What is the Social CRM interface of the future?


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I am following the #scrm11 hashtag on Twitter to be informed about the Social CRM event in Paris, France and then I see this tweet (being reported from the event, not the person’s question, I presume):

It seemed to me from the tweets (please correct me if I am wrong, I had limited visibility) that SugarCRM wanted to share a vision where the social networking site would be of the user’s choice and the CRM system would be able to connect to any of them, as opposed to what happens currently.

Lofty goal, pretty cumbersome. And the only way currently possible is very inefficient, thanks to the absence of any widespread usage of common open standards, open protocols, open formats, interoperability, data porting, etc., etc. To provide the choice & flexibility to the customer, the CRM vendor (or their ecosystem) needs to build connectors for each one of the social media/networking site in existence. *gulp* (Hey team, what are you waiting for? Get started on building them. I’d like a status report on them in our next meeting. Thank you. 😉

But I have an even more bizarre dream of the future interface. One where there will be bionic lenses (you know, contact lenses that can show information) projecting data as if a few feet away from your eyes. Where there will also be in-ear headsets, taking a cue from the hearing aid industry and combining that with the Bluetooth headset industry’s tech (great for the hearing aids industry too IMHO, imagine the cheap availability of such devices).

And there will be mics (some advanced form of throat mics) that can capture, and may be even recognize, subvocal speech. Meaning, you need not speak aloud that which you want the other party on the phone to hear. You think what you want to say, your brain asks your vocal chords to speak, but they stop a bit before actually speaking aloud. So the people in your immediate vicinity cannot hear what you are talking with the other person on the phone. 😉

All these devices on your body would be connected by a body area network and powered by energy harvesting, probably by your fabrics & shoes or even your body heat.

The customer service rep at the other end will not only have a social media command center that gets info from enterprise systems too and is powered by a robust social analytics that does text mining, natural language processing, social network analysis, collaborative filtering, predictive analytics, but will also work like Tom Cruise in the movie Minority Report (Microsoft is funding various startups working on Kinect tech, so you can bet there will be some good use for it) while talking to the customer on a holovid, you know the star wars kind of video conferencing system that Cisco demo’d from Bangalore.

Well, at least one benefit of all these rich media would be that it would be more difficult for people to lie than on emails or phones (did you know people lie more on email than face to face?). Which means there will be a better environment of trust between the customer and the company.

But what it means in terms of security and privacy and how would society evolve in the face of such technological advances I will leave it for sci-fi writers. Would it be something radical like the Arab Spring & #Occupy which were mediated by social media or give rise to something like the missed call social dynamics (and marketing tools too, like ZipDial) in India and other emerging nations in Asia and Africa?

So what do you think is the Social CRM interface of the future?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Prem Kumar Aparanji
SCRM Evangelist @ Cognizant. Additional knowledge in BPM, QA, Innovations, Solutions, Offshoring from previous roles as developer, tester, consultant, manager. Interested in FLOSS, Social Media, Social Networks & Rice Writing. Love SF&F books. Blessed with a loving wife & a curious kid. :)


  1. Prem, I thought Social CRM was a strategy. How does a strategy have an interface?

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist. 🙂

    Personally, I favor brain implants.


  2. Bob,

    Yes, its that which metaphorically is called “rubber meets the road”. 🙂 (For some it might be “shit hits the fan”.) And I certainly did miss out on the brain controlled input devices. They are already a reality, one just needs to figure out how to use them to control the communication devices. 😉

    Thanks a lot for the comment Bob. Been a long time since we had a conversation. I am glad for the opportunity. 🙂


  3. The Social CRM interface in future is limitless and should be user friendly. I agree with Prem that this technology might be the future Social CRM. However I’m thinking for user friend but in an advance mechanics. Like voice command, holographic communication and private messaging that can detect the truthfulness of what being said. A simple press that would allow the user to navigate without a lot of buttons to press. A capsule where we can store terabytes of data and is handy when you need it. You remember the dragon ball capsules? Yeah sounds very user friendly right? One click and it will automatically set it up for you. Sounds fun right?!

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