“Flexibility” is the key word Onyx director of corporate marketing Patrick Angelel uses to describe the strategy behind his company’s CRMExpress, which packages Onyx Enterprise CRM software licenses and implementation services for a single fixed fee. The goal is to provide easy entry into the CRM world for midsize enterprises and departments within larger organizations.
The application is available only for new customers and includes 50 seats of the Onyx Employee Portal application for US$199,000. The package is designed to be up and running in 90 days or less and provides up to 20 worker-days of flexible spending, which can be used for such services as designing customer business rules, data conversion and report conversation, Angelel told CRM Buyer.
“Customers are looking for more alternatives,” he said. “Today’s projects are more narrowly defined, and customers on a tight budget need to solve immediate problems.”
CRMExpress is a good way for customers to learn the ropes by understanding the total cost of ownership and the potential path for licensing CRM applications, according to Sheryl Kingstone, senior analyst at the Yankee Group. “This will help companies make tangible presentations of CRM’s costs and benefits to their executive management,” she told CRM Buyer.
The Onyx application compares favorably with those sold by competitors because it includes implementation and integration services as part of the standard cost, added Louis Columbus, a senior analyst with AMR Research. “More and more, CRM vendors are bundling in services. Onyx understands what it takes to compete in today’s market,” he told CRM Buyer.
Companies with similar CRM offerings include Best Software, PeopleSoft, Pivotal and Siebel, although each has a slightly different approach. For example, Best’s QuickStart program lets users implement CRM in 30 days for a fixed price. QuickStart customers typically use the plan to implement systems involving fewer than 20 users.
Giving Customers Time
Although flexibility is crucial, CRM implementation should not be taken lightly, Angelel noted. “There’s been a lot of discussion in the industry over CRM’s failure; that’s why we put our implementation time at 90 days.”
That amount of time is needed for customers to have internal meetings to map out their goals and then configure the software, he explained. This is included in the package, along with testing, documentation and training for users and IT staff.
No one else is providing a long-term platform for CRM, Angelel added, noting, “It’s a full implementation of Onyx Enterprise CRM.” Clients using CRMExpress eventually can add seats and services, integrate their applications with additional systems and add access to customer and partner portals.