Deutsche Post launches cloud-based CRM service for small businesses

Deutsche Post has teamed up with Microsoft to allow small and medium-sized businesses in Germany to manage their customer relationships in a “cloud computing” platform connected to the mail. The German postal service unveiled its new “Dialogue Manager Online” service today at a trade fair in Hannover, offering an online Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system for SMEs.

For a EUR 49 monthly fee per user, businesses can manage their customer relationships in a secure online platform, where data is stored in the “cloud” so that the system can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection.

Data is managed securely under the protection of Germany’s Federal Privacy Act.

Deutsche Post said the system makes use of Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM software technology, but means businesses do not have to invest in complex software for installation on each computer accessing the system.

With the postal service involved, it also means that the facility links in with postal applications like address verification and correction tools, and allows SMEs to create and manage direct marketing campaigns through the system.

Ingo Bohiken, chief marketing officer at Deutsche Post’s Mail division, said: “With the online dialogue manager, we are helping our customers to enter the modern era of customer relationship management.”

Customers are being offered a 30-day free trial to test out the service.

Jochen Wiessler, director of Microsoft Business Solutions at Microsoft German, said: “Not all companies have the resources to implement a large software environment, so a hosted solution is a sensible alternative.”

ZielgruppenScout

Also at the CeBIT show in Hannover, Deutsche Post launched the second generation of its ZielgruppenScout (Target Group Scout) direct marketing software, which helps businesses create direct mail campaigns.

The system identifies target areas for direct mail campaigns based on data like household age and income, subject to the rules of the Federal Privacy Act.

Deutsche Post said ZielgruppenScout 2.0 has been expanded with additional features and analytics capabilities to help plan and implement direct marketing campaigns.

“The impact of mailing campaigns will increase significantly, to achieve more success from an optimal use of an advertising budget,” explained Bohiken.

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