Hosted CRM: Read this before you buy

The wonderful thing about technology magazines is that we do all the testing and looking at products to help guide you into what to buy for your own business. It is vital that you have intelligence about your customers if you want your business to grow and be profitable.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is crucial to understanding who your customers really are, what they are buying, what products are profitable and more.
The question is: Do you buy software, install it on a server and roll it out to the necessary PCs in your enterprise. For remote access, those user’s computers will need the software also. Using a hosted application there’s no software to roll out and no costs on software integration. Every user who needs access to the CRM system need only to have access to the Internet.
Info World gives an overview of 4 popular hosted CRM solutions and writes Hosted CRM solutions, which deliver SFA and more through the browser as a service, were once considered upstarts. But the failure of first-generation, server-based CRM software — and the stunning success of Salesforce.com (Profile, Products, Articles) — has ushered CRM into the mainstream. Proof can be found among traditional vendors, who have scrambled to deliver hosted versions or to slap a Web-based front end on their CRM software.
To that end, we [InfoWorld] rounded up solutions from the most notable vendors — at least those that weren’t afraid to show their wares. NetSuite (Profile, Products, Articles), RightNow Technologies (Profile, Products, Articles), Salesforce.com, and Salesnet, each of which released updates in the final quarter of 2004, offered hosted CRM solutions for us to put through the paces. We also examined a CRM solution from Entellium but found its capabilities were not in the same class as the other products reviewed. (Read the InfoWorld piece here)

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Ramon Ray, Editor & Technology Evangelist, Smallbiztechnology.com . Editor and Founder, Smart Hustle Magazine Full bio at http://www.ramonray.com . Check him out on Google Plus, Twitter or Facebook