Brought to you by:Customer RelationshipManagement (CRM):Perspective January 4, 2000Datapro SummaryProgressive change is an accurate way to describe the advancement of information technologythroughout the 1990s. As IT continues to evolve, the ways in which companies do business arealso changing. The emergence of the Internet as a business venue, the growing percentage ofconsumers accessing the Web, and the increasing number of households equipped with a PC orother Web-access device are speeding ITs rate of change. In the last decade, ERP vendors helpedtheir clients respond to the promise of the Web with products offering Web-enabled technology,virtual storefronts, and self-service applications. Enterprises are now using base ERP systems inconcert with data warehouses and marts to justify business decisions or analyze and respond tomarket shifts and trends more effectively. In addition, every business wanting to competevigorously in 2000 and beyond was told it needed a Web site. Now, a typical enterprise has some,if not all, of these elements: an ERP system, a data warehouse or other business intelligencesolution, and a Web site with potential customers visiting everyday. These types of progressivechanges are triggering an interest in customer intelligence. Enterprises want to learn more abouteach and every individual customer and use that knowledge to effectively nurture and manageindividual customer relationships, yielding increased customer satisfaction and profit--a businessstrategy known as Customer Relationship Management (CRM). This overview will provide abasic analysis of CRM-enabling technologies, the market itself, key vendors, business impacts,and risks and rewards. —By Robert Anderson and Daniel B. StangTechnology BasicsHistoryCustomer Relationship Management (CRM) is a business strategy designed to help an enterpriseunderstand and anticipate the needs of its potential and current customers. Customer data iscaptured in several different areas of the enterprise, stored in a central database, analyzed, anddistributed to key points (called touch points). Touch points can include a mobile sales force,inbound and outbound call centers, Web sites, point-of-sale, direct marketing channels, and anyother parts of an enterprise that interact with the customer. The distributed data is intended to helpfoster effective, individual experiences between the company and the customer. In a sense, CRM is a natural and predictable extension of the evolution of marketing andsales. The first CRM-enabling technologies included basic contact management software linkedto individual PCs. This primitive form of Sales Force Automation (SFA) soon grew to include--in
addition to contact management--account management, opportunity management, mail merge,and forecasting. Client, product, marketing, and competitive information were eventually addedto the mix. Other front-office applications, such as sales configuration engines, were added, aswell as tight links to back-end ERP. Initially, CRM projects focused on unifying the spheres ofsales and customer service, but in the last few years, a marketing function was added, asenterprises recognized both a need to tie marketing campaigns to sales and the significant impactservice interactions have on sales lead generation. Now, CRM projects strive to provide data toevery enterprise department that touches the customer. CRM is designed to empower the entire enterprise when managing customer relationships.Enterprises want their customers to see one, friendly, corporate face, as opposed to a collection ofdisconnected departments trying to work together. Ideally, an effective CRM strategy will enablethe enterprise to utilize all of its resources when interfacing with a customer, including marketing,sales, finance, and manufacturing, as well as post-sales services. When carefully and strategicallyemployed, econometric, demographic, lifestyle, and psychographic data; decision-supportsystems; the Internet; and customer access techniques and technologies can help promoteeffective CRM, despite the size of enterprise, the size of enterprises customer base, or the size ofrelative market. The ability to gain value from CRM projects is contingent on the enterprisescapability to leverage and integrate all of these functions, technologies, and consolidated data in away that promotes departmental synergy, as well as competitive advantage.SynopsisEnterprises no longer view their customer base as a homogeneous collection of revenue-generating units. Instead, they want to get up close and personal with clients. As an enterprisegrows, however, it becomes increasingly difficult to provide personalized levels of service. CRMinitiatives involve the marketing, sales, and service entities within an organization. CRM projectsfocus on integrating and leveraging all of a companys outward-facing actions to acquire newcustomers; retain existing ones; and, most