Running your CRM system with different services on multiple browser tabs might not exactly be the most efficient way to communicate and connect online. Nimble Contact (news, site) has announced the public beta of its social CRM platform that integrates social engagement in a web-based solution.

Nimble Contact's system involves gathering your social presence and platforms into one interface. These include Gmail, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and any additional email service that uses IMAP. Nimble is currently accepting applications to its public beta.

Nimble CEO John Ferrara notes that Nimble Contact was a product of the company's own need, as contacts and communications are in several disconnected places. "Between IM, text messaging, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and email, we can't keep track of it all. Trying to manage all of this in eight different tabs on your browser isn't the solution. We created Nimble to solve our own needs, and we're bringing it to the world to help small businesses solve theirs."

Consolidating Points of Contact, Communication

I got an approved key for the public beta after a few days' wait, signed in and added my Gmail, Twitter, and Facebook accounts. Importing contacts will take some time, as Nimble processes them in the back end before being included in the list. Messages are refreshed promptly, though, and you can manage your Facebook and Twitter streams from Nimble, including posting messages, tweets and status updates. Direct messages and public streams are in separate areas, for better organization.

Nimble CRM Social Media

Learning Opportunities

Nimble Contact also handles calendars via the Activities tab. You can identify a Google Calendar account, which you can manage from within Nimble Contact. This includes creation of new meetings and events, as well as tasks. Nimble doesn't synchronize with other ToDo list providers like Gmail Tasks, though.

Linkages Still Need Work

Nimble CRM Contact

Nimble Contact will show you abrief summary of each contact, including recent messages, social streams and events. However, the service needs some improvement in handling contacts, in terms of consolidating duplicates. While you can merge duplicates, I find it easier when the system handles merging based on contact information (like email). I like, in particular, how contacts are unified in Android, whether these are from the internal phonebook, or various Gmail and Google accounts.

In conclusion, Nimble Contact is a simple service to use. Being web-based, it's easy to set up and use on just about any platform. Nimble Contact is free to use, and being designed to scale with business growth, we suppose this means the company plans to charge on a tiered basis in the future.