CRM vendors unfold architecture plans

E.piphany Inc. and PeopleSoft Inc. are launching new versions of their CRM solutions – boasting a new J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) and mobile architecture, respectively – aimed to deliver enterprises deployment flexibility.

E.piphany this week will unveil E.6, its next-generation solution that will combine analytical CRM with more traditional transactional CRM for a “smart CRM” offering built on a new J2EE architecture.

“If you can combine the view of information and use it to discover [a customer] who has a risk of attrition…you have some intelligence about that customer that you can use in your transactional systems to interact with them in a more meaningful way,” said Michael Trigg, vice-president of product management at San Mateo, Calif.-based E.piphany.

Erin Kinikin, an analyst at Palo Alto, Calif.-based Giga Information Group Inc., said E.piphany is taking its packaged sales and marketing applications and putting them on the J2EE architecture, which until now has been used to create very flexible toolkits.

“The question for E.piphany is, Can they be successful in delivering that packaged functionality that the users expect and still keep the flexibility of J2EE?” Kinikin said.

“If they do it, you’ve got these great graphically rich packages that can access data anywhere instead of having to pull all the data inside the CRM application, which would be very appealing,” Kinikin said.

PeopleSoft’s CRM 8.4 features mobile field sales and service functionality and is built on PeopleSoft’s new mobile architecture designed to give users disconnected access with a dramatically smaller footprint on a mobile device. It also features a new solution for communications companies, designed to allow service providers to more effectively target, attract, and retain customers by managing the entire customer life cycle in real time.

Version 8.4 features mobile synchronization technology that enables users to synchronize as many as a year’s worth of updates in just 6 minutes. In addition, PeopleSoft has embedded business application logic directly into synchronization technology, enabling it to intelligently identify relationships between customers, transactions data, and users.

“Companies have always had a horrible time supporting mobile sales force automation,” Giga’s Kinikin said. “The promise of the PeopleSoft approach is that you can e-mail a new program out and you don’t [need] the entire application loaded on your desktop,” she added.

Spruced-up CRM

PeopleSoft and E.piphany’s new offerings contain a host of features.

E.piphany E.6