Agillion has launched an online customer management solution for the retail market which it will sell through the channel.
The US-based provider of online CRM software for small business launched its Australian operations at Internet World in Sydney last week. The service, which also bears the Agillion name, allows retailers to interact with both colleagues and customers via a page on the Internet.
"Agillion features a personal page on the Web that customers can have access to 24-hours-a-day," said Agillion Australia general manager Tom Beecroft. "Giving the customer a password-protected page is a unique feature in CRM software. There have been some people talking about it, but they haven't come up with a solution.
"In any supply chain, customers can check the status of orders without phoning the company."
He said the pages took a few minutes to set up and provided retailers with a secure, scalable solution with over 99 per cent availability.
The company initially launched in the US in February this year and now has over 7000 users.
"We picked Australia for our next expansion because it has a robust small business community which is very tech savvy. In this way, it is very similar to the US," Beecroft added.
Agillion announced a certified reseller program which requires resellers to be a user of the service themselves. Certified resellers will receive 20 per cent of monthly fees upon completing the company's one-day training course.
"Resellers are one of our target market, because they fit the small business profile and can draw on personal experience when they install the product," Beecroft said. "They can install the software on a system and get a percentage of the ongoing revenue."
Prices for the service range from $49.95 per month for one to two users to $31.95 for over 50 users. The number of customer pages is unlimited, regardless of the size of the business.
"Big companies are spending a lot of money to put these types of systems in, but small businesses don't have that sort of expenditure," Beecroft said.
"It means you don't have issues with stolen PCs or backup hassles; all the retailer or customer needs is a computer with Internet connection and a browser. Typically 70 to 80 per cent of business phone calls are about routine information that can be accessed via this system."
The Agillion solution can also be syncronised with Outlook and Palm systems and the company claims a six-week software development cycle on upgrades. Other features include an e-business dashboard, the front-end aspect that allows users to access a personalised browser on a secure part of the site, a live customer database and integrated likes to third-party services such as jfax.com and register.com.
"We want to be a global player in this market and we have the backing, the marketing and the people," Beecroft said.