Smells Like a Trend — Online Databases

By Lauren Simonds | Posted November 05, 2004

Two new companies, SalesCenter and eUnify have recently entered the online database arena &#151 a neighborhood that seems to be growing of late. Other ASPs that offer some kind of database capability include NetSuite, CRM.com and Salesforce.com(a direct competitor of SalesCenter).

While the two companies differ in their business &#151 SalesCenter helps a company manage its sales team while eUnify offers a suite of collaboration tools &#151 they both provide access to the power and flexibility of a database that most SMBs might not be able to afford.

SalesCenter
Dave Dabbah, general manager of SalesCenter, calls his product a "highly configurable, Web-based sales automation solution." In English, that translates into an online software program that helps you track sales opportunities through every stage of development, from the first lead to the final sale.

"We can customize SalesCenter to meet the specific needs of a company," says Dabbah. By customize, Dabbah means that they can create special fields and categories within the database to reflect the specific needs of a business. "For instance, if you want to track client birthdays, we can add a field for that." The database is relational, which means that you can import data from other sources.

He also points out that while their program offers the same functionality of its competitor SalesForce.com, SaleCenter is easier to use and lets managers keep track of their sales teams. "The database keeps all of the pertinent sales information &#151 the contact, deal stage, calendar and unlimited notes &#151 on a single page so you can see it all in one view," he said.

Other features include:

  • Automated Web Lead Capture
  • Role Management and Permissions
  • Automated Follow-up System
  • Custom Report Builder
  • Advanced Lead Dispersion
  • Sales Process and Interface
  • Price Quote Generator

SalesCenter.com
SalesCenter's database helps SMBs manage their sales teams.

Beyond the actual service, which costs for $1,000 per month for 10 seats (the price per seat drops as the number of seats increases), Dabbah says the company acts as a database consultant at no extra charge. "We'll take a customer through a demo of the product and work with them to customize the software the way they want." The company also offers group training for a $1,000 flat fee.

eUnify
A suite of 17 online collaboration applications, eUnify recently announced the addition of a new database. According to Brian McFarland, the company's vice-president of sales and marketing, the SQL-based relational database lets you easily create customized data fields to share and manage data.

"You don't need to know SQL in order to use it, and it's relational in the sense that you can link other databases to it and can link to tables in other databases," he said. "But you can't, for example, search through five databases to find all people named Tim who live in Texas."

Still, said McFarland, you can create databases from scratch or from CSV import or by using one of the programs pre-defined templates. "You can use this database for any number of project," said McFarland. "We have customers using it for contact management, sales force management, issue tracking and customer knowledgebase."


eUnify.com
This database is the premiere application in eUnify's online collaboration suite.

Once you create a database, McFarland said you can easily determine who has access to it by assigning permissions:

  • Database-Level permissions let you choose who can view, add, edit and delete records from the database
  • Field-Level permissions let you choose who can view, add and edit specific fields in the database

Subscribing to the entire eUnify collaboration suite costs $39.95 for up to five people. You'll find more detailed pricing information on the site.

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

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