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CRM Implementation: Which Deployment is Best For You?

Blog post by on February 13, 2012 No Comments

One the reasons the world of enterprise software is so interesting is that it is continually evolving. This quote from Box.com CEO Aaron Levie communicates this point quite eloquently: “Almost everything about this category—from how software is built to who’s buying it—is undergoing massive change, and many longstanding assumptions no longer apply.”

One topic that begs revisiting is the issue of deployment options when it comes to CRM software. Many years ago, the only option was to go with a bulky, expensive on-premise system that you had to hire an entire IT team to manage. But with the growing cloud ecosystem, not only are the traditional vendors like Oracle and Microsoft expanding their offerings, but new entrants are bringing some interesting things to the table as well.

Today, when choosing a CRM system, buyers have three options: go vertical, customize, or build-your-own (BYO). There are pros and cons to each, and no one option is going to be the best overall. So, in order to ease the burden of choosing one over the other, I conducted my own research and came up with both the positive and negative repercussions for each option. You can read the full analysis on my blog, but I have highlighted the main points below for scanning purposes.

Go Vertical

Pros:
- Designed specifically for your industry
- No burden of development on the buyer side
- Higher adoption rates because the system “speaks” the language of the user
Cons:
- Some systems fall behind on core technology
- Possible risk of “over-verticalization”

Customize It

Pros:
- Point-and-click systems make it easy to customize
- User has complete control over the look and feel of the system
Cons:
- If you don’t know exactly what you need, you can end up with a jumbled mess
- Cost of extensive customization can often be several times more than initial cost of system

Build-Your-Own

Pros:
- New programming languages make development much easier
- Highly-secure hosting facilities relieve users of the burden of maintaining their own infrastructure
- Great option for companies with very specific or unique business models
Cons:
- Need to find and hire great developer talent, which can be difficult
- If you build it, you own it, so you will bear the burden of implementation, updates, etc.

If you are interested in researching the different systems out there, be sure to check out Software Advice’s CRM software homepage for reviews, comparisons, demos and more. You can read the entire analysis on the original post.

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