Friday, November 10, 2006

IQMS User Group Meeting - CRM

Pano Cap has had some success implementing the Customer Relationship Management module from IQMS already. But it was good to sit on this next breakout session and offer some suggestions for improvement. Our sales staff use the module to handle most customer-related issues - calls, tasks, support issues, and meetings. We have designed our own sample request forms and processes, but with recent improvements to the product, I foresee us abandoning those custom applications for the quoting module in CRM. In addition, with the requested changes to CRM, our IT department should be even more successful in adapting the software for its own needs as a help desk module.

IT uses CRM to document support-related issues. We also use the Project Manager module to document IT-related initiatives and strategic plans for a given period. With a few changes to CRM, we should in the future be able to link support activities directly to the project initiatives.

Other users were anxious to get IQMS to improve the Outlook-related features of the CRM module, including ActiveSync'ing with Pocket PCs and Smart Phones. With the 9/15 release we should also get web access through Apache server to the CRM module so that traveling sales people can access their to do lists and other CRM-related notes while using their smart phones or PDAs. In addition, when a call is received by a sales person or someone in IT, and that call is related to a problem with service, the new release promises to allow us to immediately drag-and-drop that call into the support issues queue.

CRM cannot, and may never, offer all the features of a product like Microsoft's Outlook, but the integration with the ERP system makes it a very compelling option, especially if the company can secure unlimited licenses. I don't know if Pano Cap is ready to make the investment in unlimited licenses, but it would be nice ;>)

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