importantly, identify the most profitable prospects sothat their value can be maximized over time. Acting on the notion that effectively managing thecustomer relationship from initial contact through the sale and follow-up service(s) yields thegreatest chance of keeping their best customers satisfied, companies are deploying CRM-enablingtechnologies, such as call center software and self-service Web sites, to please the "never satisfiedcustomer." Most companies invest in CRM-enabling technologies to provide competitive differentiationin a world where products can become obsolete overnight. Thus, CRM-enabling technologieshelp enterprises:· Understand key customer groups· Define what customers need and value· Target customer groups· Tailor products and services for customers· Refine channel strategies· Measure customer activity in relation to marketing campaigns, new product introductions, etc.FunctionalityCRM initiatives involve one or more of the following general functions:· Marketing automation· Sales force automation· Customer service· Electronic commerce
Marketing AutomationMarketing Automation is an automated process in which customers are targeted, leads aregenerated, and marketing campaigns are managed. Marketing Automation can be broken downinto four primary functions. Initially, customer data must be analyzed and graded to identify topprospects. Next, marketing and lead generation campaigns must be developed. As campaigns areexecuted, leads must quickly be routed to appropriate sales channels. Finally, return oninvestment (ROI) must be tracked against sales to ascertain success or failure of the campaignsand refine future marketing approaches.Sales Force AutomationSales Force Automation is an automated sales management process that includes lead generation,forecasting, and closing business.Customer ServiceCustomer Service addresses post-sales issues in a responsive manner.E-CommerceE-Commerce integrates and leverages marketing automation, sales force automation, andcustomer service via Web technology.Examples of CRM-Enabling Technologies at WorkA unified, effective CRM initiative will provide sales and customer service reps with immediateaccess to customer, product, and competitive information. Product configurators can be linked toback-end inventory systems providing immediate feedback on availability. Accurate quotes anddelivery dates translate into happier customers. Margins can also be identified earlier in the salescycle. Because sales representatives have better information, they can focus on more profitabledeals. Customer service personnel can pull up the entire interactive history of a customer. Tightlinks to marketing databases help reps cross-sell by matching products to clients at the immediate"point of need." The marketing team can track campaigns against sales activity, allowing forbetter initiatives in the future.Emerging TrendsCRM-Enabling Technologies for Indirect ChannelsImplementing CRM for the direct sales force is a top priority for many companies. Indirectchannels are critical to many industries, especially high tech industries where partners commonlyhandle and account for more than 50% of a companys overall sales. Web-based CRM solutionsdesigned specifically for partner sales are starting to emerge.E-Commerce and Web-Based CRM-Enabling TechnologiesThe power of the Web as a business venue lies not only in the ability to sell products regardlessof physical and geographical location, but also in the ability to create stronger relationships withcustomers and to provide higher levels of service. Customers of CRM-enabling technologies are
selecting products that unite several customer-service functions, such as order entry, call center,and help desk, using a single Web interface. Using workflow, processes can be linked acrossseveral applications. Web sites can be made available 24×7. Web consumers can check theirrecords online, access knowledge bases, ask questions, and even chat with service representatives.Some corporations also allow customer access to the same account information that the servicereps see. Properly implemented self-service systems can reduce some pressure associated withsales and call center operations. Not only can customers sign up for new services and orderproducts on a companys Web site, but also Web-based, self-service applications can, at times, bemore accurate than call centers or conversations with sales representatives because the data isentered directly into the back-end applications, minimizing administrative error.Self-Service Knowledge BasesKnowledge bases allow customers to independently access a vendors Web site and find answersto questions and solutions to problems without the intervention of service personnel. CustomerWeb site interactions can be logged and tracked, allowing customer service personnel to viewwhat a customer was looking for to assist them further.Intelligent Agents and Rules-Based ApplicationsIntelligent