Pivotal CRM

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Pivotal CRM is a customer relationship management (CRM) software system offered by Avolin,[1] an enterprise software and service company headquartered in Austin Texas. Pivotal CRM includes software tools for sales force automation (SFA), marketing automation and lead management, and customer service automation, as well as partner management, mobile CRM, analytics and call scripting.[2][3] Industry specific versions [4] of the Pivotal CRM suite are also offered for several industries, including institutional asset management, mutual fund wholesaling, capital markets, commercial banking, private banking, home building and real estate, healthcare, and legal services, among others. Built on .NET Framework, Pivotal CRM embeds several commonly used Microsoft business products within the CRM system, including Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft SharePoint, and Microsoft Visual Studio.


Pivotal Software was founded by Norm Francis and Keith Wales in 1994. Francis and Wales were a co-founders of Basic Software Group (BSG) the company that developed ACCPAC, an accounting software package which was purchased by Computer Associates in 1985. Francis and director of marketing Sharka Chobot Stuyt promoted the term "360-degree" customer relationship management (CRM).[5] The company released its Pivotal Relationship Version 1, in April 1996.[6]

The company changed its name to Pivotal Corporation in June 1999 to reflect broadening beyond just software into professional services, content, and online services.[7] Pivotal Corporation went public in August 1999 and its shares were listed on the NASDAQ exchange under the symbol PVTL.[8]

In February 2000, Pivotal was promoted by Microsoft's Bill Gates, to showcase Pivotal software at the premiere of Microsoft Windows 2000.[9] Then called Pivotal eRelationship, it was the first eBusiness relationship management (eBRM) software to be certified for Windows 2000.[10]

Pivotal Corporation was acquired by chinadotcom, renamed CDC Corporation, in February 2004. The acquisition added 1,700 customers, as well as marketing, sales, service, and partner management capabilities to CDC Software’s business unit focused on front-office solutions for mid-sized enterprises.[11]

In 2012, CDC Software merged with Consona Corporation, to form Aptean. [12]

In October 2018, ESW Capital completed the acquisition of the Aptean's Vertical Business Applications Group. The group will join ESW Capital under the newly formed Avolin portfolio of companies, Avolin will continue to operate enterprise software solutions across Customer Relationship Management, Knowledge Management, IT Support and Supply Chain Management.


Pivotal CRM is customizable and adaptable to business requirements.[13] It includes:[14][15]

  • Pivotal UX (HTML5 device responsive interface) [16]
  • Pivotal Sales (sales force automation)
  • Pivotal Sales—Miller Heiman Edition (Pivotal Sales with embedded Miller Heiman sales methodology)
  • Pivotal eMarketing
  • CDC MarketFirst (marketing automation and lead management)
  • Pivotal Service (service automation)
  • Pivotal Mobile CRM
    • Pivotal Mobile Client
  • Pivotal Wireless
  • Pivotal Handheld (for BlackBerry devices and Windows Mobile)
  • Pivotal Partner Management
  • Pivotal Analytics
  • Pivotal CRM Development Tools [17]

Pivotal CRM version 6 was released in July 2008. Based on .NET Framework technology, It provided task-based navigation, embedded including Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft SharePoint, and a client user interface.[18] The product embeds commonly used Microsoft business products within the CRM system, including Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft SharePoint, and Microsoft Visual Studio. As such, it is an example of an Office Business Application.

Aptean is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.[19] In 2009, CDC Software was awarded a Microsoft partner of the year award in 2009.[20]

While historically Pivotal CRM is primarily implemented as software product running on customer premises, it was later marketed as software as a service, on Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.


The product line also includes industry-focused versions of Pivotal CRM products for the following industries:[21]

  • Student Management
  • Membership Management
  • Specialist Medical Education and Training
  • Financial services [22]
    • Institutional asset management
    • Mutual fund wholesaling
    • Capital markets
    • Private banking/wealth management
    • Commercial banking
  • Healthcare insurance [23]
  • Home building and real estate [24]
  • Manufacturing [25]
  • Medical device manufacturing [26]


Early versions of Pivotal CRM employed a proprietary scripting language and development environment, called Pivotal Agents. At the time, Pivotal agents were suitable for customers who did not need programming experience to build and manage business logic in Pivotal, although the development tools were graphical & not always welcomed by developers who preferred to see lines of code on the screen.

