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What's Old Is New Again
September 24, 2020
A raft of new technologies that impact CRM are about to be announced, but even without the latest announcements due now through October, there's a realization that we're coming full circle. Oracle is making hardware sexy again, using it to drive new business models and to push its CX version of CRM; and Salesforce is tackling a kind of mass customization of its CRM product line.
Fall Ramp-Up
September 15, 2020
Technology's fall selling season is gearing up for year-end as it always does, coronavirus or not, and the CRM industry follows suit with some mods. The majors like Salesforce and Oracle, as well as fast followers like Zoho, are in hot pursuit of what's new -- and they're betting new in this context means a process orientation, not simply delivering new products, features, or functions.
Tech's Role in the Future of Restaurants
September 9, 2020
While changes in the restaurant industry have been in response to what is hoped to be a temporary crisis, it's likely that dining establishments will never again operate exactly as they did before coronavirus. Along with altering their physical designs to accommodate the demands of the pandemic, eateries must also turn to new models for order taking, making deliveries, and payment processing.
Consumers Buying In to Digital Wallets
September 4, 2020
The recent rise in digital wallet adoption shows a marked contrast with slow growth in digital wallet use in the U.S. prior to the pandemic. As more consumers become comfortable using digital wallets -- and possibly begin to prefer them -- it's not a stretch to conclude that many will embrace these shopping habits permanently, causing acceptance rates to continue to grow.
FAA Clears Amazon for Drone Delivery
September 1, 2020
Amazon has cleared a key government hurdle in its flight path to deliver packages by airborne drones. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has granted the online retail giant a Part 135 certificate, which allows Amazon Prime Air to operate as an air carrier. The move lets Amazon make commercial deliveries under a trial program that uses drone technology announced last year.
CRM is Failing: It's Time to Transition to CXM
September 1, 2020
Centralizing all tools and customer-effecting services into one system delivers great efficiencies for businesses. However, enabling customers to have the same experience in real time is the difference between a CRM and CXM. CRM Buyer pursued the potential transition process -- and the impact of both CRM and CXM products -- in a conversation with Thryv VP Ryan Cantor.
ROI on Salesforce
August 27, 2020
Deep in its DNA, Salesforce has always focused on a bigger picture. Its commitment to community issues is best expressed in the company's philanthropic orientation. At the same time, Salesforce has always had the customer at the heart of what it does -- and that transcends its customer relationships to include its customers' customers.
Holiday Shopping Forecast: Less Spending, More Empathy
August 24, 2020
The 2020 holiday shopping forecast and consumer spending patterns well into next year will be marked by a pullback in spending, an increase in consumer expectations for brand behavior, and a focus on supporting small businesses. Marketers are advised to focus on brand values and trustworthiness to combat the continuing challenges retailers face in courting consumers across all generations.
It's Still a Young CRM Market
August 20, 2020
The IDC CRM market share numbers are in for 2019. For the seventh consecutive year Salesforce leads the pack, this time with 18.4 percent of the market. Other big vendors trailing the leader include, SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and Adobe. After 25 years of competition, the runners-up have a combined share that is still less than that of Salesforce.
Retailers to Consumers: Let's Get 'Phygital'
August 20, 2020
The pandemic has exposed one fundamental, seemingly contradictory reality: people like to shop online, but they also crave in-person experiences. This era has also made clear that there's an answer to this conundrum: to provide shopping experiences that combine both physical and digital elements. Also known as "phygital" experiences, these strive to give customers the best of both the online and in-person worlds.
Never Complain, Never Explain
August 19, 2020
Oracle continues to be the big software vendor we love to hate. There are any number of reasons for this, starting with the brash prognostications of founding CEO and current CTO Larry Ellison. Last week, another in a long line of incidents cropped up that will likely provide hours of conversations among my fellow analysts at trade conference watering holes, just as soon as such things are again common.
Consumers Expect More From Brands to Earn Loyalty
August 18, 2020
Customer loyalty has increased drastically in the last five years, though it has not reached boom status for many brands. Winning repeat business is increasingly difficult, especially with the economic uncertainty brought on by COVID-19. New studies reveal how solidly personalization in marketing drives brand loyalty, however consumers still feel that brands fail to do enough to recognize them as individuals.
Oracle Marketing
August 10, 2020
The emergency caused by the novel coronavirus is causing deep structural changes to how we do business. We don't sell or market the way we did before the virus, and it may be some time before we return to that model -- if indeed we ever do. Oracle's strategy centers around the CX Unity Customer Intelligence Platform, a data management platform that's central to marketers' activities.
Salesforce Sustainability Cloud
August 7, 2020
Salesforce continues to offer new products in an expanding demonstration of its platform's relevance to business and society at large. Sustainability Cloud is best understood as a carbon accounting solution that enables organizations to more quickly audit their carbon emissions and take action in that area. This covers a lot.
Salesforce Ups Its Marketing Game
July 21, 2020
Recent research shows that employees are well aligned with the directions and goals of their companies, and that they are competently led and respect their bosses; but the technologies they use leave a lot to be desired. This includes CRM, and too often the functionality that their currently installed CRM doesn't offer. Consequently, the changes Salesforce just introduced in its Marketing Cloud could not have been more timely.
