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Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Software is King

by: Tony Pennino

In these troubled times, more and more firms are signing up for management software. The two most recent ones to do so are State Street and Pacific Life.

State Street has tapped Onyx for its customer relationship management (CRM) solution. The firm will utilize the solution for sales and marketing, relationship management, and client services. The application is entirely web-based and uses XML technologies.

Meanwhile, the annuities and mutual fund divison of Pacific Life has decided to use the CRM solution from Pivotal. Pacifc Life will also deploy Pivotol Wireless. The systems will be used for the insurer's multiple sales channels.

"We selected Pivotal because the company offered a complete package: a strategy that allows Pacific Life to start with a sales initiative that builds into a CRM framework; a contract that allows us to know the total cost of each initiative upfront; and the flexibility to understand and adapt to our needs," stated Phil Teeter, vice president of technology at the Pacific Life unit. "Pivotal was the best fit for our division. The other CRM software providers were either too complex and difficult, or only provided out-of-the-box, shrink-wrapped contact management capabilities."

"We are working with Pivotal to develop specific strategies to improve sales activity, client responsiveness and overall revenue performance. Pacific Life is also leveraging Pivotal's strategic consulting program to help us mitigate the risk of embarking on a significant CRM strategy. By taking this approach, we have very clear deliverables and expected results from our CRM initiative," Teeter added.

The wireless component is designed to assist wholesalers who frequently spend more time on the road than they do in the office. Like the Onyx system, Pivotal's offering is Internet-based. 

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