Here's a roundup of recently announced IT products and services for small and midsized businesses.
Microsoft previews new small-business CRM tool
Microsoft Corp. will preview the upcoming release of its long-awaited customer relationship management (CRM) software, Microsoft CRM 3.0, at its Worldwide Partner Conference 2005 in Minneapolis, Minn. and Tech Ed 2005 conference in Amsterdam, both happening this week.
The newest version of the software includes a Small Business Edition, which targets companies that use Windows Small Business Server 2003 Premium Edition. Microsoft said it plans to have the new version include a simple installation process and an easy migration path from Microsoft Office Outlook 2003.
A new subscription-based hosted version of the software will also be available. Microsoft says using the same code for the hosted and on-site versions means companies can switch from one to the other as their business needs change.
Microsoft CRM 3.0 will be available to customers with earlier versions of the software in late 2005 and available to new customers in early 2006. The product will be available 23 languages. Prices are slated to be announced closer to the release dates.
More on the SMB CRM front from sfaFinity Inc.
Santa Clara, Calif.-based sfaFinity Inc. announced this week the release of SFCRM – a sales, marketing and customer service management software product aimed at SMBs with up to 2,000 employees.
SFCRM is designed to be easy to install and operate through a standard Internet browser like Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox, rather than requiring client software for access.
The software is available through an upfront purchase of an in-house product or through a monthly subscription.
The SFCRM Standard five-user suite starts at $1,295, with additional seats available at $299. Subscriptions are available starting at $39 per month. Trial downloads are available.
Need help with dQuery? It's free
Vestal, N.Y.-based dataBased Intelligence Inc. this month announced free onsite installation support from a company staff worker for any customer that cannot operate the company's dQuery software on the first attempt.
The dQuery software can draw information from a range of different databases, from large programs such as Oracle to smaller ones such as FoxPro, which allows SMBs to pull information from their newest systems as well as legacy systems full of unused data. The data can be collected into a single spreadsheet and printed out or exported to Microsoft Excel to be put into chart form. The product is intended to provide a business intelligence tool that is simple to use and easy to install for non-technical staff.
The dQuery software is priced at $795 per license, with discounts available for bulk purchases.
New version of SMB staff management software from Taleo Corp.
Taleo Corp. this week released the latest version of its staff management software for SMBs looking to manage existing employees and recruit new talent.
Business Edition 6 from San Francisco, Calif.-based Taleo is intended to help SMBs manage and streamline their staff recruiting, hiring, development and deployment process by tracking job openings, candidates, career Web sites, personal contacts and accounts.
Pricing for the four versions of Taleo's Business Edition – personal, standard, plus and premium – starts at $995 per year per user for its personal edition.
A free 30-day trial is available online.
Switchvox offers additional VoIP features for SMBs
Switchvox, a provider of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone systems for SMBs, announced this week that it will offer additional features and support for its IP PBX phone system.
San Diego, Calif.-based Switchvox said adding support for the Inter-Asterisk exchange (IAX) protocol in addition to its existing support for the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), will offer customers more bandwidth savings and easier compatibility with other VoIP providers.
Built on open source software, Switchvox systems start at $995. The latest applications will be included in current systems.