Onyx Enterprise CRM 4.0

Onyx this month announced the general availability of its next-generation customer and partner portals, which — in conjunction with the company’s employee portal — are designed to fully mirror customer interactions.

The three portals comprise Onyx Enterprise CRM 4.0, a Web services offering that integrates sales, marketing and service operations throughout an enterprise to manage complex customer and partner relationships.

Although analysts call Onyx Enterprise CRM a suite, technically it is not, according to Patrick Angelel, director of corporate marketing. “We’re really a single, unified application with functionalities covering marketing, sales and service,” Angelel told CRM Buyer Magazine. He said the company’s goal is to provide low total cost of ownership combined with rapid ROI (return on investment).

Three-Pronged Approach

Onyx Customer Portal (OCP) 4.0 aims to create a customer community that leads to marketing effectiveness, customer self-help and online service efficiency. Product features include Web-based lead capture and profiling, an online catalog, permission-based e-mail marketing, and online surveys, service requests and product registration.

Onyx Partner Portal (OPP) 4.0 focuses on partner relationship management (PRM) for organizations that depend on indirect channels to bring their products and services to market. OPP 4.0 provides new functionality for complete sales cycle management, including pre-sales and post-sales support, to manage the full partner lifecycle.

OPP 4.0 works with Onyx Employee Portal (OEP) 4.0 to deliver a security model for partner profile management, lead distribution, and customer service and support to enable companies to recruit, manage and monitor all aspects of partner relationships. Through a Web interface, partners can access customer information required to service and close mutual business.

OEP 4.0, released earlier this year, is the flagship product in the company’s CRM lineup. The employee portal consolidates all customer-centric e-business applications and information in one customizable Web interface and enables key employees to access and share customer data across the entire enterprise.

Technical Muscle

While Onyx is on the fourth generation of what Angelel called its “dot-net architecture,” the company is actually on the ninth version of its CRM offerings, he said.

A strong technology developer, Onyx has made major strides in performance and usability with its rollout of Enterprise CRM 4.0, according to Louis Columbus, senior analyst at AMR Research, which, in fact, uses an older version of the software developer’s CRM products.

Columbus told CRM Buyer that 4.0 is “more intuitive than previous offerings,” noting that “you can build the screen to fit your needs.”

However, to compete against the likes of Siebel, Pivotal and Chordiant, Onyx needs to pick up on the fact that CRM is becoming more focused on service lifecycle management and on the push toward building composite applications to match the way people work, Columbus said. “Onyx hasn’t really embraced that yet.”

Still, the company has laid the foundation for what it takes to become a stronger competitor in its core verticals, such as healthcare and financial services, Columbus said. “But — like most CRM vendors — Onyx must do a better job of looking at ROI and showing customers that their costly investments have paid off,” he added.

The OEP starts at US$750 per user, and the OCP and OPP are priced separately as add-ons.

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