Best of CRM: August 3rd


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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.

Portable Cloud Apps Require Standards, Vendor Research
By: Christine Parizo (@cparizo)
In this article, Christine explores how to avoid vendor lock-in to maintain a key IT requirement: portability. When teams switch from a public cloud to in-house or another cloud, IT that doesn’t engage in thorough research may find themselves unable to transport critical data outside of their system. The lack of cloud-specific standards means APIs with varying levels of access and different sets of rules are the norm for transporting data in the cloud. As an important part of researching cloud app portability, Scribe’s Betsy Bilhorn reminds companies to always check vendor’s own tools for migrating their data, because “Your ability to get [your] data is really only as good as the API or export tool that the vendor is going to supply.”

Enterprise Social Data Isolated in Departmental Silos
By: Loraine Lawson (@LoraineLawson)
Following the Altimeter Group’s study finding that enterprise companies own on average 178 social accounts across 13 departments, Loraine notes that all these accounts are “creating serious social data silos, and, not surprisingly, there’s very little effort to integrate all this data.” Among the areas integrated with social, BI tools sit at 42 percent, market research at 35 percent, and CRM at 27 percent. The low integration between CRM and social stands out when contrasted with our 2013 State of Data Integration, which found that 47 percent of respondents marked CRM/social integration as important – up from only 34 percent in 2012. This discrepancy between perceived importance and actual integration supports the Altimeter Group’s statement that social data really is hard to integrate due to how many organizational departments touch the data, each with its own perspective on which information is important.

The 2013 CRM Market Leaders
By: Staff Writers
The editors at Destination CRM took the time to review and select the “CRM vendors (who) are making some pretty bold moves to incorporate newer technologies into their existing solutions.” The staff picked winners, leaders, and companies to watch from categories including enterprise, midmarket, small business, SFA, incentive management, marketing solutions, business intelligence, data quality, open-source CRM, and consultancies. As important as data quality and access is, we’d like to give a shout out to our partner Trillium Software for making it as a “leader” in the data quality category. For the more general categories, Salesforce swept the awards for the enterprise, midmarket and small business CRM markets, with Microsoft and SugarCRM trailing closely as leaders in all three categories.

CRM and the CEO: Treating CRM as a Top-Down Cultural Mandate
By: Peter Bosch
Peter explains how small businesses are poised to lead the charge for cloud benefits, beginning with the adoption of a cloud-based CRM system. Small business owners are uniquely positioned to enjoy advantages such as “access to cost effective, reliable, and scalable infrastructure resources like computing storage and applications; and access to development platforms and tools that would have normally been out of reach to many small businesses.” To successfully adopt the cloud, first small business CEOs must lead the technology debate. Next, they need to define new measures of business value by focusing on social CRM, real-time cloud computing, and using CRM to add or develop new services. And finally, CEOs have to act as the net promoters of CRM to create a cultural mandate for employee use of the cloud CRM system.

Get to Know the Audience When Forming Social CRM Strategy
By: Dayna Steele (@daynasteele)
“Social CRM” has been converging with regular CRM for some time now, and businesses must understand how social fits into their customer strategy. Dayna provides an example of the new age customer, describing her son as someone who “doesn’t watch TV, read newspapers or subscribe to magazines; yet he is intelligent, informed and well-employed. He gets information via his phone, and he is a professional with money to spend – money to spend on your products and services.” To help companies transition their strategy to embrace social CRM, Dayna provides suggestions applicable in both the social and traditional customer worlds; figure out who your customers are, discover their communication preferences, learn how to use the platforms your customers spend time on and don’t tie social media platform strategies together and optimize your website for mobile.

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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