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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.
The New App Dev CRM Model
February 5, 2020
CRM is an industry that's been full of turning points, and I think it is at another. There have been many smaller turns, like the additions of analytics, social media and process flows. However, to get a sense of this point in time, I think you have to go all the way back to the turn of the century and the rise of cloud computing. The cloud was important as an economic marker in some unique ways.
The Million Dollar Hidden Opportunity for E-Commerce SMBs
January 18, 2020
Every successful, long-term business has a common denominator in training as it relates to online sales customer contacts. Notice I said "long-term." A great product or unique marketing effort can fall short when a customer contacts an employee who is ill-equipped to respond. Some 72 percent of online shoppers will return up to 10 percent of their purchases, according to the UPS Pulse study.
Should Oracle Split?
December 9, 2019
We're used to discussing M&As in the tech sector, but splitting a company into two parts is a rarity. Analysts always have to ask who benefits and how? Shareholders? Other stakeholders, including customers? Employees? Why does this not happen more often? Surely businesses outgrow their markets' demands, but more often than not a business will sell itself to a suitor rather than splitting.
Dreamforce Points to New Disruption
December 4, 2019
There were more than 170,000 people at Dreamforce a couple of weeks ago, and many more watching from afar. Also, there were well over 2,000 sessions. Numerous announcements sprang from the big Salesforce event. Some announcements and sessions, like the Tim Cook fireside chat, stand out. Of the top six, I reckon that five were more about integration and working across vendor boundaries than CRM.
Why a Single Source of Truth Often Isn't
November 21, 2019
This week, Salesforce used its annual Dreamforce mega-show to make a host of announcements, ranging from contact center partnership with Amazon to a smart speaker tool for sales. For the most part, the keynote featured practical applications of Salesforce technology. Some Dreamforces focus on the highly aspirational; others focus on the ways to attain those aspirations. This year is the latter.
Salesforce and Microsoft in Another Deal
November 14, 2019
With Dreamforce approaching, it's no surprise that Salesforce is making a flurry of announcements. What is surprising are two big ones involving partnering with other vendors, mostly on infrastructure -- announcements that I believe make the idea of an information utility more real with each passing day. I see evidence of an information utility forming.
The Information Utility, Continued
November 13, 2019
I've been sharing my theory on the formation of an information utility for some time now. Various big vendors have announced alliances with that kind of aim. For instance, Oracle and Microsoft announced an effort to make their cloud databases interoperate, and Microsoft and others have announced common data model projects. Now Salesforce, AWS and Genesys have teamed up with The Linux Foundation.
Previewing Dreamforce 2019
November 13, 2019
Dreamforce is next week. Once again, the sold-out show will be headquartered at San Francisco's Moscone Center and overflowing to neighboring hotels. Over the years Dreamforce has become the Las Vegas of trade shows in one important respect. Both are famous for being bastions of excess. Vegas has excesses of the sensual kind, while Dreamforce offers a business and technology equivalent.
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How will the pandemic influence your holiday shopping habits this year?
I will shop online exclusively, for my own safety and to help limit the spread of the coronavirus.
I will do some shopping online, and some in-person because I want to support merchants in my area.
I will shop online definitely, and I will consider local retailers -- but only if they provide curbside service.
I will only shop in-person because the risks associated with e-commerce outweigh my chance of catching COVID-19.
I will not do any holiday shopping this year due to circumstances related to the pandemic.