Touchtone Boosts Communication in i5/OS CRM
December 4, 2007 Alex Woodie
For many businesses, customer contact is managed and executed through e-mail systems like IBM Lotus Notes and Microsoft Outlook. When these businesses seek to upgrade to a CRM system to increase the effectiveness of their customer contacts, it behooves them to work with these e-mail systems in close concert. That’s largely what Touchtone has done with the latest release of its i5/OS CRM system, Wintouch eCRM version 7.0, which will also soon gain VoIP support.
Wintouch eCRM is a suite of interconnected modules designed to help System i shops better manage several aspects of their businesses, including customer service, sales, marketing, collections, and technical-support. The software was written in RPG, making it relatively easy to integrate Wintouch with a customer’s existing ERP applications. Users have the choice of interacting with Wintouch using a browser-based interface, a PDA-based interface, through plug-ins for IBM’s WebSphere Portal or Workplace, or through Wintouch Lite, which enables users to work in disconnected mode.
Previously, Wintouch offered a moderate amount of e-mail connectivity, including the capability to record the opening of customer e-mails within the CRM system, and to save attachments in its document repository. But that was about the extent of it.
With version 7.0, Touchtone has heightened the product’s e-mail integration. With this release, users can now compose their e-mails from within the Wintouch environment using templates for Outlook, Notes, and Thunderbird, Mozilla‘s increasingly popular open source product. Users can also automate outgoing e-mail from within Wintouch, which should be a boon to campaign management. The company also announced a new e-mail client toolbar that allows users to log and store incoming e-mail to the Wintouch system.
Another automation-building feature in version 7.0 is the new “watch and respond” workflow tool. According to Touchtone, the new watch-and-respond tool allows users to automate tasks like sending e-mail, scheduling activities, generating reports, or filling in business forms. The tool could also be used in conjunction with enhancements in the product’s importing feature that allows users to import data in the CSV format into Wintouch. Once the data resides in Wintouch, users can begin scheduling activities, such as sales and marketing campaigns.
Reporting is another area of improvement. In version 7.0, users have the option of pulling up their reports in a dashboard view with a single click, according to Touchtone. By allowing users to easily see their custom pie charts, bar graphs, and other reports, Wintouch users will have faster and easier access to critical information. Touchtone has also added a second level to its “extended profile” function that should make it easier for users to view drill-down information about their customers, such as sales line-item detail for quotes and orders, the company says.
Wintouch is already working on the next release of Wintouch eCRM, which it has tentatively scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2008. According to Reza Seraf, founder and CEO of the company, the new release will feature support for IP telephony (also called VoIP), instant messaging, and text messaging support. “We fully intend to keep Wintouch at the forward edge of CRM technology,” he says. “It’s critical to our way of doing product development that we roll out cutting-edge enhancements to our existing customers as they become available, and when we are confident they are bug free.”
Wintouch eCRM 7.0 is available now. For more information, visit www.touchtonecorp.com.