SOURCE: IBM and iEnterprises

September 17, 2008 11:01 ET

IBM and iEnterprises Integrate Business Social Networking for CRM

Combination of CRM and Social Networking Helps Businesses Improve Sales, Marketing and Project Management Efforts

ARMONK, NY and MURRAY HILL, NJ--(Marketwire - September 17, 2008) - IBM (NYSE: IBM) and iEnterprises today announced the integration of iEnterprises' customer relationship management (CRM) software, iExtensions CRM, with IBM's social networking platform, Lotus Connections.

Integrating social networking with CRM enables businesses to build communities and relationships around contacts, help increase sales, improve response rates and offer better customer service. Blending social networking with CRM is an example of Tomorrow at Work, an IBM initiative that examines a changing work world and anticipates trends in technology, business, society and culture.

The integration uses Web services to bring a new Social Networking for CRM module to iExtensions CRM and Lotus Connections customers, allowing both groups to link and synchronize information between the two systems. By doing so, companies can take full advantage of business-grade social networking behind the firewall to improve their customer relationship and sales prospecting activities.

"It's like the virtual coffee machine chat -- where a massive information pool can be readily called upon, but here it's more targeted and therefore more purposeful," said James Mead, Royal Caribbean's Project Manager for International IT, and an iExtensions CRM customer. "We're excited about this integration; it could help us tap collective experiences and get answers faster. It also opens doors for cross departmental sharing -- so sales, finance, marketing, and call centers can swap their customer communication histories and build relationships."

The integration between the iExtensions CRM and Lotus Connections is based on a service oriented architecture (SOA) approach. Using Web services, the data from either system can be reused with other programs across an enterprise. The flexibility of Web services means that the data can be extended to mobile devices, making it possible for businesses to take the combination of social networking and CRM with them on the road.

With iEnterprises' new Social Networking for CRM Module, managing contacts, activities and opportunities is quick and easy. Sales representatives can log into their iExtensions CRM system and instantly pull and store contact and other relevant information needed for a project from Lotus Connections in one click. They can subsequently identify sales leads, grow relationships, associate and pinpoint areas of expertise. Push emails can also be set to notify iEnterprises CRM users of changes in phone contact, job, or other important information which would typically require time-intensive information gathering.

Finding the right expertise can also become easier with integrated CRM and social networking. For example, if a critical situation arises with a customer, the sales representative can use Lotus Connections to quickly identify people that can help. After virtually assembling a team, members can be transferred to the CRM system and assigned tasks to resolve the situation.

The iEnterprises Social Networking CRM Module is expected to be available worldwide from iEnterprises in October 2008.

For more information on IBM Lotus Connections: www.lotus.com/connections

About iEnterprises

iEnterprises brings companies Lotus Notes CRM desktop Web Based CRM and wireless BlackBerry CRM and Lotus Notes Wireless Application solutions that achieve their CRM vision and drive success. The global CRM experts' chief products are the award-winning CRM solution, iExtensions CRM for Notes, and wireless CRM application, Mobile Edge. More than 10 years ago, iEnterprises began with a vision that CRM software should be affordable, easy to use, and easy to implement. iEnterprises delivers its configurable products worldwide through a vast network of global business partners and employs a personalized approach that helps customers stay focused on their top end-users' needs. iEnterprises is a Premier level member of IBM PartnerWorld and a member of the BlackBerry® ISV Alliance program. The company is headquartered in Murray Hill, New Jersey, and has its European office in London, United Kingdom. For more information or to download a copy of the software, visit http://www.ienterprises.com.

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