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Intuit strides into CRM, Quicken uncertain

Intuit strides into CRM, Quicken uncertain

Tax software maker, Intuit, has thrown its hat into the customer relationship management (CRM) ring with its new QuickBooks Customer Manager.

Slated for release in September in the US, Customer Manager is designed for businesses with less than 20 users, Quickbooks manager at Intuit, Charles Var, said.

Var said smaller business users generally employed word processing or email programs to keep track of customer information.

According to a survey of Intuit users released in March 2003, 13 per cent of QuickBooks customers use CRM programs even though 89 per cent said they tracked customer information without using CRM applications while 35 per cent had researched CRM applications.

The Quickbooks portfolio of products are bookkeeping and accounting tools designed to help users financially manage their business.

The new Customer Manager integrates with Quickbooks Basic, Pro, and Premier 2003, and industry-specific versions of Quickbooks.

The product also integrated with Microsoft Office Suite products including Outlook, Word and Excel to provide users with a single-version of truth about each customer or client on a dashboard screen, Var said.

Intuit said the product could link customer history, recent QuickBooks transactions, related documents, projects and appointments all in one place. It also eliminated the need for customers to enter the information twice.

For example, if a user called up a name of one of his or her clients, all the information about that client would be available on a dashboard and could be modified and updated by one or more person at a time.

The product can be installed in about 30 minutes, according to Intuit and runs on Microsoft's Windows platforms. It will retail in the US for $US79.95. Quicken Australia is undecided on whether to launch the product locally.

“In the next two to three years, there will be more than 100 products coming out of Intuit,” chief operating officer for Quicken Australia, Clive Rabie, said.

“Whenever Intuit launches new products, Quicken Australia goes through a process of assessing them to determine their viability for each of the markets for which we localise and distribute products.”


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