Tuesday, March 25, 2008

LongJump CRM Reviewed

LongJump is one of the newest web based CRM’s on the market today, unfortunately all the hype may not be worth much.

I reciently signed up for the 30 day trial to see what all this “custom application” and “relational database” stuff that they advertise is about. It is definintely not geared to inspire small businesses to use a CRM package. It is just much too difficult and involves too much understanding of the underpinnings to do even basic tasks.

First impressions:

The appearance of LongJump is actually pretty nice. It has a green a blue windows XP color theme going on that works quite well. The overall layout is really nothing new with the tabs across the top and some actions on the left. What was interesting and hard to get used to was to add a record of anytime you needed to click on the tab you wanted and then click “add record” from the left side of the screen. A bit odd but nothing to major.

Another thing that I noticed was the drop down menu at the very top of the page. This allows you to go between your “contact manager” and your “sales force automation” along with over 12 other modules that you can choose or ones that you have created yourself. This was somewhat neat but the more I got into it the harder it was for me to use because of this.

The homepage consisted of widgets that are “drag and droppable” which was nice, though the drag and drop was choppy on FireFox. They allow you to show a lot of content on each page but this requires a minimum screen resolution of 1280x1024 to use their product. If you have this, no worries.

Under the hood:

My biggest pet peeve when working with LongJump was that you have tabs from each area that are the same but not connected to the other areas. Ie. In the Sales Force Automation tab I have accounts and contacts but if I go to the “campaign manager” tab and try to set up a mailing list it seems that I have to import new contacts instead of being able to say “use these contacts that I have already entered. There may be a way to do this, but it sure isn’t intuitive.

The lack of intuitive actions was the bottom line to why I cannot recommend this product. Even something as simple as uploading your logo isn’t as easy as it should be. You have to click on “upload logo” then you go to a screen where you need to enter all your company information, go to another screen to upload the photo and then select that upload from the prior screen. It doesn’t even resize it to make it look decent.

Final Thoughts:

What LongJump has done is create an application that can create other applications. In theory this is fantasic, but in reality all it did was create a hard to use product that isn’t “great” at anything. If you use only the basic contact manager and ignore the other parts it may work for your company, but once you start messing around with the rest you will find it just isn’t designed as nice as it could be.

For the same price you can get an easier to use small business crm software.

1 comment:

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