Best of CRM: September 21


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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. This week, as you might imagine, centers around the Dreamforce conference.

Dreamforce 12: Social business capabilities evolve in the cloud
By: Dion Hinchcliffe, (@dhinchcliffe), Executive Vice President of Strategy at Dachis Group
Dion provided comprehensive and informative coverage of Dreamforce, including a live blogging of Marc Benioff’s keynote that I urge you to read if you weren’t there. In this piece on ZDNet, Dion analyzes the announcements coming out of the largest tech conference of the year, noting that it solidifies the future of the cloud.

Dion predicts all aspects of social businesses, marketing, sales, HR and support, will operate in the cloud. The other important theme that emerges from Dion’s article is around integration. He notes that ‘Consumerization of IT has had an impressive impact in improving user experience and setting the bar on how easy things like data integration should be’ and that data is being integrated in a far more sophisticated way than we saw even 5 years ago. He notes that we are experiencing another shift in the technology landscape.

Marc Benioff Highlights Man, Machines, And Social Networks In Dreamforce Keynote
By: Alex Williams
In this quick summary of Benoiff’s keynote, Alex Williams of TechCrunch explains Benoiff’s future vision; one in which people are interacting more and more frequently with software and machines. One can deduce the need for increased amount of integration between systems for this to become a reality.

Virtual Events: The Modern Marketer’s Secret Weapon?
By: Lou Guercia (@LouGuercia), Scribe CEO
Lou shared some fascinating statistics around the growing segment of virtual events and the importance of integrating attendee information with your CRM or SFA solution. In a recent survey from MarketingProfs, Trendline and ON24, it was found that 84% of virtual event attendees take some action as a direct result of attending a virtual event, with 61% taking two+ actions. The same survey found that attendees often discover new vendors and research them during their participation in a virtual event. Nineteen percent of attendees proactively contact a vendor for more information.

Building a Better Ball Team with Big Data: Lessons for Executives
By: Loraine Lawson (@LoraineLawson)
I was struck by Loraine’s most recent piece in IT Business Edge which cites a striking discussion had by Michael Schrage, research fellow at MIT’s Sloan School’s Center for Digital Business, and a room full of executives. Asked whether they wanted free access to exponentially more customer data, executives declined as they ‘couldn’t envision or align it with a desirable business

Loraine argues that this represents a misconception of the power of big data. She cites European soccer clubs who collect vast amounts of data on their players. While most of it has proved insignificant, they have found important correlations, much like those discussed in the story of Moneyball.

For the big data to be valuable, Schrage advises leaders need to decide what matters most and make a commitment to the desired outcome — then decide how Big Data can help you get there. It probably won’t be all based on human decisions either. The analysis and implementation will likely need to
be aided by a technological partner.

There you have it, folks; a busy week. Did you go to Dreamforce? What was your biggest takeaway from the conference? Share your thoughts with us 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.


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