Ivan Epstein, CEO, Softline says that parent company Sage plc’s Global CRM strategy, unveiled this week, will address emerging customer needs across the globe by leveraging emerging Web 2.0 technologies and applying open Web standards to enable a connected front and back-office.

In addition to a host of business management applications, Softline, acquired by Sage plc in 2003, provides the full CRM product suite to the South African market, which includes: ACT! by Softline Pastel, Accpac CRM by Softline Accpac, and SalesLogix by Softline Enterprise.  
He says the ability to meet a myriad of customer requirements is made possible with the structure of the local operation and its independent business units.  As a result, Epstein says Softline can meet the business software needs of SMEs as well as larger organisations.
“CRM is proving to be one of the most dynamic concepts driving business today. It has evolved from a mere application into a methodology and philosophy – essentially driving how companies do business.  We have seen an increasing demand for our CRM solutions within South Africa and the new strategy will ensure we are able to continue to meet the evolving needs of our customers, whilst keeping abreast with changing technologies and growing market trends,” says Epstein.  
An example is mobility. Web 2.0 has shaped technology into the future and this is evident in our approach to CRM.  Epstein says that Sage research has shown that customer requirements have moved beyond the on-premise versus hosted debate. “They want a practical solution that delivers a fully functional “anywhere user experience” supported by a connected front-office and back-office environment.”
The strategy – developed through research among the Sage worldwide customer base of more than 5.5 million business management software and services customers – identifies tangible opportunities that small and mid-sized businesses as well as divisions of enterprises can take advantage of this year, with additional capabilities being delivered incrementally through 2010.
Epstein says the areas addressed by Sage’s CRM 2010 strategy include the following:
* Quick time-to-value via purpose-built solutions;
* Enhanced end-user/cross-organisational productivity with Web 2.0 applications;
* End-to-end business processes through front/back-office integration;
* Functional synergies among CRM, ERP and vertical solutions through the application of Web services and other standards-based technologies; and
* Investment protection via flexible and interoperable on-demand and on-premise implementation options.