XTech making hosted CRM push

Looking to compete with Salesforce.com in the hosted CRM space, professional services firm XTech in December plans to offer a hosted CRM platform based on Worldtrak's CRM product.

XTech and Agiliti Inc. announced on Tuesday an arrangement whereby Minneapolis-based XTech will utilize hosting facilities from Bloomington, Minn.-based Agiliti to enable deployment of online CRM services. The services are due to begin in December and will be based on the WorldTrak CRM system. WorldTrak formed Agiliti to enable delivery of hosted eCRM solutions.

By opting for a hosted offering, customers avoid the high costs associated with purchasing, implementing, and maintaining CRM applications in-house, according to Agiliti and XTech.

"What we're doing is we're taking [the Worldtrak] product and by using XTech and Agiliti's services, we are going to make this CRM package a hosted CRM package, and what that really means is people don't have to invest in the infrastructure of equipment and hardware and software," said Sandy Schuller, director of marketing for Worldtrak in Minneapolis.

"All they have to do is give us a call, we turn on a switch," and customers get CRM functionality over the Internet, Schuller said.

The hosted offering will compete directly with the Salesforce.com hosted CRM platform, Schuller saidBut the Worldtrak offering, expected to be relabeled XTech CRM in its hosted incarnation, will provide a more full-featured CRM offering than Salesforce.com, featuring capabilities for sales force automation, marketing campaigns, call centers, and customer support, Schuller said. Salesforce.com is limited to sales force automation, she contended.

"They're the only other ones we're coming up against as a hosted solution, so this particular solution [from XTech] is really going to be revolutionary," Schuller said.

XTech does not yet have pricing details for its hosted service other than that it will be offered on a monthly per-user fee, Schuller said.

San Francisco-based Salesforce.com in October detailed plans to deploy Salesforce.com Enterprise Edition in January. This version will provide marketing and sales force automation, customer support, and service management as part of the company's hosted CRM platform.

The Enterprise Edition, which also features the ability to link to backend applications such as human resources and accounting, is to be priced at US$125 per user per month, Salesforce.com said.

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