Monday, September 17, 2007

How does an on premise software initiative evolve to CRM 2.0?

Reading: How does an on premise software initiative evolve to CRM 2.0?Tweet this Post

You can prepare by having an open mind and a healthy dose of skepticism .. ;-)

One of the comments I often hear, CRM 2.0 is great and I would like to take advantage of it, but how do we get to CRM 2.0 given that we've already invested millions of dollars in my existing CRM systems which surely seem very much like 1.0.

Another question, can we as an on premise customer evolve to CRM 2.0 or do we have to use SaaS to get it.

So the answer to the first question is yes you can move to CRM 2.0 by leveraging your existing CRM investments (with changes though) and for the second one its a no brainer that on premise customers can evolve to CRM 2.0 just like on demand customers can. I dont see CRM 2.0 as a rip and replace strategy, rather a leverage, integrate and layer strategy.

Often times during the transition, change, redefinition, resurgence of spaces like CRM the pack leaders are blind sighted by the fact that organizations have already made significant investments in their existing applications, systems, infrastructure etc. So these organizations have to figure out a roadmap of getting from point A -> B that also balances the ROI equation both for existing and future investments.

Going back to the basics, the CRM 2.0 investment question should be something like ;

Will moving to CRM 2.0 make us a market leader or "plug your pet business goal here".

.... It should definitely not be can On demand (or plug your favorite new technology here) make us a market leader.

The objectives to achieving these goals would be something like transtion organization to CRM 2.0 processes, practices and tools. Does not sound very measureable, but will go with it for now.

Then the strategies to achieving these objectives kick in where you can put things like leverage social networking tools for CRM, Service enable the IT infrastructure, further reduce TCO etc

Here are 5 steps on how I feel organizations with existing on-premise CRM systems can evolve or prepare to evolve to CRM 2.0.

1) Understand your customer in the Web 2.0 economy
2) Recognize your business goals given the new/changing customer interaction/behavior model
3) Re-evaluate your customer business processes for achieving these goals.
4) Identify technology enablers to support these business processes.
5) Perform a gap analysis of where you are and where you need to be on these enablers

Lets pick on step 5 and look at what some of these CRM 2.0 technology enablers can be to ensure a high value two way interaction between the customer and the enterprise. Now I'll leave the Platform part (on premise vs on demand) out of here as its a whole discussion by itself and focus more on the Web 2.0 part.

There's what I'd call more generic Web 2.0 technology/products like:
Social Networking Tools
Rich Internet Applications
Offline Web Applications
Mobile Apps (again, but with a difference)
Convergence products for CRM and other applications (again, but with a difference)
Convergence products for voice and data (again, but with a difference)

.. and the more productized and branded Web 2.0 services available like:

In some ways I feel that using these Web 2.0 products/technologies the world of CRM is being flipped on its head.

The customer is managing their relationship rather than the other way round. Dont get me wrong the other way round is still valid and very much needed, but its a two way street now, participative and collaborative where the customer has control and technology is enabling it.

Here are 5 things you can do to enable Web 2.0 as part of your CRM 2.0 evolution:

1) Identify a current business process or application that can be enhanced using Web 2.0 technology
2) Integrate it as a point project (maybe enterprise rollout maybe not)
3) Make sure its IT friendly, but not driven by IT. The beauty of social networking and Web 2.0 platforms is that it can be installed, used and driven by its users/adopters. IT pretty much plays a binary role of allowing or disallowing it.
4) Be patient (because Enabling a social networking platform, either internally or externally to do better CRM is still pretty much on the early learning curve) and watch them grow. Once the viral adoption of Web 2.0 kicks it your initiative zooms off.
5) Dont compromise on security

I guess an unofficial 6th would be, ensure you are addicted to your Web2.0 service and maybe one of the execs is too .. it helps ;-)

Wanted to cover it in this one but I think will defer it to part II, where we take on say an on premise CRM - SFA initiative and see how it can be evolved into a CRM 2.0 initiative. Or atleast my take on it.

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