A couple of weeks ago when I posted about the launch of the Google Apps Marketplace, I mentioned Appirio’s “PS Connect” offering that embedded contextual data from Appirio, within Gmail. At the time it was an interesting offering, but didn’t garner much attention given the noise that was building around the Marketplace itself.
The other day Chris Tanner from Pearl (more on them here) pinged me to tell me about a new tool they were rolling out that would allow data from within the Pearl CRM system to be embedded into the Rapportive (more on that here) window within Gmail. This integration gives us another taste of what vendors who retain a core belief in Email as the “killer app” for business are doing to use it as the aggregative platform for a whole host of different data streams.
Setting this integration up is simple – simply install Rapportive and the Pearl raplet and voila – your email has just become the killer communication and CRM tool. Rapportive on its own gives a little bit of data about the sender – links to their social media profiles, their avatar and job title etc, but this new integration builds on that to give a rich CRM data stream – contact details, the person within the organization who deals with the account, specific customer status etc.
It’s yet another example of the value that can be gained by using email as the platform for data aggregation on the web – while many people contend that email is dead, tool such as this, ensure that email’s utility will remain for the foreseeable future.