Agent (IA) technologies are designed to allow companies to interact at a single-userlevel (e.g., "market of one") while minimizing the use of human resources. This technology can,when implemented correctly, make inferences about user habits and needs. IA can support themanagement of the customer interaction cycles by reducing the need of human resources and byshortening the duration of a single cycle. Moreover, with IA-based systems, the more customerinteraction cycles are executed, the more the agents learn and improve their knowledge aboutcustomers. IA and Rules-based search engines can be used to answer customer e-mail queries receivedduring off-hours, honoring the adage that, at times, the only thing holding up the placement of anorder is getting the right answer to a question (a question that may come at 11:30 p.m.). UsingIA-enabled applications, customers can engage in realtime question-and-answer sessions withintelligent agents. Self-service, "live talk" icons can be interspersed throughout the dialog usingIP voice-over-Internet technology, enabling customers to simply click on an icon if they havereached a "dead end," requiring customer service rep intervention and direct dialog via Internet. IA and Rules-based search engines can also be used to automatically notify customers ofproblems related to their products or orders. Companies can monitor prospects as they access theWeb site to inquire about a product. As the prospect reads or downloads information about aspecific product, the system can determine if someone else within the same company alreadypurchased the product. If so, the system will automatically send an e-mail to the prospect,providing information about the person within the company who is already using the product andsuggesting that the prospect contact that person as a reference.Technology AnalysisIT professionals involved in CRM efforts have the opportunity to become enablers of a customer-centric business strategy while also positively impacting the organizations bottom line. Theappropriate use and proper implementation of CRM-enabling technology, however, is paramount.Pitching a CRM implementation project is subject to scrutiny in the face of odds unfavorable tothe successful completion of complex, infrastructure-based projects. There are many risks
involved and the so-called CRM "solutions" available today are all but rapid and inexpensive. ITprofessionals, when mulling the launch of a CRM-based project, must keep in mind that CRM isa business strategy, not a technology. There are many technologies that aid CRM, but ITprofessionals should not assume that any one vendor and/or product offers an all-inclusive, out-of-the-box, CRM solution. One thing IT professionals can assume is that a typical CRM project will include substantialinvestment in technology infrastructure, especially in areas such as data warehousing, OLAP, anddata mining (for sorting through the volumes of data required to extract meaningful customerdata); the Web; and sophisticated call center applications. CRM projects will also typically callfor the resources necessary to integrate an array of disparate, isolated systems. The synergycreated by these technologies, if achieved, has the potential to provide huge economies of scale toenterprises. The data warehouse is often the critical hinge upon which CRM architectures are built. Thewarehouse becomes the nucleus for all the data required to perform prospect assessment andgrading and from which all information is disseminated to call centers, SFA, and marketingcomponents. Unfortunately, if an enterprise does a poor job of defining and using available andacquired data, then the process, no matter how well constructed, will reap inaccurate and error-prone results. Conversely, if business processes and workflow are not rationalized and wellthought out, CRM may actually cause more problems and customer dissatisfaction than it solves.Unless the work performed by sales and service representatives and marketers is well understood,it will be impossible to develop data models that adequately support them. IT professionals should assess the condition of the organizations infrastructure as part of aCRM strategy development process. Goals should be defined early, so that the company knowsexactly what it wants to achieve; what physical parts of the business (departments) will beaffected; and what technological pieces (infrastructure, architecture, etc.) need to be updated,modified, and integrated to reach the goals. The definition of these goals early in the CRMimplementation project is particularly critical to proper and effective CRM-based vendor(s),product(s), integrator(s), and/or service provider(s) selection. The scope and complexity level ofthe CRM project will also govern the evaluation and ultimate selection of the aforementionedpieces (vendors, products, etc.). Some vendors and system integrators offer packaged CRM-enabling technologies that would suit pointed, focused CRM initiatives, but more complex CRMprojects will require the acquisition of different best-of-breed products, as well as theemployment of external service providers and/or systems integrators. The following questionsshould also be answered during CRM project planning phases: · What kinds and how many processors will be required to perform the tasks?