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In my July 3rd post, I’ve Signed Up On JibberJobber… Now What, I end with this gem:
Wondering why you would use JibberJobber instead of ACT! or Outlook Contacts? Stay tuned, this week Iâ€™ll blog on that.
I guess that week never came Seriously, sometimes I have so much I want to share but I’m trying to respect you as a reader and not blog more than once a day, and not write long posts! It’s hard!
Here are some of my IT Manager thoughts, comparing JibberJobber with other options. This is not a trashing post, rather, these are points that I would bring to a board room if we were evaluating various software systems. Let me set the stage: let’s say that I am consulting with my dad, who would be a professional in transition (or not – perhaps he just values relationship management), is savvy on the computer, and has limited time.
Let’s start with ACT!
ACT! is a very popular Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program used by a ton of people to manage sales leads, prospects, customers, etc. It is a sales tool, for sales people. In my recent networking with career professionals, I have found ACT! to be the most-recommended relationship management tool for executives in transition (there wasn’t anything else to recommend). Basically you spend $200 or $300, install it on your computer, and you are good to go!
- Buy it once and you get it forever.
- Pretty private data, since this isn’t going on the Internet (so to make it 99% hackproof, just never plug your computer into the Internet).
- You have complete control over upgrades (if there’s a new feature you don’t like, don’t upload it!).
- You have complete control over backups.
- It should do a good job with managing relationships, setting action items, etc. That is what it was designed for.
- There are a lots of bells-and-whistles.
- You only get what you buy – if they have super-cool updates, you would have to pay for those.
- If you use more than one computer, or every want to access your contacts and database from somewhere else (your office, the library, etc.) you can’t, since your ACT! database is only on one computer.
- You have to install the software. No big deal for most. You have to manage the upgrades, which is usually no big deal, but what if there are bugs?
- You have to do the backups, which isn’t hard, but it’s a pain, and really, who does backups on their computer (I do, I use Mozy.com)? If you don’t do a backup and anything happens to your computer (it happens, right?? How many computers (or hard drives) have you had in the last 3 years?) you may just lose your entire network and related information.
- While it’s clearly a relationship manager, it was never designed to help you manage your career relationships. So a lot of the features and reports may not make sense to you, or be completely intuitive… because it was designed for a sales environment, not for what your needs are.
- For many, the bells-and-whistles may just be noise and add to the confusion.
Outlook is the mail client from Microsoft, extremely popular throughout the world, mostly in business settings. I’ve used it for at least 10 years, and love many aspects of it.
- Most people use Outlook (or something like it) at work, so you are probably quite familiar with how it works.
- The contacts are integrated into the entire mail package, so for example, to forward a contact to someone else, you just select that contact and hit Control-F, and it opens a new message with that contact as an attachment. Great integration!
- Outlook has lots of add-ins that you can purchase, potentially adding lots of great features to help you organize and manage your information.
- Again, it’s on your computer, so you control the version, bug fixes, backups, etc.
- Integrates well with PDAs so you can take lots of the functionality on the road with you (if you have a PDA).
- Outlook is a mail system, not a CRM system. I know there are some people that stretch it to be a CRM system but they probably invested time and energy to figure out how to stretch it, including any add-ins that they had to install.
- In Contacts, you can’t have threaded notes/memos, or tie people and companies together like you would in a CRM system.
- Unfortunately, Outlook gets targeted by hackers since it’s a Microsoft product (or, since it is so popular, or both!). It’s just a little more vulnerable to malicious intent, which means it’s that much more important to make sure that you always have your data backed up, and your Outlook disk ready to reinstall. (I use Outlook all day long, so I’m not saying to NOT use it).
- I don’t think there is a place to track companies, and related information (without putting them in a contact file).
- Again, it’s on one computer, so if you are on the road and need more information than what your PDA grabbed, you have to wait until you get back home.
That’s my website, of course. It is not a program you load on your computer, instead, you just go to the website and login. It was designed during my job search to help manage, track and organize a job search, help job seekers manage all the contacts they make during this hot networking time, keep track of companies they might want to work at, where they send their resume, etc. It’s a totally new type of software, very focused on helping YOU with all the information you gather during your career (whether you are in a job search or not).
- As a web-based relationship management tool, any and all updates are immediately available to all users, and you don’t even see the upgrade happen. We usually do updates at night (we did a new one last night, details are coming later), and focus on (a) customer requests, (b) anything we can do to make the system more intuitive or polished, (c) things that are recommended by career and networking experts.
- We also do backups for you. We have nightly and weekly backups ready to restore the program and data – again, no cost to you, and you don’t even have to worry about it.
- You can access it from any online computer (your house, your office, the library, your mother-in-law’s, an iPhone, etc.).
- It’s specifically designed for you to manage career information. Based on the CRM concept, we’ve taken gobs of career expert advice and developed a place for you to manage your own stuff. Even though it’s mostly designed for personal career relationship management, we have people who use it as their small business CRM, or their consultant/freelancer CRM, or non-career relationship management (just to get birthday reminders e-mailed to them). In addition, it’s a great tool for someone how manages other people, perhaps volunteer groups, to keep track of things that are going on with individuals. We’re not trying to be all things to all people but some people are more creative than we are.
- It’s either free or inexpensive. You can have a lifetime free membership and upgrade for $9.95 a month just when you need extra bells-and-whistles. I have users that bounce between free and premium regularly. If you ever go from premium to free, we do not, we will not, hold your data hostage! Even the free version is extremely functional.
- We’re current and relevant. I went to three conferences this year with career professionals and network regularly with experts in the career space. I am always listening for new ideas that I can incorporate for you. This blog is a place to share career ideas with you… you won’t get that kind of career focus/emphasis from CRM companies.
- One of the most frequently asked questions I’m asked is, how long will this be around. The answer simply is, for a long time. I’m not in a job search anymore, and we have funding and cash flow, and have some exciting deals we’ve been working on. Even if something bad were to happen, and I had to get a job and cut off the financing to the development team, the cost to keep the site up and function is extremely low, so it’s not going to go away.
- Another concern people have is their data’s security. I think it’s bad practice to publicly outline what your IT security measures are, as it gives the bad guys places to look for holes, but let me say that we are doing everything we know to do to protect your data, even going beyond the industry standards for security.
- We have tried to balance usability with functionality, and it’s a hard balance. There are a number of people who hit the ground running, but others say “I have no idea what to do now!” We have some new designs coming to help with that, and I do free user webinars regularly to answer your questions and help you learn how to use the system.
- We have the ability to import and export data, but we don’t have sleek cool integration with Outlook, PDA’s, etc. YET. That’s on the list of stuff to do.
My conclusion for my dad.
I’m totally biased, but I’d suggest that my dad use JibberJobber for career relationship management (after all, he’s an investor in the company ). And Outlook for e-mail. And other tools, too. This isn’t necessarily about what one tool will replace all others, rather, which is the best tool for a specific job – and certainly JibberJobber is the best tool to help you put career advice into practice!
I hope this long post makes sense, and is helpful!