CRM Strategy Is Taking Center Stage

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Organizations are increasingly adopting CRM as a business strategy rather than as simply a technology. As a result, the industry is evolving faster than ever. This evolution is bound to bring significant changes. At the recent Frost & Sullivan Sales & Marketing Executive Summit CRM magazine Editor-in-Chief Ginger Conlon, moderator of the SuperPowers of CRM panel, asked the panelists, "What will be the most significant change to the CRM industry over the next twelve months?" Jeff Pulver, vice president, worldwide marketing, Siebel Systems: I think [the most significant change] will be the continued rise of analytics and the importance of that to a business. I also think we're going to see marketing rise in prominence in CRM implementations. And companies [will] start to look at a hybrid model between hosting and on-premise CRM. That's a theme I see coming. Barbry McGann, vice president of product management, PeopleSoft Enterprise CRM, PeopleSoft:
In the past [CRM] was looked at as more transactional, more reactive--it wasn't a strategy, it wasn't proactive. This is the year that you're going to see that change in the industry. You're going to see CRM really become a strategy and people changing how they look at CRM. Jon Wurfl, director, global CRM communications, SAP AG: I think it will be the need to be able to be industry-specific, to drive end-to-end business processes while working in an open, operative, heterogeneous environment. Brett Queener, vice president, field operations, Salesforce.com: Two things: the continued rapid emergence of CRM as a service--it's a model customers are going to prefer. The second thing is, people who have been deploying CRM are going to finally realize that data quality (garbage in, garbage out) is probably one of the fundamental key successes to any successful CRM implementation. Robb Eklund, vice president, CRM product marketing, Oracle: Over the next twelve months I believe that we're going to see a shift in CRM projects focusing on efficiencies, as the economy turns around, to those that are more oriented in driving revenues. So there are investments in infrastructures, SFA, and marketing solutions that are more about building the business than [about] reducing costs. And I think that's pretty exciting.
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