More Autonomous Cloud From Oracle
July 9, 2020
Oracle's new offerings, really packaging of existing recent high-performance products for the enterprise market, enable companies to continue running their data and datacenters on premise while still benefitting from gains made by its autonomous database like eliminating most forms of routine maintenance and operations activities.
B2C Response Rates at SMBs Crushing Enterprises
July 6, 2020
A company's ability to answer customer questions and resolve problems has become as essential as product, quality, and price. When customers are ignored, or given the impression they are unimportant by slow response times, the consequences of lost business and a damaged reputation can be irreversible. A recent study found that many businesses fall short of providing timely customer service.
The Trail to the Platform
July 1, 2020
Some years ago, Marc Benioff told me he was not interested in developing back office apps that would compete with SAP and Oracle in the ERP and finance market. Many people, myself included, looked askance at that idea and wondered out loud how the company would continue to grow because, hey, there's front office and back office and nothing else right? Nope.
Time to Beef Up Your Algorithms
June 18, 2020
Accuracy means getting the right answer. Precision is about getting the right answer time after time. In a CRM situation an algorithm that gets the right answer is accurate and nice (we got the deal!) but if the business process supported by CRM has a lot of returns or unhappy customers, it's not very precise.
Sellers Prep for Continued Storm of E-Commerce Activity
June 18, 2020
Online sales are projected to surge even after America reopens for business. "One of the first things companies will need to do is make sure their technology infrastructure is equipped to handle the increase in traffic," Ryan Gellis, Founding Partner at RMG Media, told the E-Commerce Times. "The best marketing campaigns are only as good as the weakest infrastructure to support them."
The WFH Model Is Changing Customer Service for Good
June 11, 2020
As the dust settled on what most have deemed the "new normal" of working from home, many industries -- including customer service -- rapidly shifted operations to be remote work-friendly. At the same time, call volumes increased exponentially: During the last few months, airlines saw a 199 percent increase in customer inquiries, while grocers saw a 39 percent increase.
Verint Automates Management of Return-to-Work Health Practices
June 10, 2020
Verint has announced new capabilities within its workforce management solution that automate compliance with CDC guidelines to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection as employees transition back to the workplace. New workflows automatically create a comprehensive schedule that is prescriptive, while including traditional workforce management criteria such as skill level, channels and peak hours.
CRM's K-Wave
May 26, 2020
These are extraordinary times, in case you haven't noticed. One of my contentions these days is that CRM is penetrating society to a point that it is taking on an outsized role -- the "CRMification" of society. In economics we often see a disruptive innovation climb a ladder as it becomes something that society needs, as well as wants, until it becomes essential.
Work.com and the CRMification of Society
May 20, 2020
CRMification is the process by which the culture absorbs CRM technology, processes and techniques to achieve some kind of new utility for getting things done better, faster and cheaper. Today we should add safer too. Another way to state it is that CRM is a disruptive innovation in the culture. The next normal will have something to do with CRM.
What's Going On With Oracle?
May 14, 2020
Oracle appears to be undergoing a kind of resurgence during the coronavirus crisis. Financial analysts are saying nice things about its ability to pay dividends even in tough times. Its technology, which always has been good, is seeing an interesting uptick. All of this is buffing the company's image after years of, yes-but responses from the market.
Merchants: Adopting New Payment Technologies Is Easier Than You Think
May 11, 2020
Consumers increasingly demand seamless ways to purchase wherever they go, and they want their transactions to be quick, safe and, importantly, secure. The fact is, merchants must embrace new methods quickly or risk being left behind. Over the last decade, payment options have evolved in response to developments in technology and changing customer purchasing habits.
How to Adapt Your Customer Service When Crisis Strikes
May 8, 2020
Customer service doesn't have to suffer while your company goes through a difficult transition. In fact, 78 percent of consumers said they stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service. Now is the time to show your most valuable buyers how you'll keep them informed, updated and respected throughout this crisis by adapting your practices to the moment.
Salesforce Revamps Work.com to Help Businesses Address Pandemic
May 6, 2020
Salesforce has announced a new version of Work.com designed to help businesses function safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Work.com is a completely new initiative using an existing domain name that we previously owned," said Salesforce spokesperson Joel Steinfeld. "Our focus is on speed and moving as quickly as possible to help our customers, and Work.com is an optimal way to do that.
Cultural CRM-ization
April 29, 2020
You can reduce the story of CRM to a lot of things, especially its many component parts. Social networking, cloud computing and analytics are mentioned often. We don't need an exhaustive list, but if we stop there I think we miss a lot. To me CRM isn't about the parts, although like most people following the industry, I get a modicum of joy when a vendor adds something new to the toolbox.
Zoom Oracles Its Way to Center Stage
April 28, 2020
Oracle and Zoom just entered a deal that for once is more about technological audacity than about dollars -- a partnership to host Zoom on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. In just a few months -- basically since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic -- Zoom has seen demand for its service grow from about 10 million daily meeting participants to more than 300 million.
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Salesforce Industries Summit
Forrester names NICE inContact CXone a leader in cloud contact center software