Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Gartner, CRM and SOA

Just found this article while scanning through my long long list of unread feeds in Google Reader. Gartner has released a report on how CRM software is paving the way for SOA related developments. Some quotes from the article below.

SOA has become the near-universally accepted method for delivering next-generation enterprise applications, Gartner vice president, John Radcliffe acknowledged. And while SAP, Microsoft and Oracle had all made advances in their CRM offerings, users still faced uncertainty about how to progress.
SOA remains a buzzword, there are not a lot of companies that know how to apply a true service oriented architecture. Most enterprise applications are not truly enabled to take their place in a service oriented architecture, as yet.

Enterprise users are desperate for better guidance about how to proceed with SOA implementations, noted Radcliffe, as it should allow them to build more business-responsive IT infrastructures, while also offering a way to upgrade applications incrementally – thus avoiding the cost and expense of large enterprise application deployments.

But a lot remains to be done, for both SAP, Oracle and Microsoft. SAP's SOA strategy is comprehensive, but not built on open standards and requires the use of proprietary technology. Microsoft's CRM products are just beginning to gain a place in the market and have a long way to go. As for Oracle, the Fusion suite of products seems to offer a lot of functionality, but it is not understood by or communicated clearly to both Oracle's customers and partners. It seems therefore that there will be some road to travel before SOA enabled enterprise applications enter the market place and companies are ready to start using them.

Will Benioff succeed Larry Ellison at Oracle?

Former FT report Tom Foremski seems to think so. Read his post on why Marc Benioff is the candidate to follow in Larry Ellisons footsteps

Friday, March 14, 2008

On the advent of the chief customer officer

After the rise (and subsequent decline) of the CMO, a new CXO type role seems to be emerging. As companies devote more attention to Customer Experience Management, some companies are moving to appoint a Chief Customer Officer, or Chief Customer Experience Officer. The main responsibility of the CCO is to ensure a consitent customer experience and to counter negative outings in (on social) media outlets. An article on CustomerThink outlines the rationale behind the CCO.

On social media and Oracle On Demand

Oracle has released version 15 of CRM On Demand and has apparently included a number of interesting Social Media Features, such as befriending customer contacts, subscribing to a friend feeds etc. Read the full story on what has been added and how this makes Oracle On Demand more CRM 2.0 on Paul Greenberg's Blog

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

On the future of social networks

One of the most interesting Web 2.0 trends, the advent of social networking, will certainly also impact the CRM, CRM 2.0 and most probably the VRM field. Charlene Li, from Forrester Research, recently held a presentation on the future of Social Networks at the Social Graph 2008 event in San Francisco

Worthwhile to click through for a bit. (Via Marketingfacts)

On Gartner's 7 initiatives to improve the customer experience

Jim Berkowitz has created a post that summarizes / outlines a number of recent Gartner publications on Customer Experience Management. Check it out.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

On CRM Vendor Selection and Requirements Analysis

Richard Boardman, of Mareeba CRM Consulting has posted an article on CRM Requirements analysis and how this can help control costs when a company lays down clear requirements, before starting vendor selection for a new CRM system.

I agree with Richard that laying down a clear set of requirements is certainly necessary before selecting a CRM vendor and that some companies overlook their actual needs and the functionality of the selected product, which sometimes leads to challenges when undertaking the actual implementation of a CRM system.

I do feel however that one does not necessarily need to create a full blueprint of the CRM processes merely for vendor selection purposes. A high level specification, together with knowledgable evaluators of vendor's propositions or products should also go a long way. The full blueprint can than be created, taken the functionality of the selected CRM package into account and ensuring that the COTS functionality purchased is leveraged in the right way.

On a VRM One Pager

I've posted about VRM before, mostly outlining the some of the challenges I see and some opportunities. I didn't fully explain the concept of VRM in a clear-cut and consise manner however. If you want to get a real ide on the promise of VRM, read Adriana Lukas' One Pager