Denver-based CRM and enterprise relationship management (ERP) software vendor J.D Edwards & Co. officially released its J.D. Edwards CRM 2.0 package Tuesday. Industry watchers are lauding the update as a major improvement over the company's existing products.
Among the functional upgrades J.D. Edwards has included in the new package is tighter integration between CRM capabilities and the company's Demand Consensus supply chain automation module. The company claims this will allow users to build more accurate sales and production forecasts based on real-time data rather than historical analysis.
Other CRM 2.0 additions include mobile sales functionality, allowing users to access and update data offline, and a service management module that promises to combine contact center and field service information.
Since its Nov. 2001 acquisition of YOUcentric Inc., J.D. Edwards has been pushing to grow its presenceraising its profile in the CRM industry. With the release of the second generation of its CRM software, combined with the recent news that the firm won an implementation deal with massive financial service provider Fidelity Investments (officially known as FMR Corp., Boston), it appears J.D. Edwards' plans remain on track.
J.D. Edwards director of product marketing for CRM Joel Reed said the most significant aspect of the CRM 2.0 launch centers around integration of CRM capabilities with the company's established supply chain expertise.
Some 15 companies will have CRM 2.0 implemented and live in the next 3-6 months, according to the executive.
Reed said J.D. Edwards designed and built CRM 2.0 with the specific goal of building a system that wouldto appeal to not only to the company's traditional supply chain-oriented customers, but also to companies in attractive vertical markets including financial services, telecommunications and real estate.
One analyst who believes that J.D. Edwards has significantly improved its position with the CRM 2.0 release is Kelly Spang-Ferguson, principal analyst at Current Analysis, in Sterling, Va. Spang-Ferguson said beyond the admirable fact that J.D. Edwards has stuck to its roadmap since the YOUcentric acquisition, the company has made major strides in building customer service and support capabilities into its software.
"Call center is an area that is hot with almost any CRM customer and it could help [J.D. Edwards] penetrate the financial services vertical as they've hoped to," said Spang-Ferguson. "The Fidelity win is evidence of that."
Spang-Ferguson said that J.D. Edwards must continue to prove itself by selling CRM successfully into its ERP installed base, while aggressively seeking new customers that do not run its back office software. Some 19% of the company's CRM customers currently fall into the latter category, she said.
Pricing information has been made available, but Reed said CRM 2.0 would follow a similar pricing model as its existing CRM 1.0 package.
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