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Software firm courts workers with CRM app

Maximizer Software said it is giving enterprises the tools for its mobile workers to leave the laptop behind by offering solutions where business can be conducted solely on smartphones.
With the rise of smartphones, particularly Research in Motion Ltd’s BlackBerry, Maximizer is looking to cash in with its latest update to its popular Mobile CRM 2.0. The company is also looking to gain new customers be offering help to small- and medium-sized businesses that are clients of Entellium, a CRM software company that is mired in corporate turmoil.
With Maximizer CRM 10.5, workers in the field can respond to clients and co-workers in real time, anywhere and at anytime, said William Anderson, the company’s EVP of technology.
With the latest software, Anderson said a sales worker could respond to a client’s needs whether in the office or on the road. By using smartphones, sales workers would have immediate access to the customer’s account, enabling the sales force to close more deals and build stronger relationships with clients, he said.
Mobile workers can also log calls, text messages and e-mails to client records stored on their smartphones, increasing access and convenience in the field. “There is a greater expectation for businesses to respond to their customers in real time,” said Angie Hirata, Maximizer’s worldwide director of marketing and business development.
CRM 10.5 is available in three editions. Maximizer has been in business for more than 20 years. The company has 120,000 customers and sold more than 1 million licenses.
With BlackBerry smartphones becoming a staple for businesses of all sizes, Hirata said the company is shifting its focus to mobile CRM. According to Forrester Research, 31% of small businesses plan to adopt or execute a sales-force app on their mobile devices by the end of the year. “We see more and more mobile devices out there,” Hirata said. “BlackBerry has changed the game in how e-mail and other business applications are used.”
The company’s latest CRM version works on BlackBerry and iPhone handsets. Anderson said BlackBerry’s market share in the United States, which is 54%, is the reason it has targeted its software for the Canadian-based company and Maximizer couldn’t ignore iPhone’s “coolness” factor.
“There is a wave of excitement for BlackBerry and the iPhone,” he said. “We want to ride that wave.”
Hirata said the company is coming up with a strategy to get its software on as many smartphones as possible, including working with various handset manufacturers to install the software before handsets are shipped.
Through the end of November, Maximizer is offering Entellium clients a discount if they switch to its new CRM offering. Entellium is the focus of a federal investigation in Seattle, Wash. The company’s CEO is accused of inflating the company’s revenue in order to raise money from investors, according to published reports. The company could not be reached for comment.

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