Plundering the Frontrange GoldMine

Plundering the Frontrange GoldMine

Tim Corke

Tim Corke is the resident application reviewer for Mobile Business Magazine. Tim is marketing director and co-founder of Tracktech, a B2B communications company and software development specialist. He is currently focused on Tracktech’s award-winning, Mastercardcertified BlackBerry software, eMERIT, which allows credit card processing on a single device. Tracktech is Tim’s third start up company.

If you have any comments or suggestions for Tim, please email him through the editor:

When you begin to look at applications across the board, you realise that there are limitations on how many different functions can actually be carried out within the confines of the currently available technology, while still remaining of genuine benefit to a mobile worker. The sign of a really good application and the way it differentiates itself from its competitors is the variations it applies to those functions and how these are presented to the user.

Mobilising opportunities

As is often the case with software development companies, a highly successful product can very quickly overtake the name of the company and become a brand in itself. This is the case for long established development company FrontRange Solutions, who are responsible for the incredibly well knownGoldMine customer relationship management (CRM) software.

GoldMine, in its initial form, was first released as early as 1990 and has grown exponentially since then to a current user base of over 1.7 million licenses sold worldwide. In fact, it is claimed that 76% of the FTSE 100 and 50% of the Fortune 500 are GoldMine users across 40 different countries.

Vastly overused terms in any business all relate to the ‘attention to detail’ or ‘pride’ that is taken in the way ones customers are treated. Whether this is in fact true across the board will remain to be seen, but the undisputable fact is that placing a high value on customer relationships is absolutely invaluable and will make for a stronger and longer lasting professional relationship.

With this in mind, businesses across the globe are embracing the need to have invaluable information about their customers available whilst out on the road, as well as whilst sitting behind a desk and looking at a computer screen.

A mobile division of GoldMine has been in existence for several years, but it

has only been re-released in its current form within the last 12 months. The version viewed for this review showed that data is now stored on the device itself, securely of course, rather than relying on calling data from a central source ‘on demand’. Of course, this data is kept regularly updated, but as an ever growing percentage of business users rely on the use of their mobile device in areas of limited or no network coverage, such as planes, trains, tubes etc, this method of data visibility becomes increasingly practical.


Moving forward

At present, GoldMine Mobile Edition is available on the Premium or Corporate editions of their desktop software and exclusively on the ever popular and powerful BlackBerry platform. The full possibilities of a GoldMine Mobile launch are slightly restricted by the limited range of BlackBerry devices which support the application, but FrontRange is currently working directly towards full device range compatibility and details of this will be launched by it in the future. GoldMine Mobile is only available in a BlackBerry Enterprise Solution environment and there are no current plans to change this setup.

In terms of a sales model, FrontRange strongly sticks to its guns when it says that there is no such thing as a specific vertical market for their GoldMine Mobile product. Being a strong advocate of data on the move myself, I would have to say that I am inclined to agree with this as pretty much every business can benefit from fully understanding their customer whilst away from their desk.

Existing GoldMine Mobile customers range from the medical profession to manufacturing, but FrontRange intends to target its entire existing GoldMine customer base in their upcoming promotional campaigns. As a guide, the starting point for a GoldMine deployment is approximately five users within a customer, but the solution is fully scalable and there appears to be little or no limit on the top end of the capabilities.


Google GoldMine

Currently, all GoldMine sales, mobile and otherwise, are pushed through a reseller channel and direct sales activities have not been in place for some years. Current resellers are wide ranging (as a quick ‘GoldMine reseller’ search on Google will tell you), but there do not currently appear to be a great deal focused around the ability to sell the mobile version of the application.

On discussion with FrontRange itself, it informed me that some resellers have gone down the route of becoming BlackBerry certified partners themselves, but the vast majority will just go through an existing BlackBerry partner if they require support, obviously exposing an opportunity for RIM partners out there to explore their own relationships with GoldMine resellers. However, FrontRange has already identified and selected two specific BlackBerry partners with whom it will be officially working with directly and offering forward as the first point of contact for GoldMine Mobile resellers. This will form part of its upcoming marketing campaigns, which will continue as 2009 progresses.

In summary, not only does GoldMine Mobile Edition offer an extremely powerful tool allowing mobile users to access their essential customer information, but we are also now seeing a particularly well established CRM player actively bringing a strong product in to the mobile CRM space.

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