Best of CRM: July 27th


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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.

Gartner MQ: CRM Customer Engagement Center – Oracle, Pegasystems, Salesforce Lead, Microsoft, SAP Challenge
By: David Roe (@druadh20)
With a self-explanatory title, this piece by David explores Gartner’s Magic Quadrant CRM Customer Engagement Center results. The biggest restrictors in this market are applications’ weak native cloud architecture, poor social media engagement abilities, and poor collaboration abilities, but “the potential market for these applications is huge and as SaaS make these kinds of systems easier to deploy, the market will likely expand in coming years.” The top players offer benefits such as Oracle’s scalability and cross-channel customer service, Pegasystems’ ability to model and predict customers’ behavior and create workflows, and Salesforce’s intuitive UI. The challengers offer up a great deal, but suffer from setbacks like Microsoft clients voicing concerns over a lack of trained professional services partners that understand the suite, Oracle’s counterintuitive and dated UI, and SAP’s failure to keep pace with market demand for advanced real-time decision solutions, content aggregation and delivery of knowledge management. Of course, the software tech industry moves quickly, so vendors addressing their challenges may shift positions in next year’s Magic Quadrant.

The Cloud and the Accidental IT Manager
By: Heather Clancy (@GreenTechLady)
In the face of limited budgets, SMBs frequently rely on tech-savvy business personnel to manage their IT needs. And it hurts. According to the latest Microsoft sponsored AMI-Partners study, these accidental IT responsibilities cost managers on average six hours/week and SMBs $24 billion in total lost productivity. Andy Bose, founder, chairman and CEO of AMI-Partners, explains that “many small businesses don’t have the budget for formal IT support, so they rely on the company’s most tech-savvy individual to manage their technology.” As a result, six out of ten involuntary IT managers seek simpler technology solutions, such as cloud apps. About a third of the accidental IT managers surveyed plan to invest more in cloud apps, with always-on software, ease of trying the software, quick upgrades, anywhere access and flexibility topping the list of most important selection criteria. With the right cloud apps and proper integration, SMBs can eliminate billions of dollars in wasted IT efforts!

Social CRM Market to Reach $9.08BN in 2018
By: Staff Writer
RnR Market Research predicts a continued compound annual growth rate of social CRM, meaning the total value of social CRM will shoot from $1.91 billion in 2013 to $9.08 billion by 2018. Drivers of this increase include increasing focus on customer engagement, emerging SMEs, social platforms and the recognition of sharing ideas on a real time basis, along with the upcoming prevalence of companies introducing new social monitoring, listening, middleware, management and measurement applications to improve CRM capabilities in the social era. The value-add of social CRM consists of advantages typically associated with social communications – transparency, better communication of business ideas and information, and flexibility and performance focused on capturing customer needs. As social CRM evolves into simply “CRM”, it will be interesting to see how the valuation of the social CRM and overall CRM space changes.

5 Benefits of Cloud Computing you aren’t Likely to see in a Sales Brochure
By: Joe McKendrick (@joemckendrick)
Cloud benefits like cost savings, flexibility, scalability, and more are driving the widespread adoption of cloud solutions. Beyond these obvious benefits, cloud adopters often find additional perks like flexibility to test new business ventures through reduced time and money required, smoother mergers and acquisitions, the ability to duplicate or adopt successful business processes, more CIO time available to bring tech insights to the C-suite, and an easy segue into the cloud business. As Joe puts it, the benefits are “sort of like the icing on the cake, but often, these unforeseen benefits provide far more value to the business than initially planned.”

CRM Software: Does Visualization Matter?
By: Thomas Oriol (@SalesClic)
While CRM solutions have advanced exponentially since their rise 15+ years ago, the “user interfaces of these solutions have remained stuck in the 1990s: tables, pie charts and report builders are commonplace, as are simple views on the central database whose only value is the raw information they contain.” As the amount and complexity of data has increased, these old-school UIs cause major problems in the form of harming adoption rates, data quality, and decision support for sales. To remedy the situation, modern technology allows companies to more easily visualize data with mental models, visual alerts and playability (in lieu of gamification). To make use of data, companies must present it in a form that’s naturally consumable to all business users, as data use now expands beyond the highly technical to permeate all areas of business.

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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