In the mid-2000s I worked with Franklin Covey on a mutually beneficial partnership that brought Franklin Covey features to Informant and saw Informant distributed with Franklin Covey desktop software. In many ways it was the golden age of Informant as we were at the top of the world.
Around the time that iOS was being released Franklin Covey began working with Complete XRM on PlanPlus Online and we both got pretty busy doing our own thing. A few years later I was getting emails from this guy – Keith Norris who wanted to consider merging with us. As a wistful young man, I listened but didn’t take him up on his offer because I knew we could do it all on our own. Every year for 6 years straight, Keith politely asked me – hey how are things going – wanna merge? This year – I said yes!
Oh my! Right? Like what!? You did what! Yes… Fanatic Software is now a proper division of Complete XRM – and I’ve been waiting to tell you guys for months as we were working on this. It has taken a lot of time, effort, discussion, and work to get to this point. Keith was adamant that he wanted Fanatic to stay intact and to give us the autonomy that we needed, but to give us the resources and possibilities that we simply weren’t going to get anytime soon on our own.
As some people know I had a vision last year of an Informant with a Mac app, a Windows Outlook Desktop, a Web client, full featured project management, and a lot more. Doing this on my own was simply going to take a really really long time. We just are too small a company to make it a reality in any sensible timeframe. So what does Complete XRM have that we don’t? Let’s look at that: A Windows Outlook app, a web client, full featured project management, collaboration, CRM, and more. A lot more! Yeah!
I’ve been teasing this announcement since October (or maybe September…can’t remember) and telling people that you’re going to be really happy and I think most people will. There are some immediate changes that will be better for customers and some long term changes that will be really exciting. I also know there will be a lot of questions. First let me say that the Informant 5 subscription change was one that we had been discussing way before Informant 5 was released – that was not a CompleteXRM change. They went along with it, but that’s totally on me.
Second, our people are staying. Chris is moving up and is now the lead engineer and product manager for Informant. Wesley and Tabetha now have a larger support team to work with. I’ve got a lot more support from CXRM’s executive, marketing, financial and business relationship side of things. We’re not a Fortune 500 company, but we’re also no longer a single-digit employee company either 🙂 So that’s fantastic right there.
Next, is the software/services. CXRM has PlanPlus for Outlook and PlanPlus Online. This is the dream we’ve had for years that started with Informant Online where you can have the full power of Informant on Windows for Outlook – as well as the Mac, and on the web as well. I know many of our users are Outlook users and having this ability to have that full-featured Informant integration on Windows will be really powerful to many people. Task Delegation, Project Management – these are all things that we can grow into and offer to users. I know many people have been really excited about us generating a much more powerful Franklin Covey mode – especially on the Mac – so 🙂
There are still a lot of questions – some questions we haven’t fully answered ourselves yet. How do PlanPlusOnline and Informant Sync live together? Do they integrate at some point? And so on. We don’t have the answers to everything. Most of our attention has been focused on the short term: team, support, financial, and marketing integrations as well as Informant 5 launch and Informant for macOS, but we do know that there is a huge opportunity to integrate PlanPlusOnline features – Goals, Missions, Daily Journal, Task Delegation, Outlook integration and more.
You may have noticed a few bumps in the road over the past couple months. Keith has been trying to get to know our customers as well as I do; he’s been trying to be a better communicator than I have honestly been (just no time!). We have a unique community. Please welcome Keith and Complete XRM and you can be sure that I will work hard to ensure that Informant continues to get the love and care it needs. I’m super excited for our future together.
Sincerely – with great appreciation for the last 17 years, and excitement for the next 17,
Founder of Fanatic Software, Inc.