SAAS providers upgrades offline capabilities

Moving downstream to capture the smallest end of the SMB market, Entellium announced Tuesday Rave CRM for workgroups and companies with as many as 10 users down to single operator businesses.

The six-year-old SAAS (software as a service) CRM provider also offers eSalesforce and eCustomerCenter for a minimum of five users with an average of 17 to 18 seats. This suite was also upgraded this week.

What makes the Rave release interesting according to industry analysts is the off-line capabilities of its smart client architecture.

Although giving a salesperson the capability of working offline when an Internet connection is not available is not new for SAAS services, Entellium's solution puts the entire application on the local hard drive.

"It's more like working in Outlook where you can see it all offline," said Jared Ruckle, product marketing manager at Entellium.

More typically SAAS solutions, like Salesforce.com, require salespeople to map out and download beforehand the data or the clients they believe they will need prior to working offline.

Liz Herbert, a senior analyst at Forrester Research said the smart client is unique in its ability to offer the entire solution offline.

"Salesforce and others still have some gaps in offline," Herbert said, noting that Siebel's offline client is built on Excel and although it is fine for basic offline needs, it does not offer the same look and feel as its hosted version.

Rave CRM will ship in early December with fees set at US$400, per user, per year with a 50 percent discount for the second year.

Entellium also announced the latest upgrade to its eSalesForce and eCustomerCenter product line. The upgrades are mainly focused on adding marketing tools to track, manage, and optimize marketing programs.

The company also plans to add Rave's offline work capabilities to these larger offerings.

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