Frontrange Solutions Inc., formerly named Goldmine Software Corp., has signed an exclusive agreement with Sales.com to provide Goldmine application users with integrated access to the online sales force content and application services of Sales.com Inc., a company of Siebel Systems Inc., FrontRange officials said Thursday.
FrontRange considered building a competing service and acquiring a provider and reviewed other portal offerings, said Ric Miles, vice president of marketing and corporate development for FrontRange. Ultimately, the company decided that Sales.com was the most complementary to the Goldmine front-office CRM (customer relationship management) offerings, he said. "This will have an enormous impact on the low end," Miles said. The service will be offered to FrontRange customers on a subscription basis and will be "aggressively priced," he said.
The agreement specifies that Sales.com's SFA (sales-force automation) tools such as a leads database, sales forecasting, collaboration capabilities, online company profiles, and an online library focusing on sales expertise will be tied to FrontRange's GoldMine 5.0 SFA software.
The alliance is meant to serve as proof that FrontRange has not abandoned the low end of the CRM market, Miles said. The Colorado Springs, Colo.-based FrontRange changed its name last month to reflect its broader focus, which now consists of the Heat help desk products division, also in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the Maestro e-business products and services group, in Westmont, Ill.
The two companies have already begun the integration effort, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year, said Jay Verkler, CEO of Sales.com, in San Mateo, Calif. "We're also going to the market together," Verkler said. The two companies will also do joint advertising, and Sales.com will provide training to FrontRange's VARs, he said.
Although the Goldmine offerings and Sales.com's company profile and sales seminarlike information will be closely linked, Sales.com will work with the offerings of other vendors such as Act contact management products and Palm Inc.'s Pilot devices, Verkler said. But Act users, for instance, will have to take a few more steps to access Sales.com, such as the activation of Sales.com's downloading capabilities. In contrast, users of the Goldmine products will be direct links to Sales.com and "will be part of the product," Verkler said.
The online link could also serve as an "internal IT network" for small businesses, Verkler said. "You can synchronize the data of Goldmine with Sales.com and with other members of the sales team," he said. "You can coordinate using the Internet." Companies with a sales staff of one to 25 sales professionals qualify as the low end of the market, according to officials from both companies.
The major difference between this combined offering and that of vendors such as Upshot.com and OracleSalesOnline.com is that users will be able to work offline as well as online because of the link to the Goldmine software, said Barry Trailer, vice president of strategic initiatives for FrontRange. The competing offerings do not offer the offline support of the Sales.com/Goldmine combination, Trailer said.