Desktop battle for CSM users

Sage recently announced it would be dropping the product – currently used by up to 2,500 firms according to Practice Net – and revealed support for the product will finish on 31 March 2001.

A Practice Net spokesman said: ‘Firms who have invested hundreds of hours entering data into a now redundant system have been frustrated in their attempts to find a way of using the valuable data in the future. But this will change with a newly developed product.’

Practice Net Rapport will allow desktop users immediate access to their client data in a new Customer Relationship Management environment.

Seamless integration with Microsoft Word allows the automatic insertion of the relevant clients’ details into new letters or documents and an advanced filing system allows faster retrieval through a number of different search options.

Practice Net is also prepared to carry out the live data conversion at its premises in Cardiff. All accountants will have to do is to download their data on to a disk and forward it to the support team. The company is committed to performing the live data conversion and personalisation of the Rapport system in five days.

But Newcastle-based Sage said the CSM product was being scrapped because it had been found to be unstable.

A spokeswoman explained why the product is to be axed. ‘Accountants want timeless and efficient delivery of tax software. By e-enabling our customers we believe they will enjoy the benefits’.

Sage is recommending its customers switch to its personal tax and corporate tax packages linked to its control centre. Meanwhile, the company has announced a pre-tax profit rise of 46% to £108.7m for the year ended 30 September 2000. Turnover increased 34% to £412.2m, and support contracts shot up from 131,000 over 12 months to 779,000.

Sage website

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