Are We Any Closer to End-to-End CRM?

Ann All

CRM has taken its share of knocks over the years. For a time, it was a kind of enterprise "black sheep" that wasn't referred to fondly, when it was referred to at all.

Yet some, including Beagle Research Group blogger Denis Pombriant, are saying that 2007 will be the year that CRM providers will begin making real headway in their efforts to make CRM a full-fledged business platform.

Makes sense to us. After all, customer service permeates nearly every aspect of a company's business.

While companies today use CRM primarily for managing leads and filling orders, there is no reason it cannot be expanded and used to track inventory, notify suppliers of transactions, and notify R&D of product demand, for instance.

Such an approach was adopted by financial services firm the Glenmede Trust Company, as detailed in this IT Business Edge interview. Putting CRM front-and-center has helped unite various aspects of the business, says the firm's CTO.

Interestingly, he mentions the need to bring business units together in a "shrewd and crafty way." This meshes with Pombriant's observation that getting companies to view CRM as a single end-to-end process will be a major cultural hurdle that must be overcome if the platform approach is to succeed.

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