SalesLogix Layers Web 2.0 Functionality Onto Buttressed Foundation

In version 7.5, SalesLogix’ latest product release, the company builds on the Web architecture and platform it introduced more than a year ago.

For version 7.2, which debuted in spring 2007, SalesLogix rebuilt its architecture using standards-based, scalable Web technologies that set the stage for the company to expand in a number of directions.

Now, with its v 7.5 upgrade, the company has leveraged the multiclient customization environment to incorporate a number of new Web 2.0 technologies, as well as a Web-disconnected user interface.

Mashing Up Web 2.0

“We have introduced a comprehensive Web-based CRM product with this release,” Larry Ritter, vice president of ACT and SalesLogix product management, told CRM Buyer.

One of the additions, he said, is the ability to mash up CRM content with Web 2.0 technologies such as Google Maps, Jigsaw, LinkedIn and Zillow, which can be displayed in real time in the application.

SalesLogix, like most vendors these days, is embracing a concept called “consumerization of the enterprise,” Yankee Group analyst Sheryl Kingstone told CRM Buyer. “The goal is to make applications not only easier but more fun to use.”

The latest release also emphasizes corporate mobility, she continued, by allowing more flexibility when using the application in disconnected mode.

“They have made it more process-centric to accomplish that,” Kingstone said.

For instance, users can access Sage SalesLogix via a Web browser even when they have no Internet connection. The company introduced Web-based sales force automation and marketing campaign functionality in v 7.2. Through the v 7.5 Web client, users also get customer support capabilities for assets, contracts, returns and defects.

In version 7.2, SalesLogix provided integration between the Web and mobile offering using a single architectural tool and icons common to both environments — functionality based on technology it acquired with Corum in 2006. New features in that application allowed users to customize features that could then be pushed out to the Web or mobile phones without having to rework them for different environments.

Productivity Enhancements

Other new features in v 7.5 include personalized welcome pages, enhanced lead management and list creation, and productivity tools such as timeline visualization.

For instance, the Web client allows users to create better-targeted lists with new group tabs, data filters, and the ability to select multiple records at once.

This ability to dynamically build lists is a big plus for sales, Ritter said. “You can narrow a long list of contacts in any number of ways: You can pick certain cities, for instance, or can tailor the list by industries or market capitalization.”

A new Web wizard also simplifies lead import, allowing de-duplication upon import and enabling rule-based lead routing. Users can log interactions and activities with leads before converting them to contacts, and perform actions en masse — such as adding notes to groups of contacts.

The new customizable welcome page shows each user’s priority activities and notes, and provides opportunities to drill down for more information. Timeline visualization is a graphical and chronological view with associated opportunities, tickets and news items. New graphic controls provide “sparkline” snapshots of historical data such as sales pipeline amounts over time.

The upgrade also provides advanced automation capabilities to build conditional processes within many tasks.

Housekeeping Details

SalesLogix v 7.5 also offers features to make the application easier to use.

The enhanced Web interface improves screen resizing and limits scrolling. The toolbar expands or collapses to give users a specific data view. A new title bar locates the user in the application — for example, the accounts view. Users can also view data in multiple middle panes and associate attachments with specific activities.

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