Microsoft Corp. and Onyx Software Corp. have announced a multiyear global sales, marketing and technology agreement
to deliver CRM software to large companies in specific vertical market segments. The companies first plan to target the financial services market, focusing on investment management and retail financial services, with Onyx's Investment Management Edition.
This edition consists of Onyx's 100% Internet-based platform and native extensible markup language (XML) integration services, running on Microsoft .Net Enterprise Servers. It includes investment management terminology, industry-specific workflows, best practice process maps, specific data fields and key metrics to assess marketing effectiveness and sales performance and revenue forecasting.
"The software is designed to handle all aspects of the customer management lifecycle, from marketing to sales force automation, as well as customer service," said Eben Frankenberg, senior vice president of Onyx. Forty-nine of Onyx's and Microsoft's joint customers in the investment management space contributed to its development, he said.
Onyx chose to partner with Microsoft because of its development investments in Microsoft's .Net Enterprise Server products and its sales and marketing experience, Frankenberg said.
The agreement "is a global initiative and partnership that covers sales, marketing and some development," Frankenberg said. It also includes strategy services from Onyx's recent acquisition, RevenueLab, which ensures that a company's marketing is aligned with its sales processes and methods and its services and products, he said.
The RevenueLab programs, DecisionLab and DesignLab, offer standalone consulting that assists companies in mapping their business processes, from marketing through customer engagement, into relationship enhancement, according to Onyx. The programs' objective is to translate these processes into the tools and information necessary for successfully implementing CRM software.
Microsoft and Onyx also plan to work with systems integrators, vertical service providers, outsourcers, strategy consultants and independent software vendors to provide more offerings for the targeted vertical markets. Frankenberg declined to mention other verticals the companies planned to target.
The companies chose to target the financial services market first for three reasons. "Both of us have vertically aligned a sales force there," Frankenberg said. "Financial services is one of the largest CRM markets and is growing rapidly, and we both have strong experience there." Microsoft and Onyx have approximately 80 mutual clients and have been in the process of developing a vertically specific version of Onyx's CRM software, according to Frankenberg.
"The biggest benefit [to Onyx customers] is they get a tailored version of CRM geared for their specific market segment, and strategy consulting tailored to CRM in their specific business, running on Microsoft platforms that we have agreed to support extensively," Frankenberg said. Currently, five to 10 joint customers are using a pre-release version of the software, he said.
The Onyx and Microsoft software and services are a "tremendous strategic advantage," said Brad Orben, national sales manager at Dreyfus Corp., a mutual fund company. The Onyx systems allow users at Dreyfus to see what its intermediary customers are buying and why, which assists growing their own assets, he said. By providing its customers with fast, responsive service, Dreyfus can also help its customers build their assets.
The Investment Management Edition is available immediately worldwide. Exact pricing information was unavailable, but is similar to other Onyx applications, with an incremental fee for the Investment Management Edition, according to Frankenberg.
FOR MORE INFORMATTION:
Onyx's Web site
Microsoft's Web site.