Best of CRM: October 13th

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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.

Future of CRM: Next Gen CRM Does Not Look Like CRM
By: Anshu Sharma (@anshublog)
With Salesforce, Microsoft and other behemoth vendors continuing to battle with new CRM releases, features and integration capabilities, Anshu notes that the future of customer relationship management is here, and it’s not part of any one platform. While traditional CRM systems will continue to increase in importance for most companies, for more direct transactions the future has already appeared in the form of solutions that directly connect buyers and sellers. Apps like Uber, Simple, AirBnB and OpenTable facilitate the interactions between customers and companies/sellers, providing something that goes beyond a 360 degree view of the customer to empower both sides with the capability for a 360 degree interaction. As Anshu writes, “I believe that the future of CRM is already here – we just don’t recognize it.”

Gartner: 50% of Enterprises Use Hybrid Cloud by 2017
By: Charles Babcock (@babcockcw)
According Gartner analyst Thomas Bittman, almost half of enterprises will adopt a hybrid cloud by 2017. Only 11 percent of enterprise participants polled have no plans to build a private cloud within the next couple years, and concerns surrounding public cloud will diminish. However, it’s important to note that enterprises may be overly enthusiastic: “While three-fourths of those polled predicted hybrid deployments would occur in the next two years, Bittman scaled that optimism back to ‘nearly half by the end of 2017’ for his prediction.” For most enterprises, succeeding with a private cloud will enable an easier transition into use of a public cloud to enhance scalability and allow for on-demand usage. However, a major challenge may come as app-to-app integration between legacy and cloud apps remains difficult.

CRM Data Still Largely a Silo Apart from Other Biz Apps
By: Loraine Lawson (@LoraineLawson)
Diving into Scribe’s “State of Data Integration” study from this past summer, Loraine notes that whether or not businesses are comfortable with the low 16 percent of companies reporting full integration between business systems, the abysmal rates of even partial integration are troubling. The prevalence of custom code – with 48 percent of survey respondents engaging in manual coding – complicates an already difficult integration process. However, Loraine quotes a 2010 TDWI survey which found custom coding on the decline, and Scribe’s YoY survey results also showed a significant decline in the number of companies custom coding, so these issues should continue to diminish. And according to an Oracle survey, IT executives “know the (integration) technology exists, and are now putting pressure on cloud vendors to support full integration between cloud solutions and on-premise applications.” This is great news for those integration platform providers ahead of the game, and for the companies who use them.

What to Do When Your CRM Project Fails
By: David Taber (@DavidTaber)
The failure rate of CRM projects has been well established, with studies stating the rate at anything between 18 and 69 percent. What hasn’t been covered as thoroughly is what to do if a CRM project fails, and David has given us a range of signs to determine CRM failure and steps to turn that failure around. First, IT personnel should ask the eight questions David poses to determine whether their project actually failed. Even when users are unhappy, “in most projects, that’s because they expected more to be achieved before they started using the system. In other words, it’s not that the project delivered a broken system. The project delivered only fragments of a system that’s not easy or friendly enough.” If the CRM implementation truly failed, before investing more resources IT needs to ask a series of questions to prevent future failures. They must include considerations such as the viability of the original concept, the budget’s alignment with functional expectations, stakeholder commitment to the project, and the level of trust between the users and the project team. Depending on the takeaways from these variables, IT can then adjust their strategy and tactics for the next attempt, or call in a specialist to help ensure success.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online 2013 Rollout Begins
By: Pedro Hernandez (@ecoINSITE)
As part of a larger cloud-oriented press release, Microsoft announced that its new Dynamics CRM Online 2013 rollout is now going live. According to Microsoft Vice President Bob Stutz, “Dynamics CRM 2013 and its cloud-based counterpart offer features aimed at helping sales and customer service organizations better engage with a new generation of educated, social-media-savvy business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) customers.” The new features include Yammer social enterprise capabilities, a redesigned user friendly interface, Lync and Skype support, and better Office 2013 integration. The release still contains some bugs, such as issues with the “Get CRM for Outlook” bar, but Microsoft is working to quickly address them, and the update represents a drastic overhaul to improve the solution’s overall experience and functionality.


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.

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