Issue 2


 1 CEO Message
 2 Are CRM Platforms
   Real Estate Express®
                                    Real Estate Expr...
2

            Real Estate Express® (REE)®:
            Real Estate Express® (REE)® is a comprehensive              Theref...
3

      Figure 2: Reservation Management




 Source: Asset Gulf


reservation Management:                              C...
4

          Figure 3: Contract Management




    Source: Asset Gulf




         Figure 4: Payment and Installments mana...
5

Contact Center Support:                                     mechanism. In addition, REE® offers automated
All employees...
6

         Figure 6: Marketing dashboard




    Source: Asset Gulf




         Figure 7: Status Report Pie Chart




  ...
7

       Figure 8: Sales Report




  Source: Asset Gulf




Workflow and Business Process Automation
                   ...
8

    Integration with N-Process™: The Process Builder
    N-Process; a web-based, fully graphical                Some of...
9

REE® Work Flow
Using Asset Technology’s monster N-Process
builder, REE® Solution can automate internal
business process...
10

     Why Microsoft CRM?
     After much experience with many other CRM                 • Outlook interface: “Microsoft...
11

The Value of Vertical Solutions
The new wave of CRM implementation specialists
comprises an important part of the CRM ...
12

     Palm Hills Developments testimonials
                                                                            ...
13

research from gartner

Are CRM Platforms Best for End-to-End Customer
Business Processes?
There is a growing need with...
14

     Often, enterprises assume that because a core            customer processes are linked to the processes of
     E...
15

  Note 1
  exception to erP Adoption
  Often, with this ERP approach, it becomes challenging for the enterprise to foc...
16

     In Table 2, we explore some pros and cons                        • BPM can also be an environment used to create
...
17

4.0 Determining the Suitability of a CrM,           Although ERP plays a vital role in the
erP or BPM Platform Through...
18

                            The customer buying life cycle shows the                       based on a customer-focused...
19

DSL). There are more activities in the CRM              As a best practice for most service-centric
platform and other...
20




     Real Estate Express is published by Asset Gulf. Editorial supplied by Asset Gulf is independent of Gartner ana...
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In today's challenging economy and competitive business world, it takes a lot to satisfy your customer and much more to retain him and make him loyal.
Loyalty is critical for success. Give your customers good reasons to stay or your competitors will give them good reasons to leave.Using the right CRM strategy and program will facilitate your employees to provide an outstanding customer experience, exceed their customers’ expectations and always keep your customers in the spotlight.
CRM is not just a software package; CRM is a board level vision and strategy. CRM is a concept which includes a variety of core technologies.
Real Estate Express... There is More in CRM to Discover

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Real Estate Express Featuring Gartner Research

