Best of CRM: April 20th


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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.

Microsoft and Salesforce are Over 60% of all Gartner CRM Inquiries
By: Louis Columbus (@LouisColumbus)
As a major provider of market research and analyst insights, Gartner receives an average of 100,000 inquiries each year from end-user clients across the spectrum of IT topics. Their most recent statistics, released in March, show Microsoft and Salesforce as the undisputed kings of CRM inquiries, matching the generally dominant position both players hold in the CRM market. Interesting to note are the different angles taken by the major players. Microsoft has been shifting to promoting low pricing and ease of adoption to lure in new accounts, while Salesforce’s momentum is partially founded on the announcement of their bringing contextual customer data to mobile devices through their Platform Mobile Services and Partner Program.

Understand the BI Maturity Model to Improve Your CRM Implementation
By: Peter LePine
Despite its immense importance in better serving customers, Business Intelligence projects fail to fully deliver upwards of 60 percent of the time. Peter LePine provides useful advice to succeed in BI endeavors, starting with implementing an incremental approach to BI deployment based on a four stage BI maturity model. BI maturity stages begin with the “Initial” stage, where CRM is highly tactical in nature. The “Managed” second stage involves strategic use of CRM, while the “Enhanced” third stage includes strategic CRM and tactical BI usage. Lastly, the most advanced “Visionary” stage includes enterprise strategic thinking for both CRM and IT. As the low BI success rate makes clear, companies need a better plan before attempting BI – understanding and placing your company in one of the four stages before beginning a BI initiative will play a key role in attaining success and value from the initiative. Leads Growing CRM Application Market: Gartner
By: Nathan Eddy (@dropdeaded209)
Nathan provides further insight into the recent Gartner CRM report, relaying Salesforce’s dominant 26 percent increase in revenue from 2011 compared with SAP’s 0.1 percent growth. Along with the growth of overall CRM spending, Gartner predicts SaaS CRM solutions will account for more than half of CRM software revenue by 2016, up from 39% in 2012. With the growth of SaaS and continued CRM adoption in businesses, how these SaaS solutions fit into various ecosystems, and their integration between otherwise siloed Business Intelligence systems, should play a central role in any business planning to maximize their CRM benefits moving forward.

Stop Learning the Hard Way: Tackling SaaS Integration
By: Loraine Lawson (@LoraineLawson)
In line with Gartner’s prediction regarding increased adoption of SaaS CRM solutions in the coming years, TechTarget found that application integration now represents a top cloud challenge in two recent surveys. TechTarget’s Cloud Pulse survey revealed 34 percent of companies couldn’t make SaaS programs interoperate with other cloud or on-premise programs, severely limiting the benefits possible from such implementations. Loraine quoted David Linthicum’s analysis that “Data integration, no matter if you’re integrating internal systems or those in the cloud, is typically an afterthought. Companies now spend millions of dollars to migrate systems to the cloud without a clearly defined plan as to how that data will be integrated with existing enterprise systems. This makes the cloud project much more risky and costly than it has to be.” Cloud integration is often more difficult due to frequent movement of data in the cloud – the most important takeaway from Loraine’s article is to conduct migration to cloud and SaaS solutions with a well-thought out plan to integrate your systems, including finding an integration solution that doesn’t rely on hand-coding to save on long-term cost and time investments.

Microsoft Convergence 2013: Crossing the T’s; Dotting the I’s
By: Paul Greenberg (@pgreenbe)
Although Microsoft Convergence ended a month ago, Paul’s post on the show contains a thorough recap and valuable takeaways. In agreement with other Convergence attendees, Paul writes that this year Microsoft focused more on the customer experience and business value delivered through their solutions, rather than previous years of UI/UX focus. Major takeaways from this year’s Convergence conference include greater importance placed on Dynamics and Dynamics CRM as a part of Microsoft’s overall product/service offerings, Bob Stutz’s important role bringing Dynamics CRM into the 21st century, and Microsoft’s acquisition and integration of Marketing Pilot and Netbreeze. Paul’s primary advice to Microsoft at this point is to fully integrate their new acquisitions into the Dynamics product offering to truly bring their solutions into the 21st century, where collaboration and instant data access represent prerequisites to success, not added bonuses.

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.

Peter Chase
Peter founded Scribe Software along with Jim Clarke in the beginning of 1996. As Executive Vice President, Business Development, Peter is responsible for establishing and growing partnerships with other leading technology companies in support of Scribe's overall market and product strategy. Prior to founding Scribe, Peter held senior positions in sales, product marketing, and finance at SNAP Software, an early pioneer in CRM software that was acquired by Dun and Bradstreet. He has published numerous articles and whitepapers and is a frequent speaker and panelist at industry events.


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