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Avidian Technologies' Prophet Professional 3.0


• Easy to use
• Impressive integration with Outlook
• Peer-to-peer data sharing


• Limited importing capabilities
• Separate but dependent steps for sharing opportunity data over e-mail

Prophet Professional 3.0, $299.95. Avidian Technologies, (800) 860-5534.

Small and midsize businesses face a challenge when choosing a CRM (customer relationship management) tool. They'd like their sales staff to share data but rarely have the resources in personnel, hardware or finances to host a high-end, server-based CRM suite. On-demand CRM products may be suitable, but companies must decide whether to trust critical customer data to third parties, and consider the stability of the hosted providers.

Avidian Technologies provides another option: Prophet 3.0, a Windows PC plug-in for Microsoft Outlook 2000, 2003 and XP. The software is available in three Windows client configurations--Standard, Professional and Enterprise--all targeted at smaller organizations.

The Professional version, which I tested, includes peer-to-peer sharing of opportunity data, providing a welcome compromise between maintaining dedicated in-house servers and using an on-demand CRM suite. It also has a sales assistant feature and filtering options for opportunity data and reports.

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