StayinFront has shifted its CRM application to .Net architecture in what is the first major overhaul of its flagship product in two years.
The new product, StayinFront CRM 10, migrated from a client-server model to a platform that allows it to integrate with other software applications more easily and to deploy across multiple platforms, including LANs (local area networks), WANs (wide area networks), Tablet PCs and mobile devices, according to Ken Arbadji, the company’s vice president of North American sales.
Deconstructing a Platform Shift
Now a .Net framework-based application, StayinFront CRM 10 runs as a managed application using Microsoft’s Common Language Runtime (CLR). Also, Visual Basic.Net has been built into StayinFront CRM 10 to support the execution of business application logic, and provide access to the Microsoft Solutions Framework. StayinFront CRM 10 can also be deployed across a WAN or the Internet using the “ClickOnce” deployment mechanism, which is part of the smart client application.
“What is key is that it will allow us to deliver smart client technology from Microsoft,” Arbadji told CRM Buyer. “We will be able to provide a rich client over the Internet.” Using HTML delivery for a Web offering was not optimal, he noted, and not an optimal way to deliver or support a business application. With the switch, Arbadji noted, users receive both the Web experience and the rich client.
“StayinFront CRM, with its strong interoperable Web Services, takes full advantage of Microsoft’s Smart Client application,” commented Thom Robbins, director of .Net platform marketing at Microsoft. “Together, the two provide a powerful technology to increase the functionality and value of StayinFront`s CRM application.”
There are also strategic benefits to the platform migration for the company — primarily because it is keeping up with market demand. StayinFront had to make the shift, noted Yankee Group analyst Sheryl Kingstone.
“The move came just in time,” she told CRM Buyer. “It is critical that software providers embrace the new application platforms. Customers now expect to have a much more user-friendly experience, quicker navigation capabilities and codeless customization features that can be deployed across multiple devices, she said. “StayinFront is solidifying its presence in the market with this change,” Kingstone added.
StayinFront focuses on different verticals depending on the market — United States versus Europe, for instance. In version 10, the company enhanced its life science, consumer goods and business-to-business verticals, among others.
“Overseas we are more active in the vertical markets,” Arbadji noted. “In the United States, we have been strategic about focusing in a few areas, coming up with core solutions for specific business problems.”