Best of CRM, Data Integration: Week of August 20th


Share on LinkedIn

Every week, we’ll 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.

Event Report: CRM Evolution 2012
By: R “Ray” Wang, Constellation Research
From August 13-15, many of the industry’s thought leaders convened in New York City to discuss where the CRM industry is headed. The prevailing takeaway from this year’s conference can be summed up as ‘Customer Experience’. Where CRM was once relegated to a tool that stored customer information, businesses are now leveraging the customer data across the front and back offices to create better overall customer experiences. The focus is on putting the ‘relationship’ back in customer relationship management.

Check out Ray’s post to see his full list of key takeaways, including that ‘SaaS/Cloud Best of Breed hell is a real issue.’

Decision time: Automated data integration tools versus manual coding
By: Craig Stedman, Executive Editor
In an interview with Rick Sherman, founder of Athena IT Solutions consultancy, Craig dives into the merit of manual coding data integration projects and concludes, in this day and age, it’s best to use automated tools for data integration. One of the reasons for the continued prevalence of manually coded data integration is the lack of foresight and planning around data integration projects. But, automated data integration tools allow for easy replication and provide scalability in a way that one-off manually coded projects cannot.

For an organization to begin evaluating data integration tools, Rick suggests first doing an audit of your current data to assess its quality level and understand the various data silos. From there, organizations should consider where they want to be in the next year and beyond, to help begin to categorize required tools. An organization should discuss their need to leverage real-time big data, particularly unstructured data like social data, Web data, machine data and others.

The full interview is full of hearty insights. Thanks to Search Data Management for covering such an important topic.

Why CRM Implementation Is So Political
By: David Taber

David spends his time improving client’s business processes through CRM implementations. It’s no surprise that he has insider knowledge of what can go sideways during a CRM implementation program. In this fascinating article, he outlines why it is, exactly, that CRM implementation can be so emotionally charged.

At its best, the conversations that happen during the introduction of a company-wide program should bubble up inconsistencies across the organization. Often these inconsistencies are coupled with territory issues, as the CRM system is intended to be a revenue optimization tool, often managed by sales. But for most companies, the ‘relationship’ building portion of customer interactions happens outside of the sales domain, occurring in places like marketing and customer service. The CRM system needs to meet the needs of many departments simultaneously.

In fact, David points out that the more mature a CRM system is, the broader the integration that is required. Many different departments will want to amend customer records in a mature organization (sales, customer service, accounting, marketing, etc). Ownership of records can be politically charged.

We’d invite your reactions to the CIO piece that David wrote. We believe it to be an accurate portrayal of the complexity of a CRM implementation. How have you reconciled this in your organization? Tell us in the comments or on Twitter.

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.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here