Frontrange Solutions – Goldmine Business Contact Manager 6 review

powerful contact management tool for businesses
Photo of Frontrange Solutions – Goldmine Business Contact Manager 6
$199.95 (approx. £125) online purchase

For the average business user, keeping in touch with contacts, organising meetings, sharing information and generally maintaining details of work-related activities is fundamental to the smooth and successful running of your company. Frontline Solutions has just released the latest version of its Goldmine business contact manager (previous version reviewed here). This is a mature product aimed at the SME user who needs to integrate sales contacts, enquiries and forecasting within a team-based environment.

Though capable of stand-alone operation, Goldmine comes into its own when used in collaboration with other users across a network, or with shared workstations or remote users who update system data when docked. The basic single user license is available on line for $199.95 and the software can be downloaded for tryout. However, if you decide to use it in anger it would be worth contacting Frontline’s UK office to negotiate a multi-user license.

Installation is straightforward and falls into three categories: a shared server installation, a shared workstation installation and a single user setup. Once the software is installed you’ll need to update Goldmine with your specific licence information. The complexity of Goldmine has made setting up previous versions quite daunting; however in this release Frontline has introduced a “Quick Start” wizard that makes it a lot simpler for the first-time user, and a set of industry standard templates is provided for many typical business types.

Once a database is up and running, you can interrogate the data to see all your company or group members’ interactions with a specific customer and the status of any pending sales and potential revenue streams. ‘Sales & Quota Analyses’ enables you to view forecasted sales, closed sales and comparisons between sales and quota, while ‘Leads Analysis’ tracks responses to show which campaigns were effective. Goldmine can capture details of visitors to your Web site and even automate follow-ups. Automation is a major feature within Goldmine and along with centralised information collection it can be used to send intelligently updated information to suit individual customer’s criteria. The software can even automate your data backup.

Integration with Outlook gives full mail support and if you are using MYOB (Mind Your Own Business) accounting, a free plug-in enables information exchange of accounts data between both products, saving hours entering duplicate data. Other features new to Goldmine are several Wizards designed to improve sales forecasting and project management and a new XML Import/Export feature which improves integration with other XML-based applications. Media files can now be included with your contact records and you can even personalise your Goldmine desktop to suit your particular needs.

Company: Frontrange Solutions

Contact: 0118 938 7300


Verdict
Goldmine version 6 is a complex, non-trivial, business contact management tool at a realistic price. This latest version of Goldmine has been made easier for the first-time user by the introduction of better 'Wizards'. Improved integration with XML and Internet-based data gathering will make it an invaluable tool for companies that make extensive use of IT.