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CRM software gets personal

Software companies specializing in so-called customer relationship management are adding new features to their products to let people more easily customize applications.

Software companies specializing in so-called customer relationship management are adding new features to their products to let people more easily customize applications to their preferences.

On Wednesday Onyx Software introduced a new version of its applications designed for sales and marketing people as well as for customer service employees. The company touts Onyx Employee Portal version 4.5 as easier to navigate and customize than earlier versions. For instance, each salesperson licensed to use the software can create a list of their top 10 accounts on the "homepage" of the application.

Onyx, based in Bellevue, Wash., supplies customer relationship management (CRM) software to more than 800 companies. The CRM vendor pitches its products as a tool for helping companies increase sales and customer loyalty while decreasing costs.

The updated product, currently being shipped, starts at $1,350 per person for up to 50 users. The company also plans to ship a new version of its applications for handheld and laptop computers for traveling workers by June.

CRM rival Upshot also introduced this week a new feature for its hosted set of sales productivity applications. The feature, called MultiProcess Management, lets different users customize the software's interface and workflow rules.

The new feature is available with the XE version of the software, which costs $96 per user a month.

Privately held Upshot is based in Mountain View, Calif., and supplies software to thousands of companies.