The new software allows users to pull data from multiple sources so customer information pops up on a single screen in response to an incoming call.
The software, Phonix, was launched this month, by William Dean Consultancy, specialists in network services for the SME business market.
When a business receives an incoming call, Phonix harvests information and caches it so the screen on the user’s desktop permits access to the caller’s Sage, Outlook and Access records without the need to load any of those applications.
WDC says Phonix adds CRM power to Microsoft Exchange and is a cheap alternative at £100 per user to bloated CRM packages.
Stephen Blencowe, director of WDC, who developed Phonix over a two-year period, said: ‘The key thing is it can access Sage accounting software, which is used by an awful lot of SMEs. We looked around and couldn’t see other software that does that because Sage is not written in a way that can easily be automated to pop up on a PC screen.’
He added: ‘We wrote our own interface to Sage Line 50 which means Sage data can pop-up on screen without having to load the application. Getting the Sage part right was the Holy Grail.’
Blencowe said there is a big opportunity for resellers because they can ‘customise Phonix for individual customers by adding code themselves’.
Duncan Wyeth, sales director at Sage reseller Serion Logic, said: ‘It sounds smart. If it showed previous sales history and information like age debt it could be beneficial to customers.’
But Wyeth also questioned whether there was real demand for Phonix: ‘In the UK we have got to the stage where invention is breeding necessity. A piece of software which tells me whose on the end of the phone – so what? The SME market wants to move back to basics.’
Jill Gamon, practice manager at accountancy firm, Gerry Hynes & Company, which has beta tested Phonix, said: ‘We are in the service industry and competition for providing the best service is paramount. Phonix has improved our relationship with customers. When the phone rings we know who the caller is and have instant access to all their records.’
She added: ‘We use it as a management tool. We looked at CRM packages but their prices made my eyes water and for a firm like ours of only ten people, it would have been over-kill. Phonix is stripped down CRM. If you tried to take it away you’d have a fight on your hands.’
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