Best of CRM: September 21st

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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.

Salesforce and Workday – Reaffirming the Partnership
Denis Pombriant (@DenisPombriant)
Two of the biggest solutions providers in CRM and HCM – Salesforce and Workday – just announced a partnership to integrate product offerings to benefit the many customers they share. Considering the importance of integration for maximizing application productivity and the lack of competition between the two companies, this partnership seems like a great move. Denis writes: “in agreeing to merge platforms to a greater or lesser degree, these two vendors have, or will, greatly reduce barriers and effectively provide a kind or pre-integration for their wares. And since one is all about the front office and the other is back office oriented it looks like an ideal marriage.” While most large business solution providers act predominantly with the walled garden in mind, more and more partnerships will form in the coming years to meet a greater variety of customer demands. This move simply continues the trend in the wake of Oracle partnering with Microsoft and Salesforce for their cloud capabilities.

Securing Cloud CRM for Better Customer Adoption
By: Cloudtweaks (@cloudtweaks)
Cloud CRM solutions offer immense benefits and flexibility, but with the recent NSA Prism leaks, cloud security has been placed in the spotlight more than ever before, especially for larger companies that face greater customer security demands. To ensure cloud CRM security, enterprise clients should monitor vulnerability internally and share results with the cloud vendor, and the vendor should create “security traps” within their datacenters to lure in probably hackers to trigger an alarm. Moreover, the vendor must maintain transparency and may also consider providing a “profiling feature” to enterprises that they can use to profile customers with regards to security. In the cloud, “The thought of storing strategic documents, customer data and commercials elsewhere cause cold feet for many CXOs while transforming to cloud,” but with the above-mentioned security measures, these risks can be largely mitigated.

Adopting Cloud Computing: Seeing the Forest for the Trees
By: Rex Wang (@wrecks47)
Oracle’s vice president of product marketing takes a step back to write about the importance of adopting cloud solutions with an overarching, long-term strategy rather than simply jumping on the bandwagon. As he writes, while speed of deployment and lower capital and operational expenses represent good reasons to adopt cloud-based CRM, ERP and other business systems, “the real power of cloud computing is unlocked when a company’s cloud strategy is elevated to drive transformational change across the organization.” This involves looking into the future and ensuring that the cloud solution will meet their needs for some time to come, or if it doesn’t, that changing applications is possible without great cost. Equally important is how these cloud applications play together, with 81 percent of business managers surveyed around the world believing in the importance of full integration between cloud applications. Ultimately, the cloud offers immense benefits for those who keep both the short and long-term plan in mind, and who understand the importance of connecting cloud apps.

Social and Mobile Transforming CRM
By: Mariné Jacobs
By 2016, Gartner predicts that 50% of all sales will be influenced by mobile. This means businesses must prepare their CRM strategy to account for mobile before that point. Businesses must also retool CRM strategy to account for customer adoption of social to cater to a world where “customers only care about it being accessible, consistent, repeatable, thorough, timely, flexible, convenient and personalized. These are the things you should be thinking through in your design of the CRM processes.” Gartner research director Jim Davies sees social and mobile altering company strategies and tactics on all levels, including analytics with the rise of unstructured data. CRM will remain as important as ever, but the CMO and CIO need to understand changing customer engagement models to best make use of the system across marketing, sales and the analytics that drive decision making.

Test Your CRM Management and Administration IQ
By: David Taber (@DavidTaber)
“The story’s as old as system administration: Some parts of the job are straightforward and risk-free, but other tasks are fraught with high error rates and nasty consequences.” Most CRM stories focus on its benefits, challenges and strategies. In this piece, David takes a different approach by covering IT management issues that arise with CRM, along with questions to ask to ensure your IT can handle the system. He details eight common mistakes he’s seen through working with his own clients, which are caused by fuzzy ideas about the CRM system’s object model, a weak understanding of table joins, a misunderstanding of CRM system security primitives, confusion when using formulas, a weakness with compound Booleans, difficulty working with dates and times, an inability to set up time-based workflows, and general trouble with Regular Expressions. For each of these issues, David includes a question that IT must be able to answer in order to avoid them.


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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