  1. 1. Issue 2 1 CEO Message 2 Are CRM Platforms Real Estate Express® Real Estate Express (REE)®: THERE’S MORE IN CRM TO DISCOVER 8 Integration with N-Process™: The Process Builder 9 REE® Work Flow 10 Why Microsoft CRM? 10 CRM and Content Management 11 The Value of Vertical solutions CEO Message: How Loyal Are Your Customers? 11 Asset’s “Prefab” Vertical CRM Solutions In today’s challenging Using the right CRM strategy and program 12 Palm Hills Develop- economy and will facilitate your employees to provide an ments testimonials competitive business outstanding customer experience, exceed their world, it takes a lot to customers’ expectations and always keep your 13 Gartner Research: satisfy your customer customers in the spotlight. Are CRM Platforms and much more to Best for End-to-End Customer Business retain him and make CRM is not just a software package; CRM is a Processes? him loyal. board level vision and strategy. CRM is a concept which includes a variety of core technologies. Loyalty is critical for success. Give your customers good reasons Each industry has its unique and complex needs. to stay, or your competitors will give them Pre-Packaged, Line of business (LOB) applications good reasons to leave. Customer retention and let you skip the lengthy development process. loyalty drive profits. It’s far less expensive to But because most commercial platforms are by cultivate your existing customer base and sell nature one-size-fits-all solutions, they almost more services to them than it is to seek new never fit the way your company does business. customers. Most surveys across industries show that keeping one existing customer is five to What you need is a powerful, flexible and seven times more profitable than attracting one extensible CRM solution upon which is a fully new customer. integrated specialized Line of business (LOB) application. The Real Estate sector is one of these industries that have been affected by the economy Loyalty will then drive customers back to you downturn and the price cuts associated. again even if you don’t have the best product or Moreover, in today’s competitive Real Estate service. market, you can’t afford to let sales opportunities slip through the cracks. And you can’t afford the That would definitely keep him loyal. loss of a loyal customer. Essam El Badry CEO Asset Technology Group Featuring research from
  2. 2. 2 Real Estate Express® (REE)®: Real Estate Express® (REE)® is a comprehensive Therefore, it is important to manage property solution for Sales & Customer Relationship and units and help sales people track the history, Management, built on Microsoft Dynamics CRM. It information and activities of the business combines a set of powerful tools specifically tailored property that is managed. Moreover, REE® for the Real Estate business to optimize performance manages all of the details of your Real Estate and increase customer satisfaction. At the same property data like companies, regions, stages, time, its flexibility and extensibility make it the right categories, banks and branches, which brings all choice for organizations that seek productivity vital information directly to your repository at and empowerment. your fingertips. Sales Management Module: Customer & Account Management: Sales module is the heart of the Real Estate REE® helps you manage and track complex Solution; it provides insight into the sales relationships, using customizable workflow rules pipeline, including the ability to track types of and selling methodologies to help ensure that opportunities, close ratios, revenue forecasts and opportunities are tracked and closed consistently other important sales information. This data is and efficiently. Moreover, REE® is an efficient available at an individual and departmental level customer satisfaction monitoring tool that keeps so that performance can be measured throughout you up-to-date with customers through availing the organization. quick response to their requirements, complaints and providing latest information of property and Property & unit Management: unit prices. In addition, it is essential to provide The Real Estate sector is a variable market, since your employees with an effective customer land and construction prices are not fixed. This management system that responds to their creates a challenge to track the changes that customers’ needs and keeps records of your follow market fluctuations. Adding to that is customers’ history and activities to employ in the nature of the frequently changing customer your sales cycle. demands and requirements that create another challenge to track all the customer modifications and their effect over prices and delivery time. Figure 1: Property & Unit Management Source: Asset Gulf
  3. 3. 3 Figure 2: Reservation Management Source: Asset Gulf reservation Management: Contract details vary from project to another and The Sales Process is one of the vital ingredients from unit to another inside the same enterprise. in any successful business, and monitoring it to REE® fetches the appropriate contract template ensure that it is on-track is one of the elements and fills the contract details based on customer of success. Moreover, one of the Sales Process information and project/unit details. components is the Reservation aspect. REE® offers a comprehensive automated Payment and installments management: reservation cycle solution that tracks and REE® helps in handling contract payments, monitors unit reservation, payment details, discounts, payment types, and maintenance and reservation cancellation. data. In addition, the system tracks installment payments details like amount, check number, Contract Management: bank, and date and allows for full flexibility for Generally contracts are confidential documents modifying any individual installment details for customers and for vendors too, especially as needed. in the Real Estate sector, this is because all important information needs to be captured REE® also allows the rescheduling of an for legal references. REE® assists Contract installment. specialists in having a complete view of their customer’s history like reservation Marketing Management Module: payments, remaining values, ways of payments, Plan marketing installments and attaches any required contract campaign And now communication amendments, contract cancellation. And this strategy based with customers is made helps in monitoring the contracting process on budgets easy with the new REE® until final transaction takes place and the deal and expenses, SMS Feature is closed. Furthermore, one of the benefits promotion of the solution is the powerful auditing and codes, target tracking for customers’ history and activities, products, marketing collateral and more. Create which also includes history of units’ price lists, and manage lists for specific campaigns or for transaction history for reservation and contract future use by any campaign. Create lists using stage for every customer. existing customer information or importing contact information from various sources into a
