Online CRM NetSuite Adds E-mail Integration

Enhancements include a new interface for analysis of customer profiles and purchase histories, and new data mining tools for probing customer transaction patterns.
NetSuite, an on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) service delivered via the Internet, on Wednesday rolled out an update that integrates with enterprise and Web-based e-mail systems and adds new billing tools.

The new e-mail integration -- which works with Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, Yahoo Mail, and America Online's e-mail system -- automatically ensures that all correspondence is tracked in both NetSuite and the pertinent e-mail client or Web-based service, said the company. Messages sent from NetSuite, for instance, including those from sales, customer service, or marketing, are recorded in the CRM service's historical log, while replies are automatically delivered to the e-mail client's inbox.

Another new feature adds term-based billing -- such as those for product or service subscriptions -- to the CRM solution's mix, and automates such variable billing schedules and commission payments for faster processing. In addition, said NetSuite, revenue forecasting of scheduled payments has been changed so that projections more accurately reflect reality: forecasting now accounts for the term of the payment -- say the current year of a three-year membership -- rather than views it as a lump sum when the order's placed.

Other enhancements to NetSuite -- the new edition is dubbed 9.5, though users don't have to update their systems, since the changes have been made on the NetSuite server end -- include a new interface for ad hoc analysis of customer profiles and purchase histories, and new data mining tools for probing customer transaction patterns to create target groups for up- and cross-selling.

Version 9.5 is available now, and the new tools and e-mail integration come at no extra charge for current subscribers to the service.

NetSuite offers a 14-day trial for its service.

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