Best of CRM: February 1st


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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. 

Small Businesses Adopting CRM, Struggling with Data Integration
By: Nathan Eddy (@dropdeaded209)
Nathan covers the latest survey on SMB CRM adoption, as well as primary challenges faced by those businesses. Key findings from the Scribe survey suggest widespread adoption of CRM solutions, but significant challenges in maximizing the benefits of CRM. As more companies shift from on-premise to cloud and hybrid solutions, data integration and data quality pose the largest IT challenges for successful use of CRM – 60% of SMBs have yet to achieve seamless data integration. 

Bill Band: Why CRM vendors will be turning to the dark side in 2013
By: Natalie Brandweiner (@natalie_brand)
This piece covers Forrester Analyst Bill Band’s views on how and why both companies and solution providers are reorienting themselves as “customer-centric”. Natalie also delves into Bill’s analysis of how the use of CRM technology itself is changing, with clients managing a greater portion of customer facing systems. Lastly, Natalie highlights Bill’s emphasis on the importance of technology as only one part of the CRM process, which involves strategy, process, people, and technology – seemingly in that order of importance.

7 Important CRM Trends in 2013 and beyond
By: Lou Guercia (@louguercia)
Lou, my friend and colleague, wrote an insightful post highlighting the most relevant CRM predictions from contestants in the 2012 CRM Idol. They’re all worth reading, but what stood out were the predictions of increasing importance on customer data integration, the coming expansion of CRM into customer-facing departments, and the possibility of predictive CRM. 

CIOs Can Help Their Companies Survive Industry Disruption
By: Kim S. Nash (@knash99)
As disruptive companies rise and displace reigning champions, CIOs must learn to disrupt their own business practices to remain relevant. While Kim’s article spans 7 pages, its well worth reading – or at least skimming – to learn from Avon’s current struggles and to glean insights and advice on how to successfully disrupt your own company. Takeaways include avoiding “corporate diseases,” developing “peripheral vision,” and as always, never getting too comfortable in your industry.

As CMOs Grab IT Budget From CIOs, Cloud CapEx and OpEx Shift
By: Bernard Golden (@bernardgolden)
The bottom line of Bernard’s piece is that CMOs continue to gain influence over IT budgets, and if this continues, the shift in purchasing power will bring a higher level of unpredictability to spending on cloud computing. With CMOs taking control, spending will lean more heavily towards fluctuating operating expenses versus stable capital expenses. The shift will also cause vendors to place greater focus on business outcomes and benefits rather than standards, functionality, and feature checklists.

The Journey to the Cloud
By: Basab Pradhan (@basabp)
With cloud and SaaS providers gaining momentum, this article predicts a major trend over the next decade, which, as the title gives away, is the enterprise journey to the cloud. Basab describes the importance of the cloud both for its potential value and its disruptive nature – essentially stemming from the massive advantage of scale that enterprise SaaS providers have over on-premise solutions, and the shift in control from IT to business professionals. Enterprises won’t be able to compete with SaaS companies that run data centers as the core of their business, and slowly but surely, they will adopt cloud solutions for their IT needs.

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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