The makers of the much loved Web 2.0 Project Management Tool, Basecamp, have announced a new CRM-like application service, dubbed Highrise. Their latest application is targeted at their loyal customer base of small/medium enterprises (SME's). The hosted app will likely have tie-ins to 37singnals' other services and be based on the white hot Ruby on Rails framework that they developed.Announced on their Signal vs. Noise blog, High Rise takes the view that CRM needs to be made simpler for small business. As per the usual with 37Signals, the application will be much, much different than traditional apps in its category. Competitors such as Salesforce.com, Seibel, and SugarCRM employ a plethora of Web 2.0-enabled goodness, including iCalander and tagging support, but 37signals' implementation is expected to set the bar at least a few notches higher and take things in new directions.
Jason Fried, head of 37signals states, "Highrise won’t have pipeline reports or any numbers. It’s not a CRM tool in the traditional sense. It’s a lot closer to an address book than something like Salesforce.com."
Fried continues, "Just as Basecamp doesn’t have traditional project management staples such as Gantt charts, Highrise doesn’t have traditional CRM tools like sales pipeline reports or charts. Highrise is about people, communications, conversations, and tasks. It’s not about numbers."
Specific information about the new app is thin on the ground, but a number of example use cases have been posted and includes the following:
* See all follow-ups scheduled for this week
* Review xxx's notes before calling her contact at the printer
* Set a reminder to write xxxx a thank-you note next Friday
* Review all conversations I’ve had with xxxx from xxxx
* Organize interview responses for potential candidates online
* See a list of all the designers your company has hired in the past
* Enter notes from a call with a potential client
* See all the people your company knows at The New York Times
* Schedule a follow-up sales call with xxxx in 3 months
* Review all the people tagged “Leads 2006”
It will be interesting to see how other startups who use the Rails framework to build hosted CRM apps -- such as FunClient -- handle the new competition.
Stay tuned here as we track the Enterprise 2.0 trends set by the 37signals crew and dig deeper to for related CMSWire coverage of 37Signals and Amazon and Basecamp.