XPert-Ease B.V. is an Independent Software Vendor (ISV) for the Notes/Domino platform. XPert-Ease delivers a range of relationship management solutions for medium-sized companies. The company is focused on developing Office Management and CRM solutions. The customer base in the Netherlands includes McDonalds, Reebok, MeesPierson (Fortis Bank), Omron and Avery Dennison to name a few.
Lotus Notes continues to represent an excellent platform for creating applications that facilitate and support the every day work of dynamic teams. However, it has often been a challenge to produce attractively formatted printed output from Notes applications. This has frequently been a limiting factor within applications that routinely require printed communications, such as formal correspondence with customers.
This was the challenge facing XPert-Ease B.V. when developing their latest CRM and Office Management application: c.Office.
Perhaps to a greater degree than in North America, in Europe, a significant percentage of communication between companies and their customers still takes place in the form of written correspondence. “That made it critical for us to offer full integration with Microsoft Word within our c.Office application so as to provide our users with the best of both worlds: a powerful Notes based CRM solution coupled with ultimate flexibility in terms of printed output” says Kenneth Fonderson, CEO of XPert-Ease B.V. He continues: “because of our own development priorities, we had been looking for a solution that integrated MS Word into our Lotus Notes application in a simple, but effective manner and, after evaluating several alternatives, we came to the conclusion that SWING Integrator was the only one which satisfied both those requirements”.
SWING Integrator was seamlessly integrated into c.Office so as to provide:
- Mail merge
- Complex document (such as contracts and proposals)
- Sales opportunity
- Document creating and printing
Furthermore, due to SWING Integrator’s flexibility, it was a simple matter of incorporating the “look and feel” of the other c.Office design elements, which resulted in an attractive easy to use end user interface. “We could also offer our users tremendous flexibility in terms of the kinds of documents they could create for themselves, ranging from simple correspondence to multi page proposals or contracts” Fonderson says.
For the end user: The greatest benefits are: simplicity and timesaving. Creating correspondence based on contact or other data held in a Notes database could not be simpler. Furthermore, it is no longer necessary to have a complex structure of directories and sub-directories at the file system level, nor to remember cryptic and often hard to understand naming conventions: the correspondence is automatically saved where it belongs: in Notes, related to the relevant contact record(s) and accessible to both connected and remote users via replication.
For managers: Gone are the days of presenting an inconsistent “face” to the outside world: document templates are created and managed centrally which means that, at all times, every user within the organization is communicating with the outside world using the same “house style”, thereby projecting a professional and consistent image.
For developers: Incorporating the SWING Integrator into their applications is quick and easy. It is also possible to customize the forms used so that they blend in seamlessly with the rest of their applications. Fonderson states again: “…the primary benefit for us using SWING Integrator has been tremendous savings in development time, thereby allowing us to focus on the core (business) functionality of our product. Also, we very much like the licensing policy which is simple to understand and represents excellent value for money”.