GoldMine to go ASP route

By the middle of next year, GoldMine CRM software will also be available through a hosted model, company officials said.

FrontRange Solutions Inc. is readying a hosted version of its GoldMine small and midmarket CRM software that it plans to make available by the middle of next year, executives told SearchCRM.com.

The ASP edition of GoldMine will feature contact, opportunity and campaign management, as well as scheduling capabilities. It will also integrate with the popular Microsoft Outlook e-mail client. The Colorado Springs, Colo.-based firm expects to price an enterprise version at roughly $75 per user per month.

FrontRange will sell the hosted software the same way it markets client-server versions of GoldMine: through its vast reseller channel. It currently has more than 1,000 GoldMine partners.

A team of engineers that is currently redesigning the GoldMine architecture on a Microsoft .NET platform is also retooling the software for a hosted environment.

CEO Mike McCloskey, who took over in June, said that hosting is a chance to kick-start GoldMine's slumping revenue stream.

"The company ignored the market realities," McCloskey said. "It's getting squeezed from different directions." He estimates that, if 5% of GoldMine's 1 million users moved to the ASP model, FrontRange would have a $30 million hosted business.

"This could be a big business for us pretty quickly," he said.

Sheryl Kingstone, CRM program manager at Boston-based Yankee Group, said that the cost of the new offering will be key, and that she thinks FrontRange may want to scale down its estimated price point. She said that hosted CRM services from Siebel Systems Inc. and Salesforce.com are trying to attract larger companies, and that FrontRange's sweet spot will be with existing customers looking for a hosted option.

"It's very competitive in this market today," Kingstone said. "But if you ask me if there's some landscape for them to come in, I'd say 'yes.'"

FrontRange admits it's entering a crowded arena that recently got more competitive with the re-entry of Siebel -- through a partnership with IBM and its acquisition of UpShot Corp.

Siebel's hosted software, currently in beta, will cost $70 per user per month. FrontRange will also be competing against Salesforce.com, which has 8,000 customers.

FrontRange plans to offer its service management software, Heat, through the ASP model later in 2004. It will still sell two client-server CRM versions, GoldMine and GoldMine Corporate Edition. A new version, GoldMine 6.5, which primarily represents a usability update, is due out next month.

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