  4. 4. 4 Figure 3: Contract Management Source: Asset Gulf Figure 4: Payment and Installments management Source: Asset Gulf single repository. View campaign performance Service scheduling and Management reports; assess campaign success based on Module: opportunities, cost versus payoff, and other Manage service appointments and resource criteria; and analyze marketing results. allocation across your service sites and locations with a single calendar view of service professionals, tools, resources and facilities.
  5. 5. 5 Contact Center Support: mechanism. In addition, REE® offers automated All employees are now able to have critical generation of correspondence with the customer, customer information at their fingertips and like letters or faxes during different phases of be able to assist customers through the proper the process. communication channels and achieve a true 360 degree view of the customer and visibility across executive reports: the entire organization for all roles. Executive reports are the full spectrum of sales reports for analysis like unit availability, prices unit & Pool Construction Status tracking: and areas, reservation and contracts reports, One of the key benefits of REE® is the ability to cancellation reports and many more. These track unit construction status day by day, view reports are important to maintain and use for photos of each unit and update the photos as the filtering of data elements like stage, category, unit construction progress and send unit status unit, date range, seller, etc… before running the to customers by email; or send notification when reports to get the right and specific information. certain progress is achieved. This is very helpful Also, REE® offers highly secured access rights to monitor if the construction process is on based on roles to protect sensitive information. course or delayed, and at the same time maintain mutual communication with the customer of his Advanced Search unit’s progress in the construction cycle. One of the great features in the Real Estate solution is the ability to search and find Customer requests Management: CRM data based on complex filter criteria. In Customer requests are changeable throughout particular, the Advanced Find feature lets users the sales process in the Real Estate business, create their own queries and then save those therefore, it is noteworthy to manage these queries for later re-use. requests through a system that tracks these requests progress and detects any latency associated with the escalations and reminders Figure 5: Unit & Pool Construction Status tracking Source: Asset Gulf
  6. 6. 6 Figure 6: Marketing dashboard Source: Asset Gulf Figure 7: Status Report Pie Chart Source: Asset Gulf
  7. 7. 7 Figure 8: Sales Report Source: Asset Gulf Workflow and Business Process Automation Asset Technology® has a long track record Each organization has its own specific of implementing integrated systems such and unique needs. In a customer-centric as Business Intelligence solutions, internet organization, it’s even better to build your Portals and enterprise integration modules. business automation workflows on top of a Additionally, Asset Technology’s own CRM platform, not any other corporate software workflow platform, N-Process™, provides platform. This new trend definitely urges the an excellent web-based tool for building customers to revisit the way they should customizable business process automation evaluate a CRM implementation arm. It is no solutions. Therefore, while implementing a longer enough for CRM software consultants to complex CRM system, Asset Technology® “know the system”. They should now be experts chooses to use all those features and in Business Process Automation too! capabilities to enrich the solution offering. Source: Asset Gulf ree(r): Boost Your Business Performance to the Peak
  8. 8. 8 Integration with N-Process™: The Process Builder N-Process; a web-based, fully graphical Some of the notable features of N-Process™ include: workflow builder (that uses Microsoft Work Flow foundation) is now tightly integrated with MS • Design Forms with InfoPath and import into CRM Dynamics. N-Process N-Process allows users to build and modify • Drag and drop interface complex business processes without adding a single line of code, and possibly without any • Ready-made templates for most commonly prior programming knowledge either. The tool is used workflow steps web-based, so everything is centrally stored and controlled on the server. It uses a very familiar • Ability to set properties for each workflow step drag-and-drop design paradigm, thus significantly shortening the learning curve. • Assigning a user to each step (integrated with Active Directory) With a library of pre-built common steps, users can jump-start in building their own processes • Custom Variables (multiple fields grouped into in no time. Building forms requires no additional one field) training since N-Process uses the good Microsoft Office old InfoPath form builder. • Support for Arrays Although seldom needed, the builder provides a • Send-Email Activity “source code tab” which allows advanced users to add very specific actions and custom code components. • Event-Based automatic workflow Firing And most importantly, N-Process provides the • Scan & Attach document during the capability to build and export full workflows. processing of a WF N-Process also includes comprehensive reporting All in all, it was found that in practical situations, and auditing modules, in addition to the ability to using N-Process can save up to 70% of the time and create custom reports. TCO of the BPM system, due to its advanced features which cater for easy form creation and integration, graphical workflow building and the ability to perform most tasks without the need for developers. Source: Asset Gulf Figure 9: WF Builder Source: Asset Gulf