· How will assorted applications be integrated?· How do you create a common definition of the term "customer"?· How will data be stored and distributed?· If you are going to utilize the Web, what kind of traffic will be expected on the networkinfrastructure, and is enough bandwidth available to accommodate this load?· What security considerations need to be made?Business UseEssentially, CRM initiatives are designed to promote the effective acquisition and utilization ofknowledge about customers, empowering a company to sell more of its products or services moreefficiently. A corporations customer base can be made more profitable by acquiring morecustomers, increasing the value of current customers, or keeping customers longer. CRMstrategies seek to achieve all these benefits with lower costs. CRM strategies typically start withan analysis of customers behavior to achieve in-depth knowledge of their habits andrequirements. That knowledge is then used in the development of marketing strategies and
customer account plans. By defining, managing, and controlling customer interactions at critical"touch points" (e.g., interactions), companies hope to maintain long-lasting, satisfied customerrelationships. Ideally, CRM should become a repeatable process ensuring consistent, continually improvingresults. This process includes not only the maintenance of quality customer interactions, but alsosecuring knowledge about the customer each time an interaction occurs. The results ofinteractions must also be tracked and analyzed to refine and improve future actions.Completeness and accuracy of data gathered and analyzed are vital to the success of CRM. Byunifying and creating visibility around the information gathered, all the resources of the companycan be utilized to help satisfy the customer. This provides one consistent, friendly, intelligentcompany face to the customer, as opposed to a collection of loosely organized departments.Customers should be able to get the same information about a company and its products orservices from the Web, from the sales force, or from the call center. When CRM strategies areplanned and implemented properly, the confusion that ensues when customers receive multiple,uncoordinated messages from various company representatives can be minimized, if noteliminated all together. The fight to acquire and keep customers is intensifying. The customer is capturing mindshare and is more intelligent in terms of shopping savvy. The cost of acquiring new customers isalso becoming extremely expensive. Other Gartner research describes the cost of acquiring newcustomers as being five to ten times greater than retaining an existing one. Angry customers arealso much more likely to tell others about their problems than a satisfied customer. Hence,maintaining customer loyalty has never been so important. Studies show that loyal, satisfiedcustomers buy more over their lifetime and are willing to pay more to do business with a vendorthat delivers and is trustworthy. CRM strategies and enabling technologies are designed tocapitalize on these insights by providing a holistic approach that balances the targeting ofprospects with satisfying current customers. While there is no true measuring stick for customer satisfaction, it still remains a primarygoal for todays businesses and is the focus of all CRM strategies and technologies. Fast, high-quality, accurate, and insightful cycle times are also a main goal (and are also measurable), butthe customer service process improvements derived from CRM often lead to greater efficiencyand cost savings. In fact, by reducing cycle times for both you and your customer (whileenhancing the quality of each interaction), CRM can be justified based on the ROI generated fromincreased revenues and profits.Benefits and RisksBenefit: Single View of Customer DataCustomers get consistent, predictable information no matter what touch point they use.Redundancy and duplication can also be reduced. CRM solutions keep customer information in acentral database (as opposed to disparate systems), reducing the possibility of inconsistencies anderrors. Shared information helps companies provide better service.Benefit: Immediate, Realtime Information AvailabilitySales and service reps can provide customers with product availability information on a line-by-line basis. The inventory management system is typically accessed through a secure Web site tocheck on the product availability, the status of orders, locations, ship dates, and estimateddelivery times.
