Minor Improvements Mark New Maximizer

SAN FRANCISCO (02/01/2000) - The latest upgrade to Multiactive Software Inc.'s Maximizer contact manager, Maximizer Enterprise 2000, provides some cosmetic improvements but doesn't earn its "Enterprise" moniker. The shipping multiuser version lets you share files and calendar info fairly easily (no network administrator needed), but that's the extent of its enterprise features.

However, if your sales and marketing workgroup lacks a contact manager, or if you're a novice, ME2000 should be satisfactory.

You'll find a few new features, such as the Suspended status in the Opportunity Manager. ME2000's word processor now supports automatic signatures, and can merge user information such as name and address into a mail-merge document you create to send faxes or e-mail to contacts, for example. And the new Marketing Library serves as a central storage location for common documents, such as parts lists.

Otherwise, ME2000 retains many features from previous versions. The History tab shows who changed what and the original and new values, creating a true audit trail. And it's easy to sort data and to chart just about anything.

Still, the app suffers from several weak spots. ME2000's Action Planner lets you apply a group of actions to a contact (send brochure today and so on), but it's confusing and cries out for a wizard. Also, some of ME2000's customization options are too sophisticated: One new wizard uses Visual Basic source code--decidedly not an end-user tool.

If you have heavy-duty contact management needs for sales and marketing, go with a product like Goldmine. Users in small workgroups will appreciate ME2000's range of customizable features. But if you have an older version, save your money and wait for a more robust upgrade.

Maximizer Enterprise 2000

PRO: Easy to learn and to create charts, unlimited user-defined fields.

CON: Extensive customization requires a programmer, lack of wizards makes some functions difficult.

VALUE: Will best benefit small sales and marketing workgroups.

List price: $369 per user (upgrade, $199 per user)Multiactive Software800/804-6299www.maximizerenterprise.com.

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