  9. 9. 9 REE® Work Flow Using Asset Technology’s monster N-Process builder, REE® Solution can automate internal business processes by creating workflows to carry out routine tasks that involve daily business operations. These processes can be designed to ensure that the right information gets to the right people at the right time, and help participants Microsoft Dynamics CrM and SharePoint keep track of the steps they have to take to complete their work. Your managers can define, Integrating your CRM implementation with the automate and enforce specific business rules, company’s internal and external portals adds endless policies and procedures. benefits to the overall solution. Managers will be able to view and analyze dashboards with a click Workflow in Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 is of a button. Moreover, external access to your CRM now based on Windows Workflow Foundation, features will be available to your customers online the same workflow engine used by Microsoft through social computing technologies. Office and Microsoft SharePoint. Workflow is also accessed directly from within the CRM client, and Integrating Microsoft Dynamics CRM 4.0 and the rules can be addressed across applications. Microsoft Office SharePoint Portal Server 2007 will provide the user with a comprehensive CRM Authorized users or administrators can create tool and several added powerful features such their own Workflow by using the Workflow wizard as the Document Management capabilities that without any development efforts, assigning the CRM lacks where users can view, open and appropriate security roles; publishing rules to the connect to the Microsoft CRM live records and community or to specific individuals or teams. documents from inside the SharePoint Portal. Source: Asset Gulf Figure 10: REE Architecture Source: Asset Gulf
  10. 10. 10 Why Microsoft CRM? After much experience with many other CRM • Outlook interface: “Microsoft Dynamics platforms, Asset® Technology Group took the decision CRM for Microsoft Office Outlook” enables to build its own vertical solutions on top of Microsoft access to the same data as the Microsoft CRM Dynamics CRM platform. The reasons behind this 4.0 but through the Microsoft Office Outlook. strategic shift can be summarized in several points: This smart convergence uses the familiarity of Office Outlook to relieve the user from any • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): Microsoft inconvenience. In addition, the user can access solutions always provide a rich set of widely- the data offline. This helps users who require used development tools and languages, offline support while travelling or working which facilitates the customization and without worrying about the synchronization integration process, and lowers the cost of process which is handled by the system. professional services. • Business intelligence features: Microsoft is • Comprehensive Platform: Microsoft’s offering new business intelligence (BI) features platform provides a comprehensive set of for its Dynamics CRM. It leverages Microsoft’s features that are adequate to cover almost existing (BI) tools in SQL Server and its Office any business scenario. functionality for use in the CRM application. With this tool set, you can always use the predictive • Visual interface: The already-familiar interface analytical features to predict how likely a sales and the unified visual terminology make it easier lead would close. It also offers new cross-sell for both implementers and users to master the and up-sell potential, analyzing the potential for tool in no time. Anyone who can use Microsoft a buyer to purchase other goods as well, based Outlook can use Dynamics CRM. on its past purchase history. The (BI) made the reporting easier and better visualization of data. • integration: Microsoft CRM platform seamlessly integrates with a complete suite Source: Asset Gulf of other powerful Microsoft servers and tools that are essential for any successful CRM implementation. Examples include SharePoint and Microsoft BI Analysis/reporting tools. CRM and Content Management Content is a pivotal element in many CRM Therefore, if you are thinking about integrating systems. Content Management is a central pillar CRM implementations with Content Management and main competency for Asset Technology®. solutions in the enterprise, Asset Technology® Asset® has built an integration layer between will definitely be a top choice for you. Microsoft Dynamics CRM and its own suite of Source: Asset Gulf products, such as the Jupiter ECM™, Jupiter Document Management™ and N-Process™ workflow builder, which exceeds the value of any other solution offered in the market.
  11. 11. 11 The Value of Vertical Solutions The new wave of CRM implementation specialists comprises an important part of the CRM The major competency Asset® is known evolution in 2010. Throughout the past few for is its strong vertical focus. With strong years, focus was on the technology and platform presence in the most challenging verticals features, and consequently on the implementer’s in the local and regional markets, Asset® capabilities and expertise with regard to the has proven to be a reliable vision partner to specific platform in question. Today, customers over 200 organizations spanning multiple are getting more mature and are evaluating an verticals such as Telco, government, banking, implementation firm based on how well they financial, commercial, industrial and oil. Each understand the customer’s own vertical. This of these sectors is internally represented vertical specific knowledge can be the thin line within the company by a committee that separates successful implementations from spanning the business and delivery forces. disastrous ones. Thus, the company maintains strong focus on each sector, and manages to build specific Source: Asset Gulf vertical experience, which in turn reflects on the value the company presents to its new customers within those verticals. Asset’s “Prefab” Vertical CRM Solutions • It will help the customer build their own The company’s vision is to build ready CRM custom solution by providing a “model offerings that are tailored for specific industry implementation” that speaks the same verticals. The combination of technologies industry language as the customer Asset® uses, and its long history of experience in variant vertical industries, allows it to build In addition to those benefits, such prebuilt such ready-made “prefab” CRM solutions that the vertical solutions are provided to the customer customers can further modify on their own. This along with adequate tools and training to modify approach provides the customer with a multitude their solution on their own, without having to of benefits. Here are a few examples: go back to the implementation firm or hiring an outside consultant. This is achieved through • Customers will leverage the industry vertical’s the concept of “composites” and visual process best practices and industry-specific needs that builders, where users can modify their own are already built into the vertical solution business processes without having to write code • Using prefabs will significantly shorten the or carry out software development tasks. development and implementation lifecycle, Source: Asset Gulf and therefore maximize ROI by minimizing implementation and customization times and efforts