Benefit: Knowing and Understanding Your Customers BetterBecause the company "knows" who its customers are at a higher level of granularity, thecompany can more efficiently tailor services to its needs and spending levels. The company canalso target priority accounts.Benefit: Knowledge RetentionInformation loss due to staff turnover can be reduced. This is especially beneficial to sales, wherestaff turnover can be fairly high. As representatives head out the door, customer information andinteractive history are safely retained in the secure, central database.Benefit: Lost Leads ReducedLost leads equal lost sales. In a CRM strategy and technology implementation, sales leads arestored and processed in a predefined, consistent manner. Leads can be channeled into theorganization by salespeople, trade show attendance scans, or via forms-based applications.Forecasting modules allow sales leads to be tracked back to marketing campaigns.Benefit: Standardized, Best Business Practice EnforcementBest-practice methodologies and processes providing and enforcing uniformity across theenterprise can be put in place.Benefit: Automation of Time-Consuming TasksThe automation of time-consuming tasks emancipates sales and service personnel, allowing themto focus on direct customer activity and keeping them in front of the customers. Literaturerequests can be fulfilled automatically. Sales call logs can be updated and kept currentautomatically.Benefit: Product and Competitive Information at FingertipsOnline marketing encyclopedias ensure that up-to-date product and competitive information isavailable at the point of sale. Additionally, sales configuration engines ensure that representativesaccurately configure products and produce accurate quotes.Risk: Difficult to ImplementEnterprise-level CRM solutions have a reputation for being expensive and difficult to implement.This is due primarily to six things:1. The CRM initiative was not carefully thought out and planned.2. Data is inaccurate, not available, or widely distributed across different formats.3. Business processes and workflow are not properly defined and then aligned across requiredsystem inputs.4. Efforts become bogged down in getting required systems integrated.5. Technology infrastructure requirements were underestimated. Phased approaches are highlyrecommended, concentrating on priority requirements first.6. Inner office politics and the existing organizational structure can make implementationdifficult. CRM and other enterprise initiatives require cooperation and participation acrossbusiness units that, historically, have not worked together and may have competed against eachother for resources and recognition.
Risk: Web DependencyWhen relying on the Web, scalability must be considered. A company should make sure it has atechnology infrastructure in place that will support the Web site. Is a substantial investmentrequired to deliver the expected capability? Traditional applications may have served a thousandor more internal users. Commercial Web applications may be required to support hundreds ofthousands of transactions per day. If a company becomes too dependent on the Web and thesystem or network goes down, significant revenues may be lost. Customer satisfaction can spiraldown rapidly. Companies should strike a proper balance in leveraging Web technology in a CRMinitiative and invest wisely to minimize risk.Risk: Over-AutomatingSelf-service Web sites, voice response systems, and other innovative technologies are greatadvances, but the goal of CRM is to bring companies closer to their customers, not to alienatethem. At times, dialing a phone number and speaking to the warm, friendly voice of a sales orservice representative are all a customer needs to purchase a product. Companies implementingCRM strategies and enabling technology should be wary of driving technology to the point whereit reaches diminishing returns.Risk: CRM Is Not GuaranteedThere is no concrete evidence proving that CRM works. Although it is true that CRM may notattract customers that are less than desirable for a company, investments in CRM do notguarantee the attraction of desirable customers, as well. Companies that reap success from CRMinitiatives will be the ones that can use it to better understand how a customer wants to be relatedto the company. This is achieved using accurate data and analysis, and then promptly acting onthat analysis by carrying out a strategy designed specifically for that individual customerrelationship--a process known as Customer Relationship Planning or CRP.StandardsThere is a need for standards in CRM initiatives to facilitate the transfer of data and workflowbetween different CRM-enabling technologies, and the Extensible Markup Language (XML) is apossible contender to address this need. XML is a system for defining, validating, and sharingdocument formats and promises to enhance interoperability between systems and databases byproviding common data frameworks. XML was created and developed by the W3C XMLWorking Group, which includes key industry players such as Adobe, DataChannel, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, and Sun Microsystems. It is a subset of the Standard Generalized MarkupLanguage (SGML) optimized for delivery over the Web. XML maintains the separation of theuser interface from structured data, allowing the seamless integration of data from diversesources. It resembles and complements HTML in its capability to describe data using tags.Adoption of XML is growing at an exponential rate. It already found its way into a number ofsales automation tools, enterprise application integration solutions, and application developmenttools.Selection GuidelinesCRM is not a technology nor does it constitute a well-defined market of vendors or products.There are, however, a number of CRM-enabling technologies that exist, as well as vendors and
