDesktop is currently available for eSalesForce, Entellium's sales force automation module.

eDesktop logo.

"Entellium eDesktop is like iTunes for CRM -- it's about time someone made it this useful and easy for sales professionals," said Mark Cheong, VP of Sales and Marketing, Outclick Media. "Entellium eDesktop helps our sales team work even faster and more effectively. Coupled with the company's outstanding free customer support, it truly makes Entellium the ideal CRM solution for us as a mid-market company."

The Entellium eDesktop Release incorporates many other new capabilities designed to move user productivity and effectiveness well beyond the norm offered by other CRM solutions today. These include Entellium eMobile, the Entellium Deployment Automator, and several enhancements to the company's industry-first Activity Sets that automate most routine tasks, so employees have more time to focus on those activities that lead directly to closed business and happier customers.

Smart Desktop Drives Productivity

A "smart client" application, Entellium eDesktop is faster than a Web CRM application: For example, it's faster to find information, add or update records, and move between screens -- tasks that sales professionals perform many times per day within a CRM application.

In addition, sales professionals don't need to concern themselves with choosing the records they want to take offline or making sure their changes are updated to the master database. Entellium eDesktop knows when the user is online, and stays connected to Entellium servers, continuously synchronizing data, just like a desktop email application does. When the user is not connected to the Internet, Entellium eDesktop behaves just the same, giving users the ability to add new records or update information at high-speed. As soon as a connection is reestablished, eDesktop detects it automatically and syncs up with the Entellium datacenter.

This ensures maximum user productivity even when mobile salespeople are on airplanes or other locations without regular Internet access. Just like the popular email application Microsoft Outlook, it automatically syncs when connected to the Internet, but when disconnected, users can carry on working as normal without caring about the status of their connection.

Because of the continuous automatic syncing capability, the Entellium eDesktop is not an offline client encumbered by tedious manual processes. It's a "smart" client that works online or offline with complete user convenience.

"After five years as an on-demand provider, Entellium has learned that there are simply inherent limitations to purely browser-based CRM applications that impact users, such as speed and the idea that anyone should ever be disconnected from their data, whether voluntarily or involuntarily," said Paul Johnston, Entellium's CEO. "As an on-demand software provider, of course we looked at Web 2.0 technologies to enhance the user experience, but we found we could accomplish so much more in terms of user effectiveness through a smart client approach. We are very proud of already being ranked number one in usability and believe the Entellium eDesktop release takes this to the next level."

A core philosophy of Entellium is that the pervasive "user adoption" problem that exists with today's CRM solutions is primarily due to the fact that most users:

-- Can move faster than their CRM solution could bring up new pages and save edits;

-- Need to traverse multiple screens and tabs to input data leading to "click" fatigue;

-- Are forced to perform routine tasks manually because their CRM solution doesn't automate this work for them;

-- Don't have access to their data when they need it either because they don't have an Internet connection or because mobile CRM is too expensive and complex to deploy;

-- Have to pay extra for an ineffective offline client that requires them to decide in advance which records they might need to work on at any given time.

When taken together, these factors cause users to be less effective, and none of today's on-demand offerings have effectively solved these issues. The Entellium eDesktop includes a number of innovative industry firsts including:

-- Entellium Palettes -- a unique way of displaying CRM data that allows users to "drag and drop" to change where information is displayed on a screen; the ultimate in personalized CRM.

-- Entellium Activity Maps -- a convenient new way to work with activities associated with a contact displayed visually against a timeline that can be zoomed in and out to drill down into details by the hour, or back out to view past activities over months or years. Traditionally this type of information is displayed as a list, thus losing its time relevancy, a critical aspect of selling.

-- Entellium RSS Automator -- RSS or "Really Simple Syndication" is becoming a very popular way of distributing and viewing information over the Internet. Entellium has harnessed RSS so that as sales reps make outbound calls the Entellium Desktop will pop-up an RSS Palette showing useful internal and external news about a contact, making sales reps more informed and relevant to their prospects.

-- Entellium Star Ratings -- a way of classifying key sales contacts that uses the popular rating system. Using algorithms, the Entellium Desktop assigns "Star Ratings" to prospects based on their role in a sale, and their decision making authority, for example. The resulting "Star Rating" can be used by sales people to better prioritize their time by focusing on the prospects more likely to lead to closed business.

Today's Entellium eDesktop release contains many more unique firsts with a focus on contact and activity management that serves a majority of core sales team requirements. Entellium plans an expanded set of features later this year.

To help customers learn about all the benefits to user effectiveness using the eDesktop smart client, Entellium has established an online community at www.thinkoutsidethebrowser.com.

Rapid Deployment and Customization

The Entellium eDesktop Release also incorporates the new Deployment Automator Wizard to assist customers in rapidly deploying and customizing Entellium's default configuration to match their unique business requirements.

The Deployment Automator, in step-by-step fashion, walks users through key training and setup tasks and even tracks progress in real time against the total amount of time each setup activity should take. The Deployment Automator conveniently serves up a description of the task, why it's important as well as multimedia training instructions and a direct link to the customer's Entellium Control Panel, all from a single screen. Designed for system administrators, the Deployment Automator isn't just an interactive checklist -- it guides them to make smart decisions about their CRM policies and configuration.

Pricing and Availability

Priced at $50 per month for Entellium eSalesForce, which includes eDesktop, the solution is affordable for companies of any size. Entellium also includes the Deployment Automator, free 24/7 real-time support. In fact, Forrester Research, a leading IT research firm, gave Entellium top scores in Cost among leading hosted CRM providers in its 2005 Forrester Wave report.

Entellium eMobile is $25 more per user, per month, and is currently available on a number of Palm, Windows Mobile and RIM phones including the Treo 700w, Verizon Wireless XV6700, and RIM Blackberry 8700c with more handsets, including the Motorola Q, to be supported soon.



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