San Francisco--The Phoenix Companies Inc., a Hartford, Conn.-based provider of life insurance, annuity and asset management products, is using San Francisco-based Inc.'s AppExchange platform to customize, create, deploy and manage a number of business critical applications.Phoenix recently sought to replace the software that managed its relationships with independent agents who sell life insurance policies. The company evaluated several leading customer relationship management (CRM) products, including vertical financial services solutions, and decided that's automation offered the flexibility, user-friendliness, connectivity and customization ability to meet its business needs. With AppExchange platform, Phoenix was able to build and deploy custom applications to support its life insurance division's sales, marketing, finance and human resources organizations.

Using the AppExchange platform, Phoenix created and deployed three on-demand applications, including:

* Recruitment: Supports tracking and management of positions, candidates and interview with custom tabs including positions, prospects, dashboards and reports. The application helped one recruiter at Phoenix manage the hiring of 30 new employees in one year.

* Events: Internal application used for planning multiple annual conferences and meetings that require up to six months each to organize. Custom tabs include contacts to manage invitations and meetings, which details locations and helps track and manage tasks.

* Governance: Internal program management application used to track and ensure adherence to initiative management and IT governance processes.

The AppExchange platform unites all of Phoenix's on-demand applications with a single data model, single security model and a single user interface. With AppExchange, Phoenix's employees can customize, build, run and share on-demand CRM applications.

"The Salesforce on-demand architecture aligns with Phoenix's outsourcing and service-oriented architecture strategies," says John Caine, director of life insurance technology strategy at Phoenix. "The AppExchange platform allowed us to customize our salesforce applications to meet our specific needs in a way that was not possible with our previous CRM software."

"Implementation of Salesforce took less than two months, and we were able to integrate data from several legacy systems using the AppExchange API," adds Caine. "Communications between field and inside sales has improved because all activities are captured within our custom applications, reducing inefficient phone and e-mail status updates and action items."

Source: Inc.

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