Blue Martini 5 for Manufacturers Released

A year after its first foray into the manufacturing vertical, BlueMartini has released Blue Martini 5 for Manufacturers. Accordingto Joe Paytas, director of Blue Martini manufacturing industry, the latest version hasthree new features that leverage Blue Martini’s J2EE architecture: lead management,configuration, and quoting and order management.

The new application also integrates Blue Martini’s purchase of Cybrant, a provider ofconfiguration, pricing, quoting and guided-selling software.”Blue Martini is now shipping to manufacturers a full suite of applications that enableinteractive selling,” he told CRM Buyer.

Seven Modules

There are seven modules in the Blue Martini manufacturing suite: marketing, leadmanagement, needs assessment, configuration, quoting, order management and service.

The lead management module allows users to capture leads, distribute them to theappropriate internal contact or business partner, monitor each lead, and even recallit, if it is not appropriately handled, Paytas said.

“We do this via our partner or relationship marketingtechnology, which sits on top of theinteraction management monitor. Thismonitors the interactions of partners across the system and touchpoints.”

The configuration and quoting module incorporates Cybrant’s application, providing userswith the ability to apply complex pricing policies to quotes, automatic generation ofcustom proposal documents, and expanded business intelligence to track the conversion ofquotes to orders, the company said. It also offers collaboration features, allowingmanufacturers to swap new subcomponents into their product catalog.

Indirect Sales Take New Focus

The order management module allows buyers to place and monitor orders online, whetherbuying directly or through a channel partner. “Blue Martini has always been very good athandling direct sales,” Paytas said, “so we spent a lot of time building out our indirectsales capability with this release.”

The vendor created Blue Martini Multiparty Selling as a result, he said, which usesWeb services to allow manufacturers toship in-process orders via XML (extensible markup language) to a reseller for processing.Also, customers are able to schedule fieldservice and use graphical tools to order spare or replacementparts.

Manufacturing Space Heating Up

Blue Martini decided it wanted to target the manufacturing and retail industriesabout 18 months ago, Chip Overstreet, vice president of marketing and businessdevelopment, told CRM Buyer. “We had a groundswell of interest from our customerbase in both retail and manufacturingfor such a product,” he said. In December, the company rolled out Blue Martini 4 forManufacturers.

To be sure, manufacturers were never counted among CRM’s early adopters. Until recently,the space was largely dominated by theERP (enterprise resource planning)vendors, in particular SAP, and to alesser extent, Baan. Blue Martini will find significant competition from SAP’smanufacturing CRM vertical, Denis Pombriant, vice president and managing director ofAberdeen’s CRM practice, told CRM Buyer.

Then there is Baan, which offers deep industry expertise but has had difficulty makingits case. However, the company made up for some lost time — and previous releasesthat fell short of the mark — with its latest CRM release at the beginning of the year.Baan’s innovations include tighterintegration withsupply chain management functionalitythat links CRM and other related applications, such as product lifecycle management.

“For the past few years, we have been taking our supply chain applications to the nextlevel, connecting them to the backoffice and incorporating cross-enterprisereporting and CRM analytics,” Ernie Eichenbaun, vice president of marketing forBaan, told CRM Buyer.

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