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Get Your CRM Ready for Some Good News
March 1, 2021
There is budding optimism about the future. COVID-19 cases and deaths are in decline, financial indicators are decent and trending up, and forecasters are predicting a booming economy. This involves a lot of buying and selling at both the business-to-business and business-to-consumer ends of the spectrum. So now might be a very good time to take inventory on plant, equipment and employees through the lens of CRM.
Normalized
February 19, 2021
Salesforce has made it official, coming back to the office will be a fluid thing -- and why not? The company has arguably done more in the last year to build systems such as Salesforce Anywhere and Work.com that enable workers -- at least a kind of knowledge worker -- to work from anywhere. Think of what this means.
Oracle's Reinvention
February 16, 2021
Oracle's continued strides in the tech space say a lot about perseverance and deep pockets. It was a darling of the 20th century tech era, rising from a startup in the database wars and becoming the sole surviving independent database company. But at some point, success leveled out its rise and it became just another big company. Then came the challenge of cloud computing.
CRM's Pandemic Performance
February 1, 2021
If you step back and look at what the tech sector has demonstrated to us through COVID, you can feel impressed. Early in the crisis vendors like Salesforce and Zoho began offering their products for free, or at low cost, to companies and end users suddenly faced with working at home. Oracle, Salesforce and others also developed tracking apps that could be easily deployed on the Web to help health authorities track exposure and quarantines.
Misunderstood Loyalty
January 22, 2021
Both marketing and loyalty had delayed starts in the CRM world, and both exhibited traits of confusion among those charged with their rollouts; strongly evidenced by a lack of specificity in the early applications that carried their badges. Loyalty is back in the spotlight now; as multiple vendors have entered the loyalty market as both startups and established businesses take a swing at the ball.
Dreamforce and Beyond
December 16, 2020
Three announcements at Dreamforce tell a credible story of the future in which algorithmically driven assistance drives business -- and much more. We've long known that we can't manage what we can't measure, and measurement requires data to deliver real information. These announcements provide an insight into how that gets done.
Where to in 2021?
December 10, 2020
The front office is moving out the front door and into the world. Actually, it's exiting via the Internet, the windows and side doors, to form the basis of what will be the 'next normal' or whatever future historians want to call it. For a while, when we were just dabbling with mobility and social media, we could ignore all that -- but no more.
Salesforce Riffs on New Work Styles
November 30, 2020
Back in Q1 Salesforce threw out its annual plan and did a pretty good imitation of a startup or a jazz band. They developed products like Work.com and Salesforce Anywhere as solutions to the evolving need for systems that would help their customers cope with the pandemic. The products supported both working remotely and safeguarding the premises when people returned.
Why Hasn't CRM Taken Over the World?
October 8, 2020
Many businesses have bought into CRM, of course. It isn't an 80-billion-dollar industry for nothing. Still, there's a disconnect between the wonderful features and functions of new technologies and the realities of how companies use them -- or not. Only about a quarter of organizations use CRM appropriately. Others use it for simple record keeping, or barely use it at all.
CRM's COVID Opportunity
September 30, 2020
Many of the workarounds that have kept old systems running have reached the end of the line. If people are already working in their cars, the gym or the bathroom, it's hard to see how things get any better without replacing systems. That requires a different approach for the customer. The old adage of "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," doesn't really apply any more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Contact Tracing With Salesforce
April 22, 2020
Contact tracing is a big job, like trying to drain an ocean with a teaspoon. It involves finding people who have been exposed to the coronavirus and testing them to determine if they are infected or are carriers. Public health officials then can take necessary steps to prevent the virus' spread. It's a perfect fit for CRM, and Salesforce's core technology is coming to the forefront.
A Patchwork of Useful Things
April 4, 2020
Adobe just announced what it calls the first digital economy index. It seems like it's modeled after other indices usually kept by the federal government to measure economic output and consumption. The Adobe index captures only consumer consumption behavior though. Some of its insights include new shopping behavior, such as which products have become hot items or decreased in popularity over time.
Zoho's Noble Endeavor
March 25, 2020
Edge conditions and the change they drive are fascinating. Some people use the word "margin" because it's at the margin that things change. A situation exists more or less in equilibrium with the rest of its environment until in one way or another the stresses become so great that change happens. We have lots of metaphors, like "tipping point" and "the straw that broke the camel's back."
Podcasting Around the Virus - and Beyond
March 10, 2020
Several conferences I was scheduled to attend have been canceled in the past week. All of the sponsors cited an abundance of caution in the face of the unknown consequences of coronavirus transmission and outright COVID-19 pneumonia. That's all to the good, but we need to get business done even in the face of the virus, because business has to propel itself forward or individual companies wither.
Building the Salesforce Franchise
March 5, 2020
Franchising is a tried-and-true business model with numerous permutations that benefit all participating parties. For the vendor it's a great model for expanding without all of the downside risk associated with building a business, like finding all the financing and hiring people. The franchisor generally sells licenses to willing partners who agree to uphold the standards of the brand.
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