TMCnet News

Invisible CRM
[December 14, 2006]

Invisible CRM

With the dearth of on-demand CRM Solutions, it might seem like a good question to ask. Who are the on-demand vendors, where are they, what do they do and has anybody seen one lately? Oh, and do we really need to see them, anyway?

The answer is yes, we need them, but no we really don't need to see them, no offense.

The truth is that Internet services, in general, are evolving to a point where nobody really thinks, or cares, what goes on in the background when visiting a site, paying a bill, or downloading a file. Who cares, it works seamlessly everybody's happy. Hail Internet!

When deploying online CRM solutions, remember that most users want the same kind of on-line experience everywhere. They expect a fast, efficient and tidy transaction. Users want to be able to do business, build community, and bridge gaps without thinking about software or system requirements, multiple sign-on, or transferring sites. They want to get in and out of a transaction quickly and efficiently and with good information. Optimally CRM solutions offer an opportunity for businesses to deliver that kind of customer experience – quickly, efficiently and with good results.

On-demand, or on-line CRM solutions are a great fit for today's business model, and, they are perfect for the future of on-line marketplaces. They are browser based, and are, ideally, highly scalable, come with powerful integrated tools, and are the means to an end. Namely great customer service. The CRM, on-demand market is not flooded with vendors, nor is it very clear what the future vision is for CRM delivery from within the industry itself. Currently most CRM solutions offer a variety of standard tools and automations as bundles, or options, but there are very few solutions with broad business tool integrations as standard offerings. There are a few exceptional, on-demand CRM solution offering the above services along with services that include standard integration of front and back office services, pooling of disparate informations for review and action, within a zero maintenance and user friendly application. It is a very low impact deployment for organizations and for users in terms of infrastructure for delivery and ease of use. Make sure your CRM gives visual and operational demotion to the delivery infrastructure and elevates access to tools with enhanced processing power for seamless business exchanges.

As Internet becomes more pervasive, it will also mature and be less invasive, which might seem odd, but there are some great precedences. Take electricity for example. We flick a light switch, and we get light. Turn on the dishwasher, computer, hairdryer, the blender .... for that morning smoothie. Do we think about the electrical wiring? The junction box in the basement? The transformers? No. Electricity is there, it happens very predictably and without fuss. For all intents and purposes it is invisible, and as it goes, this will be the model for all Internet based applications, including CRM solutions.

As the Internet culture permeates business practices, it will, in effect, become the Operating System (OS) and applications will run like electricity through the Internet faithfully and efficiently ..... invisibly. Those CRM solutions that have anticipated and planned for invisible delivery application services (IDAS) will be well positioned to bring themselves, their customers and their customer's customers into the future markets with a great return on their CRM investment.

While CRM services can address Sales Force Automation (SFA), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), and can address legacy system integration using portal access and AJAX programming. It is all moot without solid service. A guarantee of service is the key to all future services, invisible or not. Any business would like a CRM Solution, but not if it is inefficient, cumbersome or unreliable. Truthfully, business would like CRM solutions to disappear ........ with a service guarantee.

About the author:

Katie Campbell is currently a business/Marketing analyst with, and has over 10 years experience in government and private sector consulting.

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