Do EMC and Apple Have a Killer CRM Secret? - Page 2

For instance, let's say you were managing a marriage, another kind of deep relationship. If you were managing how well the parties worked together, but didn't have insight into any distractions by other potential mates, you wouldn't really have a good picture of the relationship. A massive number of relationships are broken up not because either party did something wrong, but because one of them found someone better. In a competitive market, there is no rule against fooling around or getting hitched to another primary vendor.


If you want to either prevent or capitalize on that, you'd need to not only know what you brought to the table, but what your rival brought to the table as well.




So what Jim Bampos has created at EMC is the first big data CRM solution on the planet. Backed up by Greenplum analytics, EMC's solution has four pillars and four levels. The four processes that EMC drills down on and has instrumented are the buying process, the deployment process, the customer use process and services. Each is not only measured individually, but also in respect to those processes around it through the eyes of the customer. For instance, if the deployment process is failing, it may be because the solution was incorrectly sold, leading the buyer to think it did things well that it wasn't designed to do. If someone is having difficulty, it could be because service personnel weren't engaging correctly and had made errors or provided bad advice.


The four levels that constitute data capture include: the voice of the customer, voice of the field quantitative quality, customer metrics and financial metrics, and this data (both subjective and objective) is plugged into Greenplum for analysis.


One of the early results was the investment in a maintenance system that increasingly surrounds all of EMC's offerings, which looks at predictive elements (use, load, environment) and then proactively predicts failures so that not only do repair people show up to fix things timely, they generally show up before the failure, assuring the system doesn't fail at all.


In short, they have taken CRM and turned it into UCLA (Universal Customer Loyalty Assurance). Their program doesn't just manage orders, it assures that customers remain customers forever.




However, this year EMC is taking this one step further into managing partners to the same level. The Dell breakup hit the company pretty hard, both because Dell is a personal friend of its CEO, Joe Tucci, and because Dell has transitioned from being a powerful ally to a powerful competitor. The company felt this kind of outcome could and should be avoided. As a result, EMC has taken this same model and applied it to partnerships and has begun to fully instrument these relationships so that no other EMC partner will, due to an EMC oversight, become a competitor. In fact, with a system like this, it simply would be more cost effective to partner with EMC than to compete against it, particularly if it gave you access to its Customer and Partner Assurance systems.


Wrapping Up: So Why Is EMC Unique?


Think about it: EMC did VCE, a unique enterprise-class partnership growing in triple digits and no one has copied it. EMC did VSPLEX, a solution not built to customer specs, but built to partner specs for mid-market partners so they could build unique solutions for customers and no one copied that either. EMC's unique customer-focused, but hardly secret, weapon is creating deeper customer loyalty and incredible success, so why aren't other companies doing this? In fact, based on this recent disclosure out of the HP/Oracle case, Oracle is apparently reveling in the fact that it is tricking customers into buying hardware that "beelllooooows" (see documents at end of this piece) and that is more in line with ripping off customers than assuring their loyalty.


So my reason for why this is isn't that much different from why companies don't deploy SIEM tools. They would rather not know about their customer and partner relationships because, if they did, they might have to fix relationship problems.


Reminds me of an old friend. He had stolen his wife from another man and she was clearly becoming unhappy. He didn't want to go into therapy to get to the core of the issue and instead went on a private vacation. He returned to find that she had moved in with someone else (who pretty much locked her in the house and wouldn't let her out, which kind of works but likely wasn't ideal from her perspective, either). I think that's called a lose, lose, lose result.


In the end, that is EMC's truly secret lesson: It would rather know of problems and be able to resource fixing them rather than risk being surprised by lost customers or partners. In my book, that likely makes it the ideal vendor partner. And it also is the way CRM should, but doesn't, work.

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Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
May 29, 2012 1:23 PM John Morris John Morris  says:


Interesting observations about CRM as potential nuclear weapon for Apple and EMC.  However, unless there are more details waiting to be discovered, it seems to me that the interesting advances by these two companies are all about the organization, and not the rep. 

Of course "CRM" itself is more about contracting organizations than the front-line sales rep, but front-line sales reps usually have to put up with CRM software billed as sales software. 

The problem has been identified by a recent McKinsey article to effect that "70%" of sales rep time is wasted, or something like that. 

The truly revolutionary sales-oriented software would deliver "story support" or "narrative support" and "low-latency task prioritizing".  I write about this on my blog at www.standupsales.com.  And whenever someone will deliver this software, I will be the first to champion it!

Anyway, thanks for highlighting this material.


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