The 2003 Influential Leaders

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In alphabetical order the 2003 Influential Leaders are: Lior Arussy, president, Strativity Group As companies rush to turn their call centers into profit centers yet remain focused on call-handling time, Arussy is sounding an alarm to contact center executives. His message: There is no such thing as an efficient relationship. If companies want to build the type of customer satisfaction that provides them the opportunity to upsell and cross-sell those customers, they can't keep score by the second. Companies need to invigorate and support their customer service representatives through training, compensation, and access to information. Arussy is so convinced of the importance of evangelizing his message that he left his post as corporate vice president and general manager of Nice Systems, penned the book The Experience! How to Wow Your Customers and Create A Passionate Workplace, and formed the Strativity Group. He now spends his time traveling the world, spreading the gospel: If you want happy, loyal customers, you need a happy, loyal staff, so treat your customer-facing agents like the valuable employees they are. Marc Benioff, chairman and CEO, Salesforce.com
Marc Benioff gets around. He recently has been the subject of feature articles in several magazines. He has hosted extravagant product launches and customer events that feature celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger at venues like PacBell Park stadium. His company is a PR machine, enthusiastically announcing customer win after customer win. And the media is often the battleground for his fight to take market share from enterprise players while outpacing his hosted CRM rivals. With Benioff at the helm, Salesforce.com has added more than 1,100 customers in the past six months and has doubled its revenues, bringing it to profitability. And people are taking notice. Benioff has been appointed to cochair the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee and was chosen as a Global Leader of Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum. All this hoopla may have some competitors' eyes rolling in exasperation, but it has brought attention to the industry overall and has helped to prove the viability of the hosted model. Greg Gianforte, CEO, chairman, and founder, RightNow Technologies While many vendors in the CRM industry face flat or declining sales, Greg Gianforte has lead his company to its 17th consecutive quarter of growth, including more than doubling North American sales, from $25 million to $60 million in under a year. As other vendors reduce headcount, Gianforte is hiring. And while some packaged application vendors predict the ultimate demise of the hosted model, RightNow has surpassed the 1,000-customer mark. All of these things, plus Gianforte's commitment to investing in new product developments, have helped the company become a leader in hosted customer service. James Goodnight, Ph.D., president and CEO, SAS Institute Dr. Goodnight is well known for being an impassioned leader. He is a firm believer of getting his hands dirty. Even as CEO he personally programmed some of the software included in the SAS Anti-Money Laundering solution recently released to help financial institutions meet the requirements of the U.S. Patriot Act. He also espouses the importance of eating your own dog food, and uses SAS products extensively during his workday, during customer meetings, and during presentations. Goodnight believes that SAS employees are the company's competitive advantage, so in the past year he has continued his tradition of providing an excellent workplace by improving the company's health care coverage to include such rarely provided benefits as paid employee participation in clinical trials. He is so committed to his employees' satisfaction that SAS is annually named one of the best companies to work for in the United States by various business publications. Under Goodnight's direction SAS works with organizations like the Federal Trade Commission to improve how companies should responsibly use customer data. His passion has paid dividends. Goodnight's push for analytics in verticals helped SAS grow its revenue--2003 first quarter revenue was up 18.6 percent over the same period last year. And SAS hired 300 people while others companies were facing layoffs. Adam Klaber, partner, global and Americas CRM leader, IBM Business Consulting Services, IBM When IBM acquired PwC Consulting, the companies needed to combine the forces of about 30,000 PwC employees and 30,000 IBM Business Innovation Services consultants to create IBM Business Consulting Services--all while serving existing clients and bringing in new business. As a natural transition from his role as PwC's global CRM partner, Adam Klaber was chosen to lead the new, combined CRM practice, which has about 10,800 employees, according to Kennedy Information. Klaber's strategy for a smooth transition was maintaining a strong focus on customer satisfaction and leveraging the strength of PwC's industry and process skills and IBM's overall market presence. That successful strategy, combined with Klaber's focus on using business value to drive CRM initiatives, has helped the practice gain approximately 950 new clients globally during its record Q1 2003, including an extensive initiative under way at Avaya. 2003 Influential Leaders: Customers David Frady, executive vice president and commercial products and services division manager, Hibernia National Bank Determined to find a CRM system that users would embrace as a way to help build client relationships, David Frady went through two CRM systems before finding one that worked for Hibernia National Bank. But that was only the beginning. Frady kept a tight focus on the business strategy and the objectives of the initiative. He aligned training with the bank's sales and service