I’ve been searching for my original offer letter to confirm the date, however I seem to recall mid August of 1997 as the beginning of my journey with the SalesLogix product and Customer Relationship Management – or its predecessor Sales Force Automation as it was known in the day.
As I sat through training on the literally just released SalesLogix v2.0 product I could immediately see the potential and flexibility of the application and how it could be extended to support the specific needs of various business practices. The version 1.0 product had a very limited release prior to the v2.0 product – enough so that I’ve always considered the 2.0 product the “first” version, maybe that is just me wanting to be as close to the start as possible.
The Partner Channel was growing rapidly, advertising for the SalesLogix product could be found in almost all airline in-flight magazines, and SFA (soon to be called CRM) was one of the fastest growing software segments.
The tradition was started whereby Pat Sullivan’s smiling face was on the front of the product installation CD cover and a reverse shot of the rear of his head was on the back cover; a technique that is used to this day by one of my favorite SCUBA diving magazines – Dive Training Magazine on their cover and inside page. Every time I read the magazine and see that cover, I think of Pat Sullivan and my early years at SalesLogix, and it makes me smile.
I helped establish the Professional Services Group; together with a few others we managed to grow that department into a sizable group of consultants traveling the country so frequently that it was rare to have more than half the team in the Scottsdale offices at the same time. I’ve had year-long stints on the SalesLogix development team and on the Act! Development team. I’ve been an independent SalesLogix consultant and I’ve been a Sage SalesLogix business partner. These past three years I’ve found myself back on the Sage SalesLogix PSG team and in the Scottsdale offices – when I first returned three years ago my desk was just a few feet from my first desk location in 1997… talk about Déjà Vu.
The SalesLogix product has always continued to grow and evolve together with the customers changing and ever increasingly sophisticated needs. The fundamental assumption that the system would need to be modified to closely fit the needs of each customer rather than a one-size-fits all solution has always been at the core of the SalesLogix product and philosophy. In fact, it is that ability to extend and customize that has kept me so captivated with the product for all these years.
With a nod to the Greatful Dead… What a long strange trip it’s been (for me), I can’t wait to see what the future holds.