What makes Pivotal Corp.’s eRelationship 2 such a great customer relationship management (CRM) system, according to one analyst, is that it goes farther than simple CRM.
“I think one of the things that Pivotal does that’s pretty innovative is they’ve kind of gone a little bit beyond CRM and also incorporated e-commerce into their platform,” said Chris Selland, vice-president of CRM research at the Yankee Group in Boston.
Whereas most CRM vendors stay very focused on sales, marketing and customer service, the Vancouver-based Pivotal bridges a gap for mid-sized companies that are growing and want to start exploiting the world of e-commerce. This is because, along with the basics, Pivotal also utilizes e-commerce functionality, Selland said.
“There’s a bit of a schism in the CRM market – you’ve got the traditional guys who primarily build apps for employees, and you’ve got the Web guys who primarily build apps for customers. Pivotal’s kind of built something that works equally well for both,” he said.
Pivotal’s eRelationship, which is designed for business-to-business needs, is split into three hubs: the IntraHub, PartnerHub and CustomerHub. The IntraHub is designed for employees, and it helps them manage customer and partner relationships. The hub lets employees design a personalized intranet portal fitted to their needs, which can be connected both to the corporate intranet and the Internet. The employee hub also automates tasks such as marketing.
The PartnerHub lets partners access the information they need from the company.
The CustomerHub is designed to give companies 24 by 7 capabilities. Through this hub, customers can search a database for solutions to their problems and they can keep track of the progress of any inquiries they have made. They can also browse an on-line product catalogue personalized for their needs.
e’re focused on business-to-business. We assume you know what type of customer you’re selling to, so once you have a relationship with customers, those customers can be self-serviced on the Internet. They can access an on-line database to solve their own problems and they can report and check their status on anything they have reported. That’s really where the value-add comes from. It makes it a 24 by 7 operation,” said Erik Kaas, products manager at Pivotal.