Take It to the Max – Software Review – Evaluation
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Maximizer 6.0 Personal Edition
* Requirements: Win 95/98/NT 4.0/2000, 24MB RAM, 50MB hard disk space (100MB recommended), Microsoft or Netscape 4.0 or higher browser * List Price: $199 * Manufacturer: Multiactive Software Inc., 800-804-6299, www.maximizer.com
WHILE SOME HOME OFFICE workers are wondering whether they need a simple personal information manager (PIM) or full-fledged contact manager, Maximizer 6.0 has leapfrogged both. Pitting itself against customer relationship management (CRM) titans like Interact’s Act 2000 and FrontRange’s GoldMine, Multiactive Software’s package enables your small business to integrate CRM and e-commerce. This latest edition was designed with single users in mind (though a network version is in the pipeline), and we found its interface to be concise and easy to navigate. What grabbed us, however, was Maximizer 6.0’s e-commerce clout.
Right out of the box, you can use the integrated e-commerce engine (assuming you have an ISP) to help take your business to the Internet. Maximizer has been enhanced with a Web storefront solution, called ecBuilder, which makes it easy to set up a site that writes all sales and contact information directly into the Maximizer database that you create.
Maximizer holds your hand through the steps to create a professional-looking Web storefront, offering 40 different templates plus an order management component that lets you track every sale. It supports credit card orders with SSL data encryption and catalogs with over 25 items. An automatic search-engine registration will bring business your way even faster. You will, however, need an e-mail client that supports MIME and must open a merchant account with one of several suggested institutions to handle real-time credit transaction processing.
Even if you’re not yet into e-commerce, Maximizer 6.0 is a top-notch, customizable contact manager, offering everything from Microsoft Outlook integration to e-mail and postal-mail merge automation, as well as a special module for tracking sales opportunities. It’s a potent PIM that deserves a second look.
[pros] Create and manage your Web site via a contact manager
[cons] Do you really need all that firepower?
HOME OFFICE COMPUTING rates products on a scale of 1 to 10–with few 9’s or 10’s–based on value, performance, innovation (medals go to rare standouts in these areas), ease of use, and suitability for home offices. The [pros] and [cons] symbols indicate pros and cons.
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