Monday, November 17, 2008

It's All About the Data...

This article from Bill Snyder shows that in many SOA projects the data and its structure does not get the attention that it should.
For a working 360° view of a customer - something that Amdocs is propagating for years now - many data silos must be integrated and made accessible within an SOA. It is not only about (business) processes and services, the data is as important, especially when it comes to CRM.

In a CRM 2.0 strategy, the data and its availability is crucial. Customers expect all data (and services) to be available whenever and wherever they need it. There is no real personal treatment of customers without a 360° view of their data.
How can this be achieved?
One possible solution is a shared information datamodel (SID) or an existing standard datamodel like TMFs structure. This can either be used by all SOA services or be mapped to them individually (legacy apps).

Friday, November 7, 2008

Oracle seems to get it

22008741_61203401 Anthony Lye from Oracle has a good vision of what CRM 2.0 really is about. And although CRM 2.0 is still not a tool or an installer that you can put on a server and be happy - It is important to have the right tools to engage users and be able to connect people and systems in an efficient way.

Anthony realizes the need to break through the very limited process-focused view of traditional CRM and connect to customers in a new and collaborative way. This is not only about gathering data from social networks and generating leads - its also about contributing to these networks and create value for the customers.

I specially like the fact that Oracle utilizes the OpenSocial API introduced by Google. It is always good if tools are based on standards and open source code. In this case it allows developers from the social networks or other Web 2,0 applications to provide interfaces to their platforms.

Monday, November 3, 2008

CRM 2.0 only for complex sales?

1071220_supermarket_pushcart_02 Anthony Lye from Oracle suggests that Web 2.0 features are more useful for complex sales situations rather than the High-Volume, Low-Margin business (like Amazons retail business).

But is this really the case? What about features like customer ratings and reviews for example?
These are Web 2.0 features that are more useful the more people use it (requires to pass the critical mass!).

Of course it is not possible - from a companies perspective - to stay in close contact to millions of customers worldwide in a very personal way. But doesn't that even more cry for a Customer Relationship Model that engages the customers to share their opinion and get into contact with other buyers and users?

I believe that CRM 2.0 could (and will) be used in both scenarios and deliver equal benefits on both sides of the sales spectrum. Of course the features being used will be different, but still they require to change the mind-set of employees and management... and of course a properly developed CRM 2.0 strategy...

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