CRM Application Prevails on Domino
Since the introduction of Lotus Domino native on the AS/400 in February of this year, Lotus Development Corp. (Cambridge, Mass.) has benefited from a growing customer base in IBM’s midrange market. To provide this growing segment of users with some of the niche solutions it needs, Lotus recently announced the availability of Prevail Professional for the AS/400, a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application developed by Synergistics Inc. (Cincinnati).
A Lotus Premium Business Partner, Synergistics has worked with IBM and Lotus to port its Prevail NT product to the AS/400, according to Peter Fay, alliance manager with Lotus. Synergistics had Prevail Professional "tested and benchmarked in [IBM’s] Rochester [AS/400 facilities]," in preparation for its release to the AS/400 market, Fay says.
In addition to the availability of native Domino with V4R2, one of the keys to a successful port to AS/400 is the market’s loyal customer base, according Lewis Miller, president of Synergistics. Miller has worked since March of this year to gain support for Prevail Professional within the midrange reseller community. "The buying constituency on the AS/400 wanted a simple Notes implementation, which helped define how Synergistics went to market with Prevail Pro for the AS/400," he says.
The Prevail Professional solution is designed to facilitate sales force automation and customer service. For AS/400 users, in particular, the product helps leverage Domino’s messaging, collaboration and Web application capabilities, promoting more efficient sales and service management.
Miller describes Prevail Professional as, "a highly configurable customer relationship management product designed to be easy for the channel to adopt and for users to implement." The product integrates such information as buying patterns and pricing schedules with the Lotus e-mail system, he adds.
The port of Prevail to the AS/400 represents a solid business opportunity for Synergistics because there are not a lot of CRM applications available to the midrange market, according to Hugh Bishop, senior VP with Aberdeen Group (Boston). "Prevail was originally built on top of Notes, so Domino was a natural progression as [Synergistics] moved forward to take advantage of intranet and Web capabilities," he says.
The AS/400 market has already expressed much interest in Prevail Professional, according to Jeff Towle, groupware account executive practice leader for Total Solutions Group, a Bloomington, Minn.-based reseller and user of Prevail.
In many cases, Prevail Professional will replace existing, customized sales contact management solutions, Towle says. "Prevail maintains a consistent look throughout an organization and keeps data centralized," he says, adding that contact management solutions are crucial to companies because they represent the beginning of the sales cycle.
The Prevail Professional for AS/400 joint promotional package is currently available through Lotus Premium Business Partners and IBM solutions providers participating in the Prevail Global Alliance (PGA) program. The package includes 10, 25 or 50 user licenses, a Prevail server, a Domino server, consulting and deployment services and a fully-configured AS/400e Model 170. Pricing for the package begins at $45,000. Lotus and IBM resellers also offer a package that enables users to upgrade an existing AS/400 server to run Prevail Professional.
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Infinium Joins AS/400 Pre-Load Program
Infinium Software Inc. (Hyannis, Mass.) joins the growing lineup of business solution providers to have their software preloaded on IBM’s AS/400e servers.
AS/400 Infinium Custom Servers offer the market a "plug-and-play" solution for businesses looking to rapidly implement the company’s financial, human resources, payroll, process manufacturing or inventory solutions. The agreement between IBM and Infinium includes most advanced AS/400 systems, including mixed-mode batch and interactive processing servers.
Packaged options allow AS/400 customers to select and pre-load one or more of Infinium’s software components, particularly for those not in need of a full Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. This breaking down of the Infinium offering is designed to promote a rapid implementation and compliance with Year 2000 standards.