We have a number of customers who are considering a Pivotal CRM 6.0 upgrade, so we wanted to address the issues that might determine whether it’s right for you and your business.
As many of you know, the Tokara team has had the privilege of working with Pivotal 6.0 from beta right through to the current service pack. Because the features in Pivotal CRM 6.0 mark some big shifts in this solution, we wanted to revisit some of the most basic here — the biggest being the change in the underlying technology and the solution architecture between Pivotal 6.0 and earlier versions.
On the technology front, Pivotal CRM 6.0 was developed using Microsoft .NET, which makes it easier to develop, extend, and maintain. The product is more flexible for end users and the people who support it, more extensible, and more easily integrated with a wide range of applications and data sources. What’s most important to CRM solution owners, however, is that it’s easier to support their users’ need to quickly customize functionality and workflow to fit their business and unique needs.
The architectural shift away from the old web-based “rich” or “thin” client to the new “Smart Client” means users gain major advantages over users of previous Pivotal releases. One of the most significant benefits of the Smart Client architecture is that it can be integrated with a wide variety of local applications such as MS Office. And, because the client application runs on the local machine, another key benefit is that it’s available, even when the user is not connected.
For CRM applications, the ability to run in occasional or intermittent connectivity situations, such as those used by traveling workers or even those running on laptops, tablets, PDAs, and so on, is essential. Even when the client is connected, the Smart Client application can improve performance and usability by caching data and managing the connection in an intelligent way.
Finally, Smart Client applications can be updated while they are running, and can be deployed on demand by clicking on a URL, making it much easier to support your distant and mobile workers with the latest updates without interruption.
So Pivotal 6.0 is a much more flexible application, more readily available and more powerful for its users. What are the other key shifts that set it apart from older versions?
As mentioned, Pivotal 6.0 is fully integrated with Microsoft Outlook, so your users only need to work with a single calendar while in their CRM … there’s no need to manage contacts and meetings in separate systems. Ask your users: they’ll tell you that Outlook integration is a huge plus!
Finally, among the many changes, CDC Software has made a number of add-on applications available for Pivotal 6.0 customers: applications for e-marketing, workflow, and data management. These value-added applications greatly enhance the power and flexibility of the application, empowering you to specify business rules and functions and map them to processes quickly and easily. This approach allows you to work more closely with the application yourself, and make the changes you need to drive end user adoption more readily. The end result? You and your users have more control, and therefore more flexibility as you begin upgrading Pivotal CRM systems in your organization.