The state of CRM on the Mac (2007)

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
As someone who uses the Mac for sales work, I'm continually frustrated at the lack of choice with dedicated CRM software. I'm still on the lookout for a high quality sales software, taking into account that OS X has created a need for any CRM app to work flawlessly with Address Book and iCal.



The players in the Mac desktop CRM software market:



Daylite - Marketcircle comes from the Openstep world and it shows. Daylite is the most full featured CRM program on the platform. Unfortunately, these features are wrapped in a bewildering interface that has gotten slightly better with Version 3 but still remains very difficult to learn. Daylite is one of the only Mac apps I've even bought that remained unused simply because the interface was too intimidating. You know a Mac program is hard to use when screenshots of its PC competitor (ACT) seem to be more understandable. Hopefully, a future version will be rewritten from the ground up with a more Mac-like interface and ditch the installation of OpenBase for Core Data.



Relationship - Jumsoft's 1.0 effort is pretty simple. It will be interesting to see where 2.0 goes with this concept.



Redlien Account Executive - I had high hopes for this one, but after version 1.5 the developer seems to have disappeared. Corey Redlien, who was known in the Mac developer community, has a blog that hasn't been updated since March last year. MacUpdate has some comments from customers who haven't been able to contact anyone at the company in 2006. The product is still available for sale, but support seems non-existent at this point.



Highrise - This is a web-based program I just discovered which is made by the creators of Basecamp. 37 Signals really gets the idea of producing clean, functional interfaces. It's expensive though - $29/month for a single businessperson. It's definitely worth keeping an eye on. Heap and Sugar are two other web based CRM products.



Crm4Mac - puts your Address Book, iCal and Mail info into a single window for you, but doesn't have specific sales-related features like Opportunity management.



Future Contenders



NightHawk - Now Software is working on a built-from-the-ground-up replacement for Now Contact that looks amazing. It's modular, and company execs have said a CRM component is very likely. Delivery of the contact manager has apparently been pushed back to Fall 2007, meaning that a CRM component won't likely be seen till 2008.



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For now, none of these products is exactly what I'm looking for, so I think I'll stay with my custom Filemaker database, though that means I have to jump through extra hoops with Address Book and iCal, QuickBooks and my Treo. Ideally, some enterprising Mac developer would partner with ACT and create a version for the Mac again.



What CRM software have you found meets your needs the best? What features are you looking for?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 6
    the cool gutthe cool gut Posts: 1,714member
    I went through a lot of this a few years ago (Daylight was just coming out) and they all sucked. Black Hawk looks "OK" but seems pretty limited, it looks like just a buffed up iCal.



    We ended going filemaker as well, and it's been great. To be honest, what we have now pretty much blows the shit out of anything out there for Mac or P.C.



    Have you checked out SeedCode? http://www.seedcode.com/



    They have calendar functionality for Filemaker. As well, we use filebooks link to transfer information from Filemaker to Quickbooks and back : http://www.filebookslink.com/
  • Reply 2 of 6
    Check out Best CRM on Macs
  • Reply 3 of 6
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,792member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post


    I went through a lot of this a few years ago (Daylight was just coming out) and they all sucked. Black Hawk looks "OK" but seems pretty limited, it looks like just a buffed up iCal.



    We ended going filemaker as well, and it's been great. To be honest, what we have now pretty much blows the shit out of anything out there for Mac or P.C.



    Have you checked out SeedCode? http://www.seedcode.com/



    They have calendar functionality for Filemaker. As well, we use filebooks link to transfer information from Filemaker to Quickbooks and back : http://www.filebookslink.com/



    Wow. SeedCode looks amazing. I was not aware of this one.



    The price is a bit steep considering that it's a Filemaker template, but then again, I have yet to see so much functionality in a FM template before.



    The one thing that sticks out to me is that there doesn't seem to be the ability to separate your contacts into different groups (a la Address Book.) Perhaps it is there - I'm just going on screenshots.



    I guess I can use the 'Projects' capabilities to track Sales activities.

    Right now this seems to come closest to what I'm looking for.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    the cool gutthe cool gut Posts: 1,714member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post


    Wow. SeedCode looks amazing. I was not aware of this one.

    The one thing that sticks out to me is that there doesn't seem to be the ability to separate your contacts into different groups (a la Address Book.) Perhaps it is there - I'm just going on screenshots.



    I guess I can use the 'Projects' capabilities to track Sales activities.

    Right now this seems to come closest to what I'm looking for.



    Have you ever done any Filemaker customizing? You could easily add a field (seed code is unlocked) for your groups in the profile view, and then just add a new column in the list view. We haven't used seed code, but our developer bought their calendar module for a few of his projects. It's very well put together. They also have some free versions of their software you can try out.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    frank777frank777 Posts: 5,792member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post


    Have you ever done any Filemaker customizing? You could easily add a field (seed code is unlocked) for your groups in the profile view, and then just add a new column in the list view. We haven't used seed code, but our developer bought their calendar module for a few of his projects. It's very well put together. They also have some free versions of their software you can try out.



    It does look very well put together. I've tried to add Groups to my current database, but it's a tricky thing. Some clients are members of more than one group or keyword, and then implementing a cool Group View layout similar to Address Book's is well over my head.



    Showing progress made on all clients in a particular group adds another layer of complexity. Not that any of this is impossible, just time-consuming and complex.



    So I'd prefer it to come ready-made!
  • Reply 6 of 6
    kcmackcmac Posts: 1,051member
    I am a current user of Daylite. Purchased it in the early days and just upgraded to 3 because I can't find anything out there that is both what I need and easy to use. While I have extensively customized Daylite for my particular needs, it takes a lot of work to get to that point.



    Filemaker to me, is even more confusing than Daylite and in no way seems to resemble a Mac app. I was just never able to get the hang of it.



    Daylite while it has its flaws (calendar, reports, syncing, which hopefully should improve with Leopard) is very powerful in linking contacts, projects, opportunities and documents. I don't use the mail plug as I prefer Mail on its own.



    Studiometry probably comes the closest to being more interesting to me because of the way it uses the Mac apps I already use. (ical, mail, addressbook, etc). It costs quite a bit and the developer seems to be pretty defensive to suggestions. (I was one of the first buyers of Daylite when it was inexpensive. Now the updates are more inexpensive for me than buying an app like Studiometry). http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/12276/studiometry http://www.oranged.net/studiometry/s...ts2/index.html



    It's really too bad Daylite is so stuck on things that seem so unMaclike. You have mentioned this in your original post and I fully agree.



    To me, if you are already comfortable using something else (filemaker) it may be wise to wait a little longer. It sounds like a lot of the problems with a lot of the CRM products is that the syncing thing is something that Apple may be improving for developers via Leopard. At least, that's what the Daylite devs and some of the others claim.
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