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Review of instant messaging solution NetLert, phone messaging system PHONEslips, and FileMaker Pro, database software.

This story appears in the November 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »
Souped-up instant messaging: AOL's Instant Messaging is fun when clowning around with your buddies online, but it's not the type of tool you want your employees using to discuss your latest business news. That's why SoftBase has introduced NetLert, an enterprise instant messaging solution that lets organizations communicate amongst themselves. With NetLert, users can chat across the globe-or just across cubicles-without leaving their desks or making long-distance phone calls. If you have a call center, NetLert will allow your customer service reps to communicate amongst themselves and find an answer, without putting the call on hold. You can test the software out for free at, but the full version is $995 (street) for 25 users. Call (800) 669-7076 for more details.

Don't miss a thing: If the phone message system at your office is out of control, PHONEslips may be just the software you're looking for. With PHONEslips, you can manage phone messages, memos, e-mail, address books, schedules and to-do lists for everyone in the office. When messages are sent, users will receive instant notification on their machines and will be able to archive messages for future retrieval-a bonus if you've ever misplaced a message slip. If you're a Palm user, you can also download all your messages and other pertinent PHONEslips information to your Palm, giving you on-the-road access to all your messaging. For a 30-day trial, visit

Making great files: Need a program to organize your latest MP3 files or help categorize your family photo album? Or maybe a database of all your clients? The latest version of FileMaker Pro makes database creation a pleasure. Its cross-platform compatibility makes it a great choice for office environments that need to support both the Mac and PC. This latest version also adds Web publishing capabilities for rendering database layouts on your intranet. The interface has been improved to make working in FileMaker Pro more productive and enjoyable, and its compliance with Microsoft Office's standard menus and toolbars makes it a much simpler program to work with. FileMaker Pro for a single user is $249 (street); an upgrade costs $149. Visit for more information.

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