The CRM applications link to a diary management tool, which will be pulled into the system in the next development phase.
While Java has been evolving for a number of years, it is facing some serious tests over its viability as a cross-platform environment. Java has not yet been standardised and Sun, which owns Java, is engaged in an ongoing battle with Microsoft over licensing and the compatibility of Microsoft's Java environment.
Sue Clarke, senior research analyst at Butler Group, believes it is significant that a major company is implementing a system that uses Java technology. "It's an indication that Java is being taken seriously. Lots of companies are holding back to see how things are going with the Sun and Microsoft case. They don't know which route to go down."
Managed Solutions Corporation implemented its Clientwise software to provide a CRM application for Legal & General's Retail Customer Division call centre.
The CRM system uses Management Solutions' Oasis architecture, with an NT server, a Netscape Enterprise Server and an Oracle back-end running on IBM mainframes. The system is fully object-oriented, written in Java and C++, and uses Corba-compliant middleware. In the next phase, the diary management tool will be integrated into the CRM system.
The new system will pull together customer contact information, collect data and integrate it into the quotation system. A spokesman for the insurance and pensions group says, "Instead of switching between systems while the customer waits on the phone, the integrated system provides a smoother service for the customer and a more efficient way of managing data."
The initial project took less than nine months to implement and went live last autumn.