Epicor releases .net CRM suite

Epicor Software's Clientele customer service software, released yesterday, is among the first customer relationship management...

Epicor Software's Clientele customer service software, released yesterday, is among the first customer relationship management products built around Microsoft's .net framework.

Clientele Customer Support 8.0, which was created using Microsoft's Visual Studio .Net, is the first module in a CRM suite Epicor is revamping to take advantage of .net features, including the platform's XML (Extensible Markup Language) support and intended facilitation of Web services deployments.

A component of Epicor's 11-year-old Clientele software portfolio, Clientele Customer Support manages customer-service communications, including tools for call management, order tracking, billing and other client interactions.

Clientele Customer Support's last major update was in February, when Epicor released version 7.3, the last built on the old code base. Epicor began revamping the software around the .net framework a year ago, said Greg Horton, director of marketing for Epicor's Clientele group.

Next up for rebuilding around .Net is a customer self-service portal that will replace ClienteleNet. The .net version of the application software is scheduled to enter beta-testing later this month. By the end of 2003, all of Clientele's CRM suite will be moved to .net and rereleased, Horton said.

Epicor is targeting small- and medium-sized businesses. the Clientele CRM.Net suite will compate against Microsoft CRM, an in-development package also aimed at the mid-sized market and scheduled to ship later this year.

Clientele Customer Support works either as a standalone application or as part of Epicor's broader Clientele CRM software package. It is available now in the UK, North America, Australia and several countries in the Asia Pacific region.

Existing customers with maintenance contracts will upgrade for free, while standard retail pricing starts at $1,500 (£959) per user.

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