  12. 12. 12 Palm Hills Developments testimonials “Defining an appropriate language for the marketing and sales communications was a key towards attaining my overall business vision which is “the customer bliss”. Palm Hills Developments (PHD) is a leading real Customer satisfaction is not enough. We need to estate company in the Egyptian market, primarily exceed their expectations and give them more developing high-end, integrated residential real than they anticipate. estate and resort projects. With Asset Technology’s developed solution Presently PHD posses one of the largest land “REE®” & “Microsoft Dynamics CRM” not banks in the country and is rapidly growing into a only was I able to view a full spectrum of my regional player. business through extensive reports and analysis, but also helped in keeping in touch regularly “Our evaluation to any solution provider is based with our customers, making a personal contact on two important factors: deep knowledge of the with them and focusing on how to always act in product offered and profound understanding of their best interest. the industry that this solution serves. This achieved the exact kind of successful long We chose Asset Technology for its ability to term relationship we strive for when working with fulfill both aspects. Asset Team has been able any of our customers.” to provide us with the best-of-both worlds, the extensive knowledge of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Yaseen Mansour technology and broad experience in the Real President Estate Business processes and flow, which has Palm Hills Development added huge value to our business scheme. I would have no hesitation in recommending the solution combination of REE® and Microsoft Dynamics CRM to other industry users.” Hisham Salah VP Technology Palm Hills Development Please visit www.assettechnology.com to find out more about our products and services.
  13. 13. 13 research from gartner Are CRM Platforms Best for End-to-End Customer Business Processes? There is a growing need within enterprises to ANALYSiS determine which system platform to choose An ERP suite is usually considered the main for their end-to-end CrM processes. An technology platform for planning the use of back- inappropriately chosen platform for end-to- office enterprise resources to meet customer end customer business processes will require demand, and to report financial results to various extensive and costly customizations. constituents. Additionally, ERP platforms are viewed as supporting products, employees, orders Key Findings or financial-centric functions across • End-to-end customer business processes may the enterprise. vary by industry. In service-centric industries, CRM, not ERP, is best-suited for the end-to- In contrast, CRM applications have been designed end customer business process of onboarding. to focus on customer-centric needs spanning For product-centric business processes, ERP is the enterprise, and they have better front-end sometimes the better fit. acceptance. The major ERP vendors have evolved from an ERP customer base to offering CRM and • The focus of the process in an ERP system business intelligence functionality as part of their is the financial, employee or product record, suites (for example, Oracle and SAP). The result while the focus of the process in a CRM is that users need to reconsider where to design system is the customer record. their customer-focused business processes. In turn, application leaders must determine when recommendations enterprises should use an ERP system as the • Map end-to-end customer business processes platform for designing their end-to-end customer exhaustively before considering any interactions versus using a CRM system, which technology to help you support the design or could be an independent CRM system, a system management of these processes. from a best-of-breed CRM provider or a CRM system from their ERP vendor. • Take a holistic look at the capabilities that a business process management system (BPMS) In this research, we identify the pros and cons offers for supporting customer end-to-end of using a CRM or ERP platform for managing business processes, before using a BPMS for end-to-end customer business processes. Then, process mapping. we present an approach that enterprises can use for determining the suitability of a CRM or an ERP • Consider CRM platforms for supporting the platform for their end-to-end customer processes. design of end-to-end business processes that are focused on the customer or a service. At first glance, many enterprises rule out the viability of ERP suites as a place where end- • Leverage your ERP platform for supporting to-end customer business processes can be the design of your end-to-end business designed. This is because some enterprises processes centered on product and product contend that only CRM platforms can support life cycle management. customer processes. With most service-centric processes, many of the process points are • Use a custom business process management supported from within the CRM suite. This makes (BPM)-enabled solution (for example, as part CRM a likely contender as the starting point of a business process platform) for supporting for designing end-to-end customer business your end-to-end business processes, if you processes, and for integrating processes to other want to separate from a CRM or ERP components and platforms, as needed. platform vendor. However, ERP systems offer relevant and viable capabilities.
