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Software Review

GoldMine 4.0

GoldMine is unique as a contact manager, because of its is design for information sharing within workgroups. It also serves the information management needs of stand alone and mobile users. Such versatility makes GoldMine a highly desirable sales-opportunity-management tool. This team approach to scheduling meetings and monitoring performance within sales groups allows users to share tasks, schedule meetings and monitor performance with other sales group members.

As with all contact managers (PIM's), GoldMine keeps track of information on customers (names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, E-mail addresses, etc.). It also includes features for mail merging, managing appointments, messages, company documents, and prioritized to do lists. Within individual contact records, it is possible to build organization trees and attach references to documents in other software programs. There are industry specific templates for such fields as real estate and insurance. The type and amount of information that can be added to each record is practically limitless. By viewing the schedules of multiple users, free time can be located to set up appointments, schedule phone calls and perform various tasks. Data synchronization between users is also possible over a network or from the field by modem. Database changes are transferred using data field level synchronization so as to avoid sending full updates to remote users.

GoldMine is distributed on a CD which installs easily with Windows 95 auto detect activated. Contact records from a previous GoldMine version are found and converted quickly to the latest version. As in previous versions, basic identity information for each contact is displayed in the upper half of the screen. Beneath each contact are assorted tabs that display additional information such as appointments, notes and referrals. The screen is well organized and easy to use.

The basic contact record serves as the building block from which all other information is generated. Scheduled activities for a future date become part of GoldMine's calendar file, much like a traditional appointment calendar. Once activities, such as appointments are kept, they are removed from the calendar file and stored as completed activity records in the history file. These completed activity files resemble a chronological log. Each activity, whether pending or completed is directly linked to an individual GoldMine user and a specific contact record.

A new feature in Version 4.0 is called Opportunity Manager, which allows users to track the process of selling a product from the initial contact to the conclusion of the sale. Contacts (called Influencers) involved in a sale are linked along with the expected amount of sales to each target. Additional fields indicate what advertising or promotion program attracted a prospect's interest. Report tools allow for analyzing booked and closed sales, including the activities leading to each step of the sale. There is also a Territory Realignment Wizard that allows sales managers to monitor the client load of each sales person and adjust territories accordingly.

Visitors to a company's web site who fill our forms can be turned into contacts automatically with the latest networked version. A new E-mail Center with a strong resemblance to Microsoft Outlook, makes a good in-box for GoldMine. It allows for easy Intranet and Internet e-mail send and retrieve capabilities, that are tracked as part of the contact record.

The basic contact management portion of GoldMine is straight forward and easy to use. The feature rich enhancements come with a learning curve. These numerous value-added features though are what puts GoldMine a step ahead of its competitors.

Support:

The software is packaged with a User's Guide and a Reference Manual, but no tutorial. Four sources for free support include GoldMine's Web Site, the GoldMine forum on CompuServe, BBS and FactsBack Document Service. Free phone calls to GoldMine for technical support are limited in number in accordance with the user package purchased. The single user version for example includes three free technical incidents. Subsequent pay-per-incident support runs from $35 to $95 per incident, depending upon complexity. Numerous training tools and classes are available for users through third parties authorized by GoldMine Software.

System Requirements:

25 MB hard drive space, Windows 95 or Windows NT 4.0 or later.

Price depends on the number of users and the database engine used to store the records. A dBase version for five users costs $849, whereas a five-version user for Microsoft's SQL 6.5 is priced at $2,295. Street price for the stand alone version is $170.

GoldMine Software Corp. 17383 Sunset Blvd., Suite 301 Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

800 654-3526 310 454-6800 Fax: 310 454-4848 BBS: 310 459-3443 CompuServe: GO GOLDMINE

FAXBACK Document Service: 310 459-1222 (www.goldminesw.com)