Friday, July 20, 2007

How to CRM with Twitter and Jott


I recently got introduced to two new and exciting web services Twitter and Jott, thanks to my techno discoverer wife. She is always exploring the bleeding edge of web technology (but I'll reserve that for another time).

Twitter to me is the latest version of social networking that is a marriage (or should I be politically correct and say mashup, nah mashup these days evokes a completely different category of web apps so I'll stick with marriage) of IM that's published to a BB that can be public or private with members subscribed to it. So one can have sporadic conversations or updates with other Twitterites. Coming from the enterprise SW space to me services like these are a glimpse of the bright horizon where something like this could be easily repurposed for lets say CRM. Like a service team Twittering its status updates for critical services to its customers, your customers Twittering each other in the community. With an array of plugins being developed all over to make it easy to Twit with IM, email, etc its picking up fast.

Jott is an interesting twist to something thats been done before, both in the consumer and enterprise space. In a nutshell its a web based service that allows you to leave/jot voice messages to yourself (or any mailbox) and then sends it to your email as a voice recording and written transcript. Very good for folks like us on the move. Imagine your salesperson leaving a critical sales call and Jotting himself some "Notes" or "Activities" by speaking into his phone on the way back in the cab. However I was amazed at the transcript engine, it picked up my accented voice and did pretty well with sometimes phonetically challenging asian names.

Well by the time I learnt about and used these services and finally got around to writting about them, I stumbled upon another interesting twist to Twitter called Pownce With a private beta for Pownce currently in progress it was a little diff to get an invite. So will write about it once I have used it. Also more on how these can be easily applied to your existing CRM initiatives.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Should CRM just be CM?


Customer Relationship, Experience, Insight, Intelligence ... and the list goes on. For this next generation should be just elevate Customer Relationship Management (CRM) to Customer Management (CM)?

Or is the CRM acronym a very flashy ringer that cannot be done away with in 2.0? Maybe the CM acronym is already taken and gets confused with Content Management or something.

But if we go the generic CM route then we get out of the front office vs back office business which anyways was strong positioning put forth by the ERP and CRM vendors to differentiate their solutions rather than how customers really wanted it. I've been on umpteen customer business process integration initiatives where the processes were spanning multiple systems and folks would try to draw these artificial lines of demarcation saying this is what CRM will do and this is what ERP will do etc.

Ultimately CRM 2.0 or even Enterprise 2.0 for me is all about defining processes and loosely coupled components that enable these processes in an organization. So maybe Customer Management 2.0 is the space that is all about the customer and cuts across the traditional CRM, ERP and SCM domains of the past.