  14. 14. 14 Often, enterprises assume that because a core customer processes are linked to the processes of ERP platform covers these multiple functional the business, and these processes are dominant domains (financial, manufacturing, projects, in this product-centric scenario, and are closely supply chain management and HR) within a coupled with customer interactions. This is distinct business that it is the most likely setting to from service-centric scenarios — for example, in a design broader customer end-to-end business banking environment, where customer interactions processes focused on customer service and occur over many channels, and are decoupled from support. For this reason, we look further at the core banking processes of the business. pros and cons of using ERP or CRM platforms as the foundation for managing end-to-end ERP also delivers cost advantages (and process customer business processes. integrity) to an enterprise over a fragmented business portfolio. ERP platforms help to 1.0 Pros and Cons of erP as the Platform synchronize information across end-to-end for end-to-end Customer Business Processes processes, and decrease the costs of ensuring Gartner has observed that with some enterprises using process integrity. For these reasons, enterprises ERP systems, there is a strong preference to remain often want to use the ERP platform for their new centralized on a core ERP for end-to-end business functional requirements to ensure reconciliation processes, including for CRM functions. This is, in across all data sets and ERP modules. some cases, related to the nature of the business. At the same time, because an overly customized ERP For some enterprises, competitive differentiation suite can be more expensive to upgrade (as not all is primarily focused on products and price. Service customizations may be ported over by migration or differentiation is often a secondary focus, such upgrade utilities), enterprises sometimes prefer to as in the manufacturing industry. For example, in keep customizations at a minimum and leverage ERP discrete manufacturing organizations, where most for their core functional coverage areas (financials, of the customer interactions are with product design inventory, etc), rather than necessarily customize it engineers or salespersons, there are limited channels for more specialized customer process support. for customer interactions. In many such cases, the business is product-centric in that all processes In Table 1, we explore the pros and cons of using are focused on manufactured goods, or the order ERP as the platform for end-to-end customer process for those goods. Here, the most important business processes (see Note 1). Table 1. Pros and Cons of Using ERP Platforms Pros Cons Higher degree of interoperability with Depth and breadth of CRM functionality of a existing ERP modules, and the potential of best-of-breed or dedicated CRM suite provides greater out-of-the-box integration. more capabilities. Enables enterprises to coordinate with non- Reporting and analytics could be more CRM functions, and provides this analysis complicated, as ERP and its extensions are in a different light. assumed to be transaction-oriented, with a data model designed for transactional support, not for customer-focused processes. For product-centric scenarios, strong The high degree of integration in the ERP suite coupling of customer interactions, with (focused primarily on financial records and core business processes supported by ERP, products, not the customer record) may not leading to customer process management provide the specific functionality needed for more aligned with core business processes. supporting CRM processes. Achieving such customized views could be quite costly. Strong focus on product-based, end-to-end Requires more-expensive and extensive business processes. customizations to support customer processes across multiple instances of the ERP suite. Source: Gartner (March 2009)
  15. 15. 15 Note 1 exception to erP Adoption Often, with this ERP approach, it becomes challenging for the enterprise to focus on customer experiences and interactions removed from a product-centric or order-centric perspective. Similarly, the CRM functionality provided within the ERP suite may not offer the depth and breadth of functionality required by the enterprise to engage in an effective CRM strategy. At times, reporting and analytics can be more complicated under this approach, as well as ERP. Its extensions are assumed to be transaction-oriented. As such, the data model is designed for transactional support, not for customer-focused processes. Although a CRM data model may also need to address a similar challenge (deeper versus more broad business intelligence capabilities), it is not necessarily focused on financial records as ERP is. Instead, it is designed with customer-centricity in mind. For more-complex or more-sophisticated reporting needs, users of ERP or CRM platforms need to consider a more comprehensive business intelligence strategy. 2.0 Pros and Cons of CrM as the vendors to support their customer service and sales Platform for end-to-end Customer support needs. In some cases, this is because users Business Processes want more depth and functionality to support their Gartner has observed that many enterprises customer processes, which their ERP vendors do not that select CRM platforms for their end-to-end deliver. In scenarios involving a multiple-instance customer business processes tend to be more ERP, often one of the challenges for organizations focused on providing differentiated services is how best to create a common, global customer, for enriching customer experiences. They end-to-end business process. Here, the option of a do not necessarily have a product-based or CRM platform is also attractive as a way to avoid manufacturing-centric approach (focused on upgrades or consolidation of instances within operations efficiency) to their processes, which the ERP platform to support customer processes ERP is more capable of providing. globally. Under such scenarios, enterprises could consider extending every instance of their ERP suites In other cases, enterprises with core ERP platforms to support CRM functions, but they would need opt for an independent CRM platform, best-of- heavy customizations to accomplish this. breed provider, or a CRM platform from their ERP Table 2. Pros and Cons of Using CRM Platforms Pros Cons More depth and functionality across sales, Lack of strong links to financial records or marketing service in direct support of customer product records. end-to-end business processes than ERP. Greater ability to support customer value Requires further integration with other components analyses. In scenarios involving multiple of the ERP suite for certain processes (for example, ERP instances requiring a common, global HR, financials, supply chain management processes end-to-end customer process, an ability to for physical good shipments). support this need with lower costs. Does not require an ERP suite to be overly Does not offer strong focus for product-based customized to support customer-centric, end-to-end business processes. end-to-end business processes. Strong focus on customer end-to-end Process integrity across the enterprise process business processes, to the extent of the is more limited, with functionality largely CRM platform. focused only on the customer-specific view, not on broader financial processes or transactions. Source: Gartner (March 2009)