systems integrators offering services that promote CRM. Before a company decides what CRM-based products and services it should invest in, a self-examination is required. Companies shoulddecide what the goals of the CRM strategy will be; what base technology enhancements,additions, and/or modifications should be made; and how closely the company can match itsneeds with in-house resources available to carry out the strategy and plan. Once the examinationis complete, the company should then evaluate the complexity level of the CRM strategy andplan. CRM investment decisions will be based on all of these factors. Because CRM implementations are typically expensive, the physical size and spendingpower of the company will obviously determine the extent of the investment. Larger enterpriseswill have relatively large IT investment spending pools they can tap, but they will also need thisspending power, as the level of CRM project complexity tends to be higher in this group. Small-sized to midsized enterprises will have less spending power, but will also be the mainbeneficiaries of smaller, packaged CRM applications that typically would not suit largerenterprises. Companies considering CRM should keep in mind that there are no CRM-based vendorsoffering one, complete CRM solution. True, out-of-the-box CRM solutions will not materializefor another two to three years, despite what a given vendor may tell a prospective customer. Allsuccessfully executed CRM projects will include a carefully defined set of goals and investmentsin products and services from multiple vendors. There are three types of vendors offering CRM-related products and services: packagedapplication vendors, system integrators, and external service providers (ESPs). To implement aCRM plan, a company needs to determine what combination of these vendors it should use. Agood rule of thumb is as follows: The more complex the CRM project, the greater chance a CRMimplementation will require more than just a packaged application suite and a system integrator.For larger enterprises with IT spending budgets to match, it may be a good idea to addressdatabase integration issues now, as opposed to later (one reason why large-enterprise CRMprojects are more complex than those of smaller, midsize enterprises). These types of enterpriseswill stand a better chance of succeeding in their CRM initiatives if they perform a self-evaluation,design a focused CRM plan, and their investment includes a combination of two or more of thefollowing: a contract with an ESP; the acquisition of best-of-breed, CRM-based applications;and/or consulting and training services designed to modify the culture of the organization. Thisformula, however, is not a foolproof recipe for successful CRM implementation. Someenterprises will have all these elements in their plan and may fail anyway, but in terms of havingthe best chance, these items should provide a higher probability of success. For enterprises withlimited budgets, pointed and focused CRM projects targeting specific areas of the enterpriseshould yield the most benefit for the money spent. These enterprises should consider purchasingbest-of-breed application packages combined with services provided by a systems integrator. Here are some other considerations that should be made when evaluating CRM-enablingtechnologies and services for purchase:· Use a customer-centric, as opposed to a product-focused, approach.· Retain business focus--do not get distracted by the technology.· Make sure vendors understand the problems that you are trying to solve.· Scrutinize each vendors integration capabilities. · Insist on checking references in your vertical space.· Be wary of "extras" that cost money but may not be needed.· Ensure that marketing applications can adequately capture and track promotional history andcustomer responses to campaigns.· Obtain everything in writing, including time frames and all responsible parties.· Evaluate each vendors financial viability in the face of a consolidating market.· Ensure that the applications are flexible and can be modified later when the system needs toadapt to future changes.
Technology LeadersIn general, vendors offering CRM-enabling technologies and services are segmented as follows:- Best-of-breed vendors that started in the SFA or customer service market and have expanded tobecome complete CRM solution providers.- ERP vendors that have moved into the CRM market, leveraging their capability to provideeasier integration.