Epicor Updates CRM Solution

Aims for easier customization by integrating mid-market call management app with Visual Studio .NET

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San Francisco  February 13, 2003  Epicor Software this week unveiled the latest version of its call management solution, adding a development kit built on Microsoft Visual Studio .NET to allow for easier customization.

Targeted at mid-market companies, Epicor's Clientele Customer Support 8.1 utilizes the Visual Studio .NET IDE (Integrated Development Environment) as its customization environment. Epicor says that by building the Clientele software development kit on top of Visual Studio .NET, customers, partners and consultants can modify the solution quickly and easily.

Clientele Customer Support is a call management solution for supporting external customers. Epicor said that version 8.0 of the solution, released last summer , was one of the first customer relationship management (CRM) solutions architected for the Microsoft .NET Framework.

Visual Studio .NET 2003 offers a development environment built from the ground up for XML Web services, and by integrating with .NET, version 8.1 of Epicor's CRM solution provides an object-oriented customization model that allows updates to forms, datasets, Web services and server business logic to be made quickly and easily from one location, according to Epicor.

Doug Berry, vice president and general manager of Epicor's Clientele Group, said the solution provider elected to use the Microsoft .NET Framework and Visual Studio .NET for its CRM solutions because they allow for maximum flexibility yet maintain a low total cost of ownership, important factors for small and midsize enterprises aiming to stay competitive in an aggressive marketplace.

In addition to customization capabilities, 8.1 includes built-in automation functionality for e-mail handling and call escalation. It allows rules to be set for how inbound e-mail is routed and handled, designed to minimize the time spent sorting e-mail, allowing support agents to focus on customers and issue resolution.

The solution also includes a call escalation facility, which defines business rules and processes for managing unattended calls. The call escalation feature connects the call log and calendar information with definable actions for escalation to help ensure that calls are not overlooked.

Customer Support 8.1 is expected to be generally available to customers later this month. Epicor plans to support the upcoming release of Visual Studio .NET 2003 with a currently scheduled update by summer 2003.