Best of CRM: March 15th

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Every week, we recount some of the best buzz around CRM and data integration. We’ll review our favorite articles and share the most pressing findings or key takeaways from each. 

Scribe – Prettying up Life for the Data Integration Crowd
By: Ben Kepes (@benkepes)
This article highlights the newest update to the Scribe Online Platform – Integration Services. The simplified visual platform in the update enables access to data sources for individuals outside of IT, a platform that Ben described as a “super easy visual approach to creating custom integrations…(bringing about) a democratization of integration that will only do good things for a deeper adoption of cloud tools.” At its heart, our platform enables easier access to business critical information for better decisions and lowers TCO.

Fixing CRM: Skip the Blame and Go Directly to Better Software and Smarter Deployment Strategy
By: Linda Rosencrance
CRM system deployment and usage often goes awry as a result of both technical and adoption issues. To truly benefit from CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM MVP Neil Benson stresses the importance of focusing on organizational adoption challenges in addition to finding the right software solution. To encourage individuals to use CRM technology, Benson suggests creating a sense of urgency for adoption, securing organization-wide executive commitment, creating a clear sense of expectations, and utilizing gamification. Regardless of how great a CRM solution is, without avid users, the technology investment may be largely wasted.

How Cloud Computing Helps Cut Costs, Boost Profits
By: Thor Olavsrud (@ThorOlavsrud)
Thor covers the results of a recent CDW survey that found the majority of IT professionals adopting cloud solutions save money and boost profits as a result. Specifically, a very significant 88 percent of cloud users enjoyed cost savings and over half claimed adopting cloud solutions helped boost profits. However, this study didn’t account for data integration issues or successes, which can drastically affect the end-result of business processes, especially with new cloud solutions connecting to legacy systems. That said, the CDW survey shows strong evidence of continuing benefits through cloud adoption.

What Salesforce.com Won’t Tell You
By: Gene Marks (@genemarks)
Business professionals tend to blame technology for lack of business results. Gene Marks, industry expert and regular contributor to The New York Times, Forbes, Inc., and The Huffington Posts, provides a provoking, but refreshing, view on how to make critical technology, such as CRM, work for the business. Technology only becomes a real business enabler when it is widely adopted and is harnessed to provide the right analytics and insights to the right people at the right time.  To get to that point, core technologies such as CRM need champions, those trained in CRM to help the rest of the organization build the competency.

CRM Watchlist 2013 Winners: Variety is the spice of business
By: Paul Greenberg (@pgreenbe)
In the continuing CRM Watchlist Winners series, Paul covers best in class companies along the vertical spectrum; each of the companies listed has a best-in-class product for at least one vertical. The winners this week are Blackbaud for non-profits, NexJ for financial and health services, Coveo for Big Data and knowledge management, and Thunderhead for customer experience analytics and management.

Moving Legacy Apps To The Cloud
By: Jonathan Feldman (@_jfeldman)
Jonathan writes on the now obvious importance of moving at least some legacy apps to the cloud to benefit from SaaS and IaaS. The top 5 objections to moving legacy apps to the cloud include complexity of the apps, disbelief that the cloud will save an organization money, hesitance to transition from an app still in its “lifecycle”, fear of being locked into a cloud provider, and security risks. Each of these objections has a reasonable answer, which include data integration providers to avoid cloud lock-in and multiple studies that demonstrate substantial savings from switching to cloud solutions.


We hope you had a great week! We’ll see you again soon with a roundup of all the movers and shakers in CRM and data integration news.

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