by Rakesh Sharma
Published on 2 November 2011
Over the past several weeks, we have looked at several customer relationship management solutions. This week, we will look at a solution that was a pioneer in the same space.
Maximizer CRM has been around for more than 20 years, providing solutions which enable small- and medium-sized businesses to gain a complete view of their customers, accessible throughout the organization.
We will look at Maximizer CRM's interface, functionality, and see how it can be of use to you.
MAXIMIZING YOUR CRM CAPABILITIES
Maximizer CRM offers fully-featured CRM functionality. This means that the software has the works including features for contact and account management, salesforce automation & forecasting and customer responsiveness solutions. You can store contacts, generate sales reports, create and manage marketing campaigns using features available in the software.
According to Joseph Hui, VP of Technology, their software is highly configurable for individuals and groups of users. "It uses familiar list-based user interfaces that most users are already accustomed to in popular applications such as Microsoft Excel," he says. This means that you can craft user-defined fields based on your system and business preferences. In addition, their software comes with detailed security levels to be setup at the lowest field level, according to each user and group permissions.
The mobile version of their software comes with detailed security levels to be setup at the lowest field level, according to each user and group permissions. Despite it's complications, the licensing model is a fairly simple one that includes licensing across multiple platforms. In addition, the CRM supports sixteen database file formats. This is important because it enables the system to store a variety of human- and machine-readable formats.
Maximizer CRM is a social CRM application. This means that it helps you adopt the ever-changing social media platform of the day in to your database & systems. As an example , you can create a complete social profile of your contacts and connect with them through all different channels with an integration to LinkedIn. Other option is the ability to attach hyperlinks to a contact's Facebook account, Twitter streams, blogs, etc.
In recent times, the firm has focused on mobile. They pioneered mobile CRM. "Cutting edge devices such as tablets and the numerous next generation smart phones offer a rich user experience that Maximizer CRM leverages to provide users access to their CRM system and critical customer information from anywhere at any time," says Hui. Their mobile product supports video, voice, and images that can be associated with content. However, my favorite feature of the entire system is their mobile product developed for BlackBerry devices supports GPS functionality with turn-by-turn maps and navigation. Thus, your employees on the road can easily change plans and directions based on schedule changes.
As I mentioned earlier, Maximizer Software has been around for more than 20 years in an offline on-premise avatar. However, they recently unveiled their cloud-based solution - Maximizer CRM Live. According to Vivek Thomas, President of Maximizer Software, the reason was a mix flexibility in use and pricing. "Having a cloud offering gives users the choice of deployment and payment options that best fit their business requirements," he says. Because both their cloud and on-premise offerings use the same database architecture, customers can easily shift between cloud and on-premise solutions. He explains that this enables the company to target users who are looking for ways to reduce IT costs.
Both deployment options provide a full-featured CRM solution however, that said, there are differences between the company's cloud and on-premise versions. "There are slight differences, including variation in how information is viewed between the two deployment versions with both being full-featured versions," says Thomas. According to him, the cloud version requires minimal technical expertise. "Users can set it up with a few clicks," he says. In addition, the cloud version makes remote work easy. "Businesses using Maximizer CRM Live can have numerous remote offices accessing, adding, and updating customer data through a web browser or mobile device from anywhere - all in real time," says Thomas.
A minor quibble that I have against the system is the fact that it supports only two browsers: Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. Considering the rapidly changing nature of technology, it might be a great idea to begin supporting the solution across multiple browsers, including recent additions such as Amazon's Silk.
THE BASICS: WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE?
One of the first things I noticed about the interface was that it was pretty similar across the web and on-premise platforms. According to Hui, this is to provide the same look and feel for people migrating between on-premise and cloud platforms. "This is to provide seamless transition and zero learning curve when moving between the different deployment options," he says. "We are constantly leveraging the latest technologies and innovating to deliver the best user interface and experience," he says.
SUPPORTING CRM SOLUTIONS
Support at Maximizer Software consists of education and training options. They have an extensive library of articles, queries, and videos to educate you about CRM in general and about their product specifically. For example, some documents (such as opportunities overview and self-assessment guides for small-to-mid-sized businesses) in their library help you select and assess CRM systems. Support, frankly, is quite extensive and detailed. As someone who comes from a support environment, I thought it was perfect.
IS IT FOR YOU?
If experience is a barometer of expertise, then Maximizer Software's CRM solution is an expert choice. For a solution that was first launched back in 1987, the solution has kept up with the times and remains remarkably relevant even today. And, that is saying something!