Method Integration Inc. has just updated its customer relationship management (CRM) software, now making it a better tool when businesses use it on mobile devices.
Based in Toronto, Method’s CRM is integrated with Intuit’s QuickBooks accounting software, which is typically targeted towards small businesses. That allows businesses using QuickBooks to sync their data with Method:CRM, meaning they can access their customer data, invoices, employee records, and vendor information from both the CRM and from QuickBooks.
What’s new about the latest version of Method:CRM is that it now uses a mobile architecture, given many businesses want to be able to access their CRM whenever they want, says Paul Jackson, Method’s CEO.
“I think in the past, when developers would design their applications, they would say, this is when a company would use a mobile device for this purpose, and this is when they’d use it for a desktop purpose,” Jackson says.
“And I think over time, the expectation of today’s small businesses is to be able to do everything anywhere. So they should be able to use their phone, their tablet, and their desktop, for pretty much any business function when they need it, wherever they are.”
The company also worked on improving some of its features, like its mobile calendar. While it used to rely on a third-party provider to give users its calendar app, it has now built its own – “a massive job,” he adds.
Method recently beat out about 40 other companies in a hackathon earlier this week at QuickBooks Connect, Intuit’s partner and developer conference in San Jose, Calif. As part of the challenge, developers had to build some kind of app, and what set Method apart was its ability to help developers quickly build an app with their platform requiring just one line of code.
Within 36 hours, they were able to create a functional payments app for non-profit organizations, while their competitors wrestled with writing all the code for their entries, Jackson says.
That’s also handy for Method’s customers, who are able to access the same platform when it comes to building apps for their own use. As the platform requires very little coding, instead providing a drag-and-drop interface, they’re able to do it themselves, without needing to contract developers.
For example, one of Method’s customers works to preserve outdoor spaces. It created an app for its employees, logging when they were scheduled to go out and do tasks like mosquito control. Their time logs were then sent back to Quickbooks’ accounting software, making it easier to keep track of paying their employees.
“The underlying problem we’re trying to solve is the same, where we have a customer base … They all need a made-for-me solution, which is a single application that runs most of the business, customized to their needs,” Jackson says. “The new version has a different architecture, but solves the same problem, and has a mobile-first approach to solving that problem.”
While Method:CRM has now gotten updates, it will still be some time before it will be made generally available. The software is currently in beta and the company will be seeking feedback from its customers, he says.
Pricing for the current version of Method:CRM is set between $25 to $40 per user per month, and once the new version of the software is available, it’ll probably be in the same range, he adds.