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CRM for Macs

Although companies who utilize the Microsoft Windows operating system have countless solutions to choose from when it comes to customer relationship management (CRM), solution providers who offer CRM for Mac-based systems are quite hard to come by. In fact, PC-based CRM software outnumbers Mac-based CRM by a massive margin.

Yet, all that is changing. The introduction of Apple’s OS X system, and the unparalleled marketplace response, has created a huge shift in the business computer industry. And as a result, new, feature-rich applications for Mac users are being introduced every day – including systems to support CRM, ERP, and other key business functions.Why is CRM for the Mac so important? Because for years, Apple’s Macintosh operating system has been a prominently-used platform among many sole proprietorships, home-based businesses, and other small organizations. Additionally, many large organizations that are primarily Windows-based have small groups of Mac users scattered across their business (for example, in-house graphic designers).

And, although some basic contact management functionality comes with iCal and AddressBook – two of the pre-packaged applications that are delivered with the OS X system – these companies and their users need a more efficient and effective way to manage critical sales and marketing activities such as campaigns, promotions, sales opportunities, and more.

So, which vendors currently have viable CRM offerings for Mac users?

  • MarketMaster.  This was one of the very first customer relationship management offerings made available to Apple customers. MarketMaster has received tremendous acclaim for its comprehensive sales force automation functionality, which includes remote access among many other innovative and cutting-edge features.
  • CRM4Mac.  This solution is fully integrated with iCal and AddressBook, leveraging their inherent contact management capabilities, but further extending them with such features as event management and tracking and document management.
  • Daylite. This application is considered one of the most robust CRM environments for the Mac, providing in-depth contact and opportunity management functionality, as well as some basic project management features.
  • Sugar CRM.  This leading open source CRM application works seamlessly in Mac environments. And, because the underlying code is readily available, Apple customers can easily customize it to meet their specific needs. Best of all, it offers one very unique advantage over other Mac-based CRM systems – its free!

While there are a handful of other CRM solutions for the Mac out there, most companies who need Mac-based CRM still find that their options are very limited.

However, it is important to note that any CRM application that is Web-based will be completely platform agnostic, which means that anyone with a Web-enabled computer can access the system from any standard Internet browser, regardless of what operating system they are running. So, both Windows and Apple Mac users alike can utilize the CRM solution’s features and functions to significantly enhance the way they manage their prospects, customers, and related activities.

Many experts agree that this may be the best approach, particularly for companies that need to roll out a CRM environment to a broad base of users with multiple and different computing platforms.

[Photo courtesy of OSX411.]