Apollo integrated project and contact management
Italy is usually recognized for its food (pasta, pizza, and wines), beautiful coastal cities and Ferrari, the iconic Italian brand sports car manufacturer. Now... What happens when a group of IT entrepreneurs led by Andrea Di Clemente get together in the city of Pescara? They launched Apollo, a one-of-a-kind hosted project and contact management software.
It all started about 10 years ago as Applicom, an Italian-based IT custom software development company. Applicom focused on custom software dev and server installation maintenance services. Applicom first developed Apollo as an internal business support tool. But in 2008, Andrea decided to release Apollo to the general public. Today (after 4 years in operation and development), Apollo is a fully-fledge online project management software (that also support CRM features) with customers located everywhere in the world.
What is Apollo capable of?
- Overview: You have access to a consolidated view of all upcoming events, overdue tasks, each project team member status and timers. Timers enable you to track the time spent (real-time) on each task as you work your way thru your day. Timers are activated and remain active within the same Apollo web interface. You can also jump to more detailed sections such as only tasks or calendar or projects.
- Tasks: You can create and track personal tasks, project tasks or individual tasks related to a contact or customer (like for example: I have to call Jim by end of this week).
- Calendar: You can create and track calendar events, set up email reminders (to remember you of an upcoming event), use color-codes to differentiate events and access a calendar view that displays both events and tasks. You can add events directly in the calendar or thru your overview page.
- Projects: For each project you have an activity screen where you can review latest comments, tasks assignments, completed tasks and review your project team members. You can also manage discussions/comments with attachments and categories and, of course, manage your project task list with deadlines and set milestones should you want to divide your project into stages. All of your project attachments and files are also organized within the project files area.
- Contacts: You can track both internal/external contacts within Apollo, basically creating your own contacts directory with customers, external suppliers, contractors and your own company personnel. You can review all upcoming/overdue tasks for each contact and take corrective actions if needed. You can also add notes for each contact so your project team is aware of your progress.
- Users and Groups: You can invite internal/external users to participate in project activities and keep track of their activities/comments within Apollo. Internal users have access to assigned projects and contacts directory. External users only have access to specific projects and tasks. You can also use groups to manage user access to specific items within Apollo.
- Data import/export: You can important project data from Basecamp into Apollo and export your Apollo project data in XML format. You can also import contacts from other CRM systems such as Basecamp, Highrise and Capsule.
- Mobile: Apollo supports mobile app (currently in beta version) on both iPhone and Android.
Apollo pricing? For starters Apollo provides a Solo plan for individual users or free lancers. From there you can expand to other plans that could satisfy your appetite. Each plan provides unlimited project users but limits number of projects, number of CRM users and entries in the contacts directory.
- Solo Plan: $14/month, 1 user, 15 projects, 5 GB, 20000 contacts and unlimited deals.
- Basic: $23/month, unlimited project users, 18 projects, 5 GB, 7 CRM users, 5000 contacts and 12 deals.
- Plus: $48/month, unlimited project users, 40 projects, 15 GB, 18 CRM users, 20000 contacts and unlimited deals
All prices are in USD dollars (Apollo actually confirmed this to us via Twitter, Thanks!). For more pricing options you can visit Apollo pricing
Our verdict about Apollo: We love Italy, and Apollo is no exception, the interface is clean and it provides a simple yet very effective concept. We see Apollo playing in the online project management collaboration arena with a price as competitive as other options in the market such as Basecamp. Actually for almost the same price you get 8 more projects and 2 GB more storage with Apollo.
Apollo does not have the complexities of other comprehensive software suites (tasks dependencies, Gantt charts, Cost estimation), but its usability, calendar view and organization will entice the most casual project managers and even seasoned managers that are looking to streamline their PM practice with a hosted software that provides solutions to our fast paced environments. If you are a small or mid-size organization that manages project for customers, Apollo is a great option... Just do not forget to add a stop in Pescara should you visit Italy. Ciao!
Posted on November 08, 2012