Best of CRM: October 5th

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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.

Line of Business Drives 61 Percent of Enterprise IT Projects, Says IDC
By: Larry Dignan (@ldignan)
Gartner’s prediction of the CMO gaining control of the technology budget over the CIO is well known at this point. We can now add IDC to the camp of those predicting a shift away from IT in technology buying power, as the research firm’s latest survey found tech budgets shifting from the CIO to LOB executives, who now control 61 percent of enterprise IT projects. The good news is this doesn’t reflect a lack of IT relevance, as 85 percent of respondents from the same survey said that IT is a more valuable partner than it was three years ago.

Preparing for Today’s Data Marathon
By: Peter Chase (peterrchase)
Leveraging data and information is more important than ever before across businesses, with CRM acting as the central data hub. However, integration remains a key barrier in fully utilizing data across organizations. As mentioned in the article, “for reasons largely having to do with the added complexity and concerns brought to the table by cloud CRM deployments, actual between-systems integration of CRM and other business systems is astonishingly low—just 10 percent to 33 percent.” To meet integration needs, companies must shift from old school to new school integration methods, turning to prebuilt connectors and integration platform offerings over custom coding. Gartner predicts that the CRM market will reach $36 billion by 2017, and more efficient integration trends across cloud, premise and hybrid environments will play a key role in unlocking the full value of the CRM market.

How to Solve CRM Data Deduplication Dilemmas
By: David Taber (@DavidTaber)
In a more tactically-oriented piece, David takes us through how to solve a common problem in CRM systems: duplicate records. Of course, a strategy designed to prevent duplicates in the first place is the best solution, but for those currently facing duplicate records, utilizing duplicate detection software is the first step to cleaning up your data. After detecting the dupes, analyze the systemic sources for duplicate records while simultaneously analyzing the heuristics of the duplication. David includes a step-by-step process for data deduplication, and concludes with the advice that data duplication requires ongoing maintenance rather than a one off cleaning spree. As he puts it, “even if you get them all out of the system now, there’s going to be a software or process change that will cause a new pattern of duplicates to be created. Since it will be easier to clean them up if there’s only one error pattern, a thorough duplicate detection cycle will be needed on a monthly basis.”

More Pricing Talk Expected as Partners, Customers Prepare for Dynamics CRM Online Fall 2013 Update
By: Linda Rosencrance
Microsoft Convergence EMEA is coming up quickly, and the new Dynamics CRM is bringing a new approach to licensing the software to provide more flexibility for customers. The new options for Dynamics CRM Online move from the flat $44/month package to a Professional version for $65/month, Basic for $30/month, and Essential for $15/month. The new pricing scheme will raise the price for customers who require all the functionality offered by Dynamics CRM Online, while lowering costs for users with more basic customer service and account management needs. David Kohar, Chief Customer Office, Zero2Ten Inc notes that despite the increase in price for users of the Professional license, “the buffer to that is all the extra things they’re going to get with the product around the new user experience and all the mobility capabilities. So it’s not as if it’s coming without a ton of benefits.” For companies bumping up to the Professional version, the added price of the new system includes beneficial features such as the new UI and more robust mobile capabilities.

Why your CRM Implementation is Quietly Failing
Dan Woods (@danwoodscito)
Despite the promise of CRM systems, unfortunately companies often fail due to an incomplete vision that is overly internally focused. Companies that treat CRM as a way to track and manage the sales process for sales force automation focus too much on the tactical side of the system, overlooking the grander benefits that come from using CRM to increase the quality of the entire sales and customer service process. Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM, believes that “it is time for CRM to stop being so inwardly focused. Instead of sales force automation, CRM should live up to its name and start helping every single person who interacts with customers do a better job of serving them.” To reach this new vision, companies like QlikView provide a more complete context of customers, while Marketo provides a robust lead scoring mechanism. Many enterprises have already incorporated CRM beyond its use for SFA, but the process won’t happen overnight and requires significant changes to the sales and marketing mentality surrounding the system.


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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