  16. 16. 16 In Table 2, we explore some pros and cons • BPM can also be an environment used to create for selecting a CRM platform for end-to-end a composite application that would be a different customer business processes. view of a process that spans multiple technology architectures, of which CRM or ERP and other 3.0 How Does BPM Affect the Selection major suites could be integral parts. Between CrM and erP Suites? An option outside the ERP and CRM platforms • On a simpler level, BPM can be just a model also exists. This involves a custom application used for documenting processes on paper. developed in a BPM environment where an enterprise does not necessarily want to be indebted A business process platform can leverage BPM, to a specific ERP or CRM vendor, and where but this is not a requirement (see Note 2). enterprises feel they know their business processes A business process platform does not require best, and are not looking to introduce new data application developers to design end-to-end models. Rather, they are looking to leverage customer business processes, as in a development service-oriented architecture to design a business environment, because users can create a process and, where needed, extract information composite (or use a composite that a vendor from ERP, CRM and other systems needed to has created). support transactional processes for the business. One drawback of this approach is that with a A BPM solution has many prolific uses: BPM, enterprises need the ability to design their end-to-end customer business processes • A BPM solution can be considered a themselves, because BPM is a development development environment for business environment. Unlike CRM or ERP platforms, there processes spanning the enterprise. (It is are few recommended process flows or industry- considered a build option where anything is specific process templates for organizations to theoretically possible from a build scenario.) leverage. In Table 3, we summarize the pros and A BPM solution is unlike the buy options that cons of selecting a custom BPM for end-to-end ERP and CRM platforms represent. customer business processes. Note 2 Business Process Platform This approach enables enterprises to manage composite end-to-end customer business processes, which may be supported by a number of business applications in one common environment. Rule engines can automate these processes, enabling a high degree of consistency. At the same time, many organizations do not necessarily want to create their end-to-end business processes in just one vendor’s application, because it creates a high degree of dependence on a particular vendor. With a custom application designed in a BPM environment, the components for designing the end- to-end process enable a higher degree of decoupling from any specific ERP or CRM vendor. Table 3. Pros and Cons for Using a Custom BPM Platform Pros Cons A build environment, where end-to-end Enterprises need the ability to design end-to-end business processes can be built in a customer business processes without the same degree composite or custom way. of process templates needed for CRM and ERP. Decoupling from a specific business Costs of achieving this could be high, because application vendor’s CRM or ERP platform. it is a remodeling of the enterprise application structure. Provides more-agile business processes for the business. Source: Gartner (March 2009)
  17. 17. 17 4.0 Determining the Suitability of a CrM, Although ERP plays a vital role in the erP or BPM Platform Through Customer organization, its involvement in a process such as end-to-end Processes customer onboarding can sometimes be limited, Most business applications aim for process depending on the industry involved. Sometimes, consistency, which then creates conflicts with enterprises refer to their back-office applications sales, marketing and customer service users. For as ERP, although their actual ERP platform is some customer processes, such as onboarding, used mostly for administrative functions. The there are often many organizational groups extent of ERP usage and how it is referred to does mobilized and applications used to support the vary by industry in many cases. introduction of a new customer. Underpinning this is a high degree of organizational Nevertheless, customer onboarding is a good fragmentation around ownership of the end- example of an end-to-end customer business to-end customer process, such as customer process, because it provides a customer-focused onboarding. Few organizations have implemented view of how a system selection decision can customer end-to-end business processes across be carried out. To understand how to segment the enterprise with an aligned organizational the phases of an end-to-end customer business structure in place. process, such as customer onboarding, it is useful to employ the customer buying life cycle (see Table 4 and Note 3). Table 4. Customer Buying Life Cycle Customer Buying/Onboarding Process Overview Need/want recognition Establishing need fulfillment. Creating an opportunity for a sale to take place. Information search Once customers establish a need or want, they seek information about the products or service. Customers are looking for contextually relevant answers. Evaluating product or service Customers compare available choices, service and price configuration. Purchase The purchase transaction process. Postpurchase Following the purchase, the ongoing customer service and support processes. Source: Gartner (March 2009) Note 3 Customer Buying Process Life Cycle The customer buying process life cycle is attributed to Philip Kotler, co-author with Kevin Lane Keller of “Marketing Management,” Prentice Hall. Gartner has extended this model to focus on the postpurchase phase. Adam Sarner, a research director at Gartner, presented “Social Networking and the Future of CRM” at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, in Orlando, Florida, during October 2008.
