Salesnet preps 'extended' version, offline app

Sales software ASP (application service provider) Salesnet Inc. is developing an expanded version of its hosted application, including greater ability to customize and features aimed at larger organizations.

Scheduled for release during the third quarter is "Salesnet Extended," a CRM (customer relationship management) application targeted at companies with 50 to 250 sales representatives, Salesnet plans to announce Monday. Salesnet Extended is a higher-end version of Salesnet's flagship CRM service, which the company will continue offering.

Salesnet's Web application is intended to facilitate a variety of sales activities, including lead tracking, account management, report generation, data synchronization and document storage. Salesnet's clients, which include American Express Incentive Services LLC, British Telecommunications PLC and Staples Inc., are using the service to support from one to more than 1,000 sales representatives, according to Salesnet.

Salesnet Extended will carry a minimum price tag of US$99 per user, per month, $40 higher than the standard version's minimum monthly per-user charge. Salesnet Extended's key differentiation from the standard edition is its increased customizability: Users can create different application views for different employees, and adjust users' access to records and other information. So, for example, companies can define one layout and set of access parameters for managers, another for accounting staffers and another for marketing department employees.

Salesnet Extended will also include Web services APIs (application program interfaces) built on Microsoft Corp.'s .Net framework, allowing users to integrate the service with other corporate applications, and a new offline application with a browser interface, intended to let representatives access and work with company data when not connected to the Internet. The offline application will be available to Salesnet's standard-edition subscribers for an additional $15 per user, per month.

That forthcoming offline tool interests Salesnet customer Bill Painter, data marketing coordinator for energy products and services supplier Crystal Flash, in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Crystal Flash signed on for Salesnet last August, after an eight-month evaluation of its options for replacing Internet Commerce Corp.'s Act contact management software, which Crystal Flash had outgrown. Crystal Flash picked Salesnet for its price and scalability, according to Painter, and has about 16 employees using the application.

"Right now we're still using the standard (version), but we're looking into the extended," Painter said. For now, Crystal Flash is likely to stick with the standard edition but pay the extra $15 monthly per-user fee to add the offline application, he said.

Painter said he appreciates Salesnet's ongoing application tweaks and upgrades. There's nothing on his wish list for the software at the moment, Painter said, because "whenever we have a want or a need, we basically just call them and they come up with the solution."

Salesnet Extended and Salesnet's new offline functionality are scheduled for release during the third quarter, most likely in August, according to Salesnet executives.

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