CRM With Google Flair?

Applications software vendor Etelos showed it has a little bit of Google in it with the beta availability of CRM for Google.

The software, which takes the look of the search giant’s standard search interface homepage, is available in a hosted or on-premises server version. Etelos founder and CEO Danny Kolke said his company
built on one of its existing CRM applications and took advantage of Google’s open APIs  to create something new.

“We’ve always been the little guy integrating with other apps.
Enterprises choose us because our applications are commonly open source and
developers can tweak them,” Kolke told internetnews.com. “With
CRM for Google, we’re letting users start from a place that’s very familiar to
most of them.”

Available in Personal, Professional and Enterprise editions, CRM for Google includes contact, content and task-management features,
appointment settings and customizable modules.

For now the product offers “limited integration” with Google Calendar and
Google Spreadsheets. Further integration with those apps, as well as Gmail
and Google Docs, is planned. Kolke said Etelos supports .Net, PHP and Java
for enterprises looking to integrate CRM for Google with other systems.

The Personal edition is free and ad supported, and the Professional
($25/month/user) and Enterprise editions ($50/month/user) are required to
share activities and tasks with other users.

“It’s very impressive how fast they were able to do this, even building off
an existing application,” Jeff Kaplan, managing director of Thinkstrategies, told internetnews.com. “It’s another reason for the folks in the Seattle area [i.e. Microsoft] to be a little scared.”

Last week Google unveiled
Google Apps Premier Edition, a suite of hosted applications targeted at the
same enterprise market traditionally dominated by Microsoft Office.

Google
Apps Premier Edition, which will cost businesses $50 per user account per
year, includes Google Calendar, as well as the company’s Gmail e-mail
application and its Google Talk instant messaging client. It also includes
Google Docs and Spreadsheets, word processing and spreadsheet applications
geared for collaboration between users.

Kolke said he was encouraged by mid-level folks at Google to develop CRM for Google, though his company has no formal ties with Google.
Analyst Kaplan notes that there isn’t any reason Google couldn’t develop
something similar.

It also isn’t clear whether the search engine giant will
approve the use of its trademarked name for the product. Google couldn’t be
reached at press time for comment.

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