Pivotal agents were no longer being required in the Pivotal 6.0 platform which was released in 2008, and were replaced by .Net, C# programming infrastructure that allowed common Microsoft developers to be proficient in Pivotal customization. Customers who purchased Pivotal after 2008 implemented the product on the new .Net architecture and no longer required the use of Pivotal agents to build business logic. [27]

Since 2008, Pivotal has released a multitude of tools the assist customers on previous versions to upgrade their business logic into the new .Net architecture. Some of these included an agent conversion tool which automatically converted Pivotal agents to C# code, the ability to run the rich client on the Pivotal 6.x platform, and the ability to run the Windows Access (WA) client on the 6.x platform is coming in Q1 2014.


  1. ^ "Pivotal - Avolin". Avolin. Retrieved February 23, 2019.
  2. ^ Pivotal CRM Products Retrieved 31 March 2010
  3. ^ CRM Buyer's Guide Retrieved 31 March 2010, DestinationCRM.com
  4. ^ Pivotal CRM Industry Solutions Retrieved 31 March 2010
  5. ^ Pivotal's Norm Francis Recognized for CRM Industry Leadership (Press Release) 15 December 1999
  6. ^ "PIVOTAL CORP, Form 10-K405, Filing Date Sep 28, 2000". secdatabase.com. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  7. ^ Pivotal Software Becomes Pivotal Corporation (Press Release 30 June 1999
  8. ^ IPO Filings by Company Retrieved 20 November 2009, Yahoo! Finance
  9. ^ Microsoft Selects Pivotal eBusiness Solution for Bill Gates’ Windows 2000 Keynote Demo 18 February 2000, Business Wire
  10. ^ Pivotal eRelationship 2000 Announced as First eBusiness Solution Certified for Microsoft Windows 2000 17 February 2000, Business Wire
  11. ^ Pivotal formally acquired by CDC Software 26 February 2004, CSO
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-11-20. Retrieved 2012-11-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ Pivotal CRM Retrieved 20 November 2009, 2020software.com
  14. ^ CRM Buyer’s Guide: Pivotal CRM Retrieved 20 November 2009, DestinationCRM.com
  15. ^ Pivotal CRM Products page Retrieved 20 November 2009
  16. ^ Pivotal CRM UX Launch Retrieved 6 February 2017, 2017 Software
  17. ^ Pivotal CRM Development Tools Retrieved 28 February 2015, 2015 Software
  18. ^ CDC Software Releases Pivotal CRM 6.0. Insurance & Technology Kristie Cattafi, 4 August 2008, InsuranceTech.com
  19. ^ Microsoft Solution Finder Archived 2012-12-17 at archive.today Retrieved 20 November 2009, Microsoft
  20. ^ CDC Software wins Microsoft Worldwide Partner award 3 July 2009, MeriNews
  21. ^ CDC Software CRM Industry Solutions page Retrieved 20 November 2009
  22. ^ CDC Software's Vertical CRM Solutions Gain Momentum in Financial Services Industries 27 August 2007, CustomerThink
  23. ^ Pivotal CRM for Healthcare Payers Retrieved 20 November 2009, 2020 Software
  24. ^ CDC Software Announces Major New Version of Pivotal CRM for Homebuilding 13 February 2008, CustomerThink
  25. ^ CDC Software Pivotal CRM for Manufacturing Retrieved 20 November 2009
  26. ^ Medical Device Manufacturer Improves Operational Efficiencies with CDC Software’s Pivotal CRM Retrieved 20 November 2009, CRM2Day
  27. ^ http://www.aptean.com/en/Solutions/By-Product-Name-AZ/Pivotal-CRM/Solutions

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