Getting Real About Real-Time CRM

Ann All

We'd like to thank Martin Schneider, a senior analyst at the 451 Group, for voicing an opinion that we have long held: Just how real is "real time" anyway and, perhaps more important, who really needs it?


In an interview with IT Business Edge editor Mike Stevens, Schneider's response to a question about real-time CRM, which has been getting plenty of ink in the technical trade press, was that true real-time capability is "kind of impossible." Rather, what vendors are promising is the ability to make decisions at "the right time."


If we thought anyone would sign, we'd circulate a petition suggesting this change, so that "real time" could avoid the fate of terms like "synergy" -- used so often and so indiscriminately that no one really knows what the heck you are talking about but most pretend they do.


Cutting to the CRM chase, Schneider makes the point that while you can run fairly inclusive reports on an hourly basis, few people really need to do so. "This isn't something that you want these engines to run all the time underneath your IT structure, sucking out processing power that could be used elsewhere," Schneider says.


As with any other technical concept, it makes sense to pause and ask yourself, "do I really need this?" before agreeing to something because a vendor is pushing it, all of the analysts are talking about it and/or a competitor already has it.


Of course, plenty of people, like the author of this recent article, think real-time CRM is the greatest thing since, say, synergy. Hey, everyone is entitled to their opinion.

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