Monday, October 27, 2008

Streamline Your Operations during Tough Economic Times

We are now facing tough times in the market place which is causing many businesses to take a closer look at how to cut operational costs. There are different ways and different approaches that businesses will be taking in order to squeeze as much as they can out of their dollars. One of the first ways many businesses try to cut spending is by cutting their IT budget. This means companies are going to be much more hesitant to spend money on new business management software or on getting updated versions of their current IT solutions. Although this may save some money it can cause a lot of problems for organizations since they need software solutions to successfully manage their business and their customers.

When every dollar counts, companies can’t afford to let business slip through cracks or walk on past to a competitor because they didn’t have the tools needed to stay ahead of the game. Traditionally, purchasing solutions to manage a business and customers was a very expensive undertaking which would take a lot of time to roll out. Since time is another thing businesses have less and less of these days, many companies are finding themselves in a difficult position.

A solution to these problems that many businesses are making a move to is software as a service (SaaS). This form of software allows businesses to receive the IT solutions they need today without the large upfront bill they would get hit with purchasing traditional software. SaaS Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has been a saviour for many businesses in recent times since it is inexpensive and fast to implement. SaaS CRM solutions provide companies with all the tools they need to manage customers, sales, and marketing among other areas within a single software solution.

With only one platform to manage, companies have to spend less time training and less time spending and implementing software. SaaS CRM is not provided like traditional software where a business owner must install the software on every computer in the company and service this. As expected this can get very costly very fast. SaaS CRM is provided via the internet by vendors like Salesforce, or Netsuite and is accessed through a web browser with a login to a secure site where all your data is stored and managed. This means businesses can leverage their software from any computer with internet access and it is updated in real time with no cost for upgrades or installs. I think it is safe to say that in these times of tough economic conditions SaaS CRM vendors will notice an increase of new businesses making the move to the clouds.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Who Will Actually Benefit from Entellium’s Demise?

Now that the Entellium situation has begun to slow down in Seattle I ask the question, who will actually benefit from the unfortunate events at Entellium? There are many employees left standing outside after the massive layoffs and there are a lot of businesses and organizations who fear the safety of their data, wondering if the software they use to manage their business will just be turned off one day, there was already a brief period last week where the Entellium web site was down. Theories have been flying around the web of what will come of Entellium employees and customers, Avidian’s Founder and CEO James Wong expressed interest in purchasing some of Entellium’s assets. Meanwhile CRM vendor issued a formal release aimed at Entellium’s Employee’s and Customers with a “Rescue Initiative”. This rescue initiative invited laid off Entellium’s staff to send their resumes to for possible employment. Also in the release offered free accelerated data migration to Entellium customers.

These are just two hints as to what may come of Entellium but I want to look at the reality of the situation outside of the offers to purchase Entellium assets. To start here is a list of the companies best situated to benefit from the Entellium fiasco;, Netsuite,, ACT!, and Microsoft. These are some of the top CRM vendors in the market today and can all take on Entellium customers. There hasn’t been much mentioned from Salesforce, Netsuite, Microsoft or ACT! regarding these events; all I noticed is that Salesforce has purchased Entellium as an adword to ensure those seeking Entellium find Salesforce. What I find most interesting is that no one has mentioned ACT! as an organization who stands to gain many of Entellium’s customers since a lot of those customers moved to Entellium from ACT! ACT! has made their business on SMBs by providing contact management solutions and SMBs are what made up the majority of Entellium’s customers. I see a problem with Entellium customers moving to ACT! they will not be receiving a true on demand multi tenant CRM solution which they could receive from Salesforce, Netsuite or

A quick look at the other CRM vendors; Salesforce is almost always considered when businesses are looking for CRM which makes me think that for some reason Entellium customers have already evaluated Salesforce and for whatever reason decided to go with Entellium instead. Looking at Microsoft, this giant is a new comer to the CRM world, although they have the resources to develop a great CRM I believe they are still too far behind the game with their CRM inside Outlook approach. Netsuite is another large company who has its roots in ERP which shines through to their CRM, I find Netsuite’s CRM to lack some of the features that Salesforce and Salesboom have. With this reasoning I am not surprised with’s efforts with their Rescue Initiative positioning themselves directly in front of Entellium customers. Where ever Entellium customer land I’m sure CRM vendors will be more than happy to welcome them.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Entellium CEO and CFO Behind Bars, One Considered a Flight Risk!

Installment number 2 of the Entellium situation: Well it is now official, Entellium's CEO and Top Financial Officer have been arrested for Wire Fraud which can carry a penalty of 20 years behind bars. Picked up by the FBI with one denied bail because he is considered a flight risk, Entellium's CEO and CFO have been arrested Tue adding to the already unfortunate situation facing CRM vendor Entellium.

With this addition to the events the future of Entellium is not looking good. It seems 50 million dollars of investor’s money was received based of fudged financial books. Stated in one release there was roughly a $400,000.00 per month misrepresentation of Entellium's books which caused investors to hand over much larger amounts of money then granted. As time passed these large amounts of money have seemed to run dry with some speculation that offshore accounts have received some dollars.

The question now is where will all of roughly 850 Entellium's costumers go? As I have previously commented on one site I believe the giants Netsuite and are not a good landing spot for these customers in flight as they tend to lean towards large corporations and not SMBs, which made up the majority of Entellium's customer base. Entellium's average client was stated to be nowhere near above 100 users which is only a drop in the hat to Netsuite and As I look around the CRM playing field I see that Avadian and have both showed interest in purchasing the customer base of Entellium but no other names have surfaced yet. This makes me wonder why no other company has jumped, as they say, make hay when the sun shines.

For SaaS CRM vendors the sun is certainly shining as x Entellium customers will be looking for new homes. From the two CRM vendors which have surfaced so far, I believe to be the best match for Entellium customers since both these companies focuses the majority of their time on Small and Medium Sized Businesses. Entellium has or was around for roughly 8 years now and has been around for 7 to 8 years and is showing a strong future. Where ever Entellium customers end up scurrying to they better ensure they can receive a swift and smooth transition with minimal impact on their own business processes.

Out of this entire ordeal I can't help myself by feel bad for the customers and employees of Entellium, a company who only a short period ago was hosting trade shows and marketing aggressively. These are the real people who will be affected from these events as they unfold and I hope both the current or x clients and staff of Entellium find a comfortable new home.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Is Entellium Going out of Business? 100 Laid Off

On October 4 2008 the Seattle Times released a story titled “Workers get ax at software maker Entellium, told money ran out”. This came as a shock to many of us around the CRM Software industry since Entellium was once stated to be a threat to As it turns out last Friday morning Entellium chopped 100 staff leaving only a few in their Seattle location. This mass let go came just after a sudden resignation from Chief Executive Paul Johnston and Senior Vice President Parrish Jones, who was once in charge of finances.

Stated in the Seattle Times an x employee of Entellium was told there was just no money. Entellium has received over $30 million in venture capital backing in the 9 years they have been in business but I guess this wasn’t enough. Currently board members and senior executives are in meetings to decide on the future of the CRM vendor. Outside of their walls there has been some interest in Entellium from other CRM Vendors in the market. Avidian has expressed an interest in some assets and also CRM vendor was showing some interest.

The fate of Entellium will become evident in the coming days as their clients become aware of the current situation. I can only imagine that if Entellium doesn’t act swift and strong there will be a lot of stranded CRM users looking for a new place to call home.

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