  18. 18. 18 The customer buying life cycle shows the based on a customer-focused view against the different phases that an end-to-end customer customer buying life cycle phases. We use this business process spans, and how the process approach to determine the suitability of selecting can be organized for further analysis. In an ERP or CRM platform. telecommunications, for example, when a customer is onboarded, there are different In enrolling the customer as a new opportunity process owners at different parts of the process during customer onboarding, many applications and at different customer buying life cycle are involved. ERP is largely being used only to phases. In Table 5, we present details of how track ongoing profit or loss contributions to the the customer onboarding process and related financial ledger accounts for the telecom unit subphases take place across distinct platforms (such as wireless, cable, land line or Internet/ Table 5. Example of Customer Onboarding Process in Telecom Scenario Customer Buying Need/Want information Search evaluating Product Purchase Postpurchase Life Cycle Phase recognition or Service Customer Process Subphase Customer Identification, Acquisition Product and Service Customer Service and Enrollment Enablement Application Process Owner ERP Platform Vice President, Campaign Customer self-service Dynamic products Procurement Profit/loss Finance, Supply marketing tool to portal and pricing of goods or contributions of Chain Management, identify customer Knowledge management configurator replenishment various telecom Operations segments for tool used for best Interactive voice of products services for offers practices on customer recognition ordered customers CRM Platform Vice President, Customer master interaction by contact system for Customer order Logistics support Customer Service/ database with center agents providing e-configurator for provisioning of Sales/Marketing customer and Customer profile data informational to help services or products prospects data setup in CRM system insight on customer select Customer service different products packages application and services E-commerce for ongoing Contact center CRM application customer life cycle agent desktop to support management Content management software to online orders CRM feedback system for sales and support customer Customer management system product information interaction self-service tool for surveys and for dynamic satisfaction scoring products and by customers pricing Real-time decisioning tool for determining next best decision to take with customers. Billing/ Vice President, Telecom service Ongoing telecom Transaction Billing/ and billing service billing to Applications Transaction profile creation customers Services Other Vice President, Network Network Network Applications Technology/ diagnostic tool to provisioning management Network confirm service tools to applications to Operations availability commence ensure availability of or enhance services customer’s services Source: Gartner (March 2009)
  19. 19. 19 DSL). There are more activities in the CRM As a best practice for most service-centric platform and other application groups, which customer business processes, enterprises should suggest that they would be likely considerations consider starting the design point of their end- on where to define the customer end-to-end to-end processes from their CRM platform, and business processes. integrate to other components and platforms as needed. This is because with service-centric We recommend using this form of process analysis (as opposed to product-centric) processes, most to select which platform type to build customer of the process points are in the CRM suite. processes. This approach also is helpful in isolating Notwithstanding this, true end-to-end customer the underlying applications supporting the BPM will require integration across all major subprocesses of the end-to-end customer business suites and applications, irrespective of which process. This enables enterprises to see how many suite the organization selects for the customer- stages of a process are in specific application centric process functionality. groups. In some cases, one subprocess may be minimal in overall importance; but, in other The most effective way to determine where cases, a subprocess could be critical to the overall organizations should design their end-to-end end-to-end business process. To mitigate against business processes is to consider different scenarios this, enterprises can use appropriate comparative for customer processes. By using the customer weighting for each subprocess component to see buying life cycle to first frame an end-to-end which application type is the best to use as a customer business process (for example, customer platform for managing the end-to-end customer onboarding), enterprises can highlight the subphases business process. Thus, enterprises can use the and then map which components of the process number of stages, and where needed, and a are taking place in CRM, ERP and other system potential weighting of the subprocesses platforms. Enterprises should undertake this type of together as critical inputs for deciding which analysis to determine the suitability of CRM or ERP platform will best serve the end-to-end customer platforms for their specific end-to-end customer business process. business process needs. Gartner RAS Core Research Note G00164834, Isher Kaila, 2 March 2009
  20. 20. 20 Real Estate Express is published by Asset Gulf. Editorial supplied by Asset Gulf is independent of Gartner analysis. All Gartner research is © 2010 by Gartner, Inc. and/or its Affiliates. All rights reserved. All Gartner materials are used with Gartner’s permission and in no way does the use or publication of Gartner research indicate Gartner’s endorsement of Asset Gulf’s products and/or strategies. Reproduction and distribution of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The reader assumes sole responsibility for the selection of these materials to achieve its intended results. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.

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