Craig Buck, CRM specialist at CPiO discusses what the future holds for SalesLogix rebranded as Infor CRM
In the days before Microsoft and Salesforce.com dominated the CRM space, one product was acknowledged as being the absolute market leader in the mid market CRM space. That product was Best Software’s SalesLogix product. Owned by Symantec, SalesLogix was used by the vast majority of financial institutions, but its scope also extended to the manufacturing sector, distribution and many other verticals. Best Software also developed the small business market Leader ACT! to offer a solution for emerging businesses right through to established, more complex organisations.
SalesLogix took CRM out of the standard sales and opportunity pipeline space into areas like customer service, support ticketing, marketing campaigns and also delivered a set of tools that enabled developers to make the product fit any requirement. It was the original square peg into a round hole product.
So what happened? Over recent years it has disappeared into virtual obscurity as it fought to find its market space, competing for R & D funding within the mixed portfolio of its then owner Sage and, more latterly, Swiftpage. And that seemed to be its sad story until it was bought my multinational ERP provider Infor in 2014.
That is when the story got interesting for me…
Infor had experimented with the CRM space as on option to add to its portfolio of ERP products, believing that CRM was an important requirement for ERP customers looking to maximise their business requirements. ERP products have often included CRM modules, but in the main these modules are little more than contact management solutions and cannot provide many of the current CRM requirements like mobile access, customer service and marketing campaigns. Infor had even explored a relationship with Salesforce.com to provide a connected CRM for their ERP customers.
Infor had three options; it could either continue to work with SalesForce.com; develop its own product, or acquire an existing CRM product that it would rebrand. Infor chose the latter.
The now renamed Infor CRM product has many of the elements that made SalesLogix the market leader. However, in addition to these, Infor has also devoted substantial R&D budget into developing the product further. Stunning enhancements to the product mean that this is indeed a product to take notice of. The Xbar development has delivered outstanding Microsoft Outlook and Gmail integration which extends the scope of CRM so that it can be operated inside of the e-mail solution without having to open CRM, the ability to deliver the CRM in a web interface, but retain offline capability and delivering outstanding graphical BI overlays, are all enhancements that are seeing the product quickly recapture much of the sparkle that saw it rise to the absolute pinnacle of the CRM space.
In addition to these enhancements, Infor CRM also delivers the features that are associated with leading CRM players; mobile CRM on all tablets and smartphones, social media integration, lead and opportunity tracking, customer service, workflows automation of tasks to name but a few.
Backed by Infor, the roadmap also looks rosy with a long term commitment to integration with disparate systems and in particular fantastic integration with ERP products. Since Infor’s acquisition, the future is certainly much brighter with guarantees of increased R&D investment. This is a product that, after years in the wilderness, is crying out for the recognition it deserves.
I am confident that through Sage CRM, CPiO has provided a solution that will truly add value at Boningdale and equip the staff with the tools required to operate efficiently