- Vendors offering SFA, customer service, or marketing point solutions with vertical or horizontalfocus.Despite a crowded playing field, no single vendor can yet provide the full spectrum of capabilitiesthat meet the needs of every company. CRM is a business strategy often requiring suites ofproducts to be executed properly. The market is ripe for consolidation. Most vendors must partnerwith complementary solution providers in order to provide comprehensive coverage across theCRM spectrum. At the high end and upper part of the mid-market, Siebel, originating in the sales automationsegment, and Vantive, coming from the services arena, are at the top of the pack relative to best-of-breed providers. Siebel has excellent marketing and appears to have the lead at this time. Siebel has manylarge customers and has a track record of scalability. Where most packages provide record-levelsynchronization, Siebel provides field-level synchronization. This improves performancesubstantially, as the whole record does not need to be replicated to or from the server each time afield value changes. Siebel Sales Enterprise also provides graphical representation of key contactsin a client organization. Siebel has distinguishing cross-selling and up-selling capabilities thatinclude immediately visible discount information. Finally, Siebel is also known for its strongworkflow capabilities. In the future, Siebel must balance its aggressive double-digit growth whilecontinuing to achieve superior customer satisfaction. PeopleSofts acquisition of Vantive not only proves that ERP vendors are looking for newmarkets to tap (such as CRM), but also that Vantive products are making significant headway inthe area of CRM. Vantive provides the broadest platform support of high-end vendors and canrun on a variety of operating systems and databases. Vantive products use the popular Calicomarketing encyclopedia for pushing updated information to company representatives. Vantivealso bundles Trilogys sales configuration engine to promote accurate order entry, as well asaccurate price quotes. Salespeople can also analyze past leads and win/losses. Additionally,Vantive offers corporations that utilize the "virtual team" concept the ability to find internalspecialists that can assist in closing a deal or servicing a project. ERP players like SAP, Oracle, and Baan announced CRM solutions that are tightlyintegrated from their back-end ERP systems. While the ERP players CRM solutions can "standon their own," their primary constituency in the short term will be users of their ERP software.Prospects evaluating these solutions should look at the particular vertical strengths of thesolutions being offered as well as the depth and breadth of functional coverage. It will take timefor these solutions to mature. The important benefit they provide, if you are committed to theirenterprise-wide platform, is the ease of integration between applications, a nontrivial concernwhen considering a CRM implementation. Both high-end, best-of-breed and ERP-provided CRMvendors are looking to move down-market by providing modularized solutions that are easier toimplement and customize. The jury is still out on whether they can achieve this goal. In the mid-market, SalesLogix and Pivotal look very strong. Pivotal is especially good atleveraging the concept of the extended enterprise. SalesLogix established a reputation of beingaffordable as well as easy to use. Onyx and Clarify also have very good presence in this market,
both with loyal customer bases. Onyx, in particular, has a solid reputation for straightforwardimplementations and ease of customization. If marketing automation is an important requirement, vendors like Epiphany, Rubric, andAnnuncio should be evaluated along with vendors offering a broader range of functionality. The following is an approximate list of CRM-enabling technology vendors.CRM-Enabling Technology VendorsActionWare Janna Systems, Inc.Aknaf Software MarketWare SoftwareApplix Inc. Multiactive Software Inc.Baan Inc. (Aurum) ON!contact Software Corp.Calico ONYX SoftwareCallBack Software Optima TechnologiesCedalion Oracle CorporationClarify Inc. Pegasystems Inc.Client Technologies Inc. Pivotal Software Inc.Corepoint (a division of IBM) Platinum Software Corp.Dataworks, Inc. Primix SolutionsDeltek Systems Inc. Quintus CorporationDendrite International Inc. Remedy CorporationEdify Corporation Sage U.S. IncEmpower Systems Corporation SalesLogixFirstwave Technologies Inc. Saratoga SystemsForesight Solutions Inc. Siebel Systems Inc.Gateway Systems Corporation SAPGoldMine Software Corporation Trilogy SoftwareGrapeVINE Technologies The Vantive CorporationIntegrated Marketing Solutions UpShot CorporationIntellAgent Control CorporationDatapro InsightEnterprises that succeed in deploying CRM will balance goals of achieving high customersatisfaction while achieving operational efficiency. Neither should be compromised on the path tocompetitive differentiation. Technology is a double-edged sword. Cost-cutting efficiencies canalienate clients when implemented carelessly and without regard to the most-prized asset. Tocreate the necessary synergies that enable the goals of CRM to be reached, substantialinvestments may need to be made in integrating ERP and CRM applications. Also, organizationsthemselves must move beyond traditional smokestacks and rally around the notion of sharinginformation and working together in support of the customer. As a recent Gartner report stated,"Todays fragmented, overlapping, and expensive IT installed base supporting disjointed selling,marketing, and customer service functions is not sustainable. A CRM infrastructure will have tobe created through rationalization, elimination, and consolidation." Attaining CRM excellence isnot a static event. Continuous improvement with an eye on understanding and servicing yourcustomers is absolutely critical.