APPLE ANNOUNCES DEVELOPMENT OF A THIRD-PARTY SALES
AUTOMATION TOOLS FOR MACINTOSH COMPUTERS
System Integrators and Software Developers Provide
CUPERTINO, Calif., Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The Apple USA division of Apple Computer Inc. today announced the development and support of a variety of third-party field sales automation software tools for Apple Macintosh personal computers. The products are designed for Apple's new Macintosh PowerBook notebook-sized computers and are aimed at increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of sales and marketing professionals. The products range from integrated systems allowing large corporate sales forces to access mainframe systems to single user applications allowing individuals to track accounts and better manage their time.
"Sales automation just got easier," said Keith Fox, vice president of business marketing for Apple USA. "The PowerBook computer's all- in-one ergonomic design and easy-to-use operating system, combined with powerful sales automation solutions, creates an ideal platform for organizations looking to increase sales productivity and competitiveness."
Major system integrators, including EDS (Electronic Data Systems) and Andersen Consulting, now offer Macintosh-based systems to meet the complex needs of large field sales organizations. GE Information Services and Digital Equipment Corporation are also providing integrated sales management solutions for the Macintosh. In addition, several shrink-wrapped contact management applications for individuals and groups have been announced: ACT! from Contact Software International and LEADS! from Endpoint! Marketing Information Systems.
Empowering salespeople with information and more powerful computing tools to better serve customers is a major strategy and trend across all industries. "Today, information about products is as important as the products themselves," says Eli Lipcon, vice president of sales and distribution systems marketing for Digital. "Salespeople who can deliver the right information to the right customers at the right time will win."
These sales automation solutions simplify time consuming tasks such as scheduling sales calls, tracking accounts, generating quotes, and creating proposals and presentations. They can also improve the sales call by providing salespeople with current information from their company's host computer. "Salespeople can now spend less time in the office and more time where it counts -- in front of their customers," Apple's Fox said. Integrated Systems
The Macintosh platform is a perfect fit for sales support applications. System integrators' can design powerful solutions while providing an easy-to-use system for their customer's sales force. The user-friendly characteristics of the Macintosh operating system minimizes the time it takes users to learn the system, dramatically cutting training costs and providing salespeople with more time to spend with customers.
"Sales people with little or no computer background can get up to speed quickly using a graphical-user interface," said Tom Drewry, an account manager for EDS in Dallas, Texas. "This helps us to provide our clients with all the training elements, including user and system documentation."
The new sales automation systems also take advantage of the graphics power of the Macintosh. With Macintosh applications, salespeople can create presentations and graphs quickly and easily, even when away from the office.
GE Information Services (GEIS) of Rockville, Md. and Digital of Maynard, Mass. both are developing Macintosh versions of their sales management solutions which easily connect the Macintosh to multi-vendor environments. GEIS integrates its Sales and Marketing Communications System (SMCS) with its BusinessTalk System, a sophisticated network-based application that gives users access to a key word search textual database, bulletin boards and electronic mail. Digital provides its Integrated Sales Information System with Macintosh to VAX connectivity through PATHWORKS, a family of products enabling Macintosh and other PC users to share resources and information in local-area or globally networked environments. Early adopters
Connaught Laboratories, a vaccine and biological manufacturer based in Swiftwater, Penn., recently finished automating its nationwide sales network using Macintosh PowerBook computers and integrated software from EDS. "Our sales representatives need to have up-to-date product information and resources to make accurate sales presentations. The Macintosh sales automation solution gives them that," said Carol Bryan, Connaught's project manager for sales force automation.
Storage Technology Corp. of Louisville, Colo., a Fortune 500 maker of data storage subsystems for mainframe computers, is currently automating its North American sales and sales support organizations with the assistance of Andersen Consulting. "A customized sales automation solution allows our salespeople to do their job quicker so they can spend more time with customers," said Storage Technology vice president of North American Field Operations John Williams. "The PowerBook simply provides applications that make the time with the customer more effective and professional." Shrink-wrap Packages
Both contact management and lead tracking software have also been announced for Macintosh from, among others, Contact Software International Inc. of Carrollton, Texas and Endpoint! Marketing Information Systems of Sunnyvale, California.
Contact Software is packaging a Macintosh version of ACT!, its best-selling contact management software. ACT! for Macintosh ($395 suggested retail price) integrates a powerful contact database and editable WYSIWYG calendar manager, custom report generator and full- featured word processor. It also provides inter-application communication with GeoQuery Corp.'s desktop mapping package, allowing contact information to be viewed geographically.
Endpoint's LEADS! ($595-$1,795 suggested retail price) allows salespeople in the field to send and receive updated lead information to and from their central office. Available in three versions, the software provides contact and account management features that allow salespeople to schedule follow-ups, send mail-merge letters and keep detailed records of interactions with important leads. In addition, several built-in management reports support detailed analysis of sales and marketing results. Availability
EDS, Andersen Consulting, GEIS and Digital customers can learn more about Macintosh sales automation solutions by contacting their respective representatives. LEADS! is available now directly from Endpoint!. Contact Software's ACT! for Macintosh will be available at major computer retail outlets in the first quarter, 1992. Customers may contact Apple at 800-776-2333 to obtain the name of their local authorized Apple reseller.
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NOTE: Apple, the Apple logo and Macintosh are registered trademarks; PowerBook is a trademark of Apple Computer, Inc. BusinessTalk System is a trademark of GE Information Services. VAX and PATHWORKS are trademarks of Digital Equipment Corporation.
/CONTACT: Betty Taylor of Apple Computer Inc., 408-974-3983; or Miriam Hyman of Regis McKenna Inc., 408-354-4409, for Apple Computer/ CO: Apple Computer ST: California IN: CPR SU: PDT RM -- SJ002 -- 1216 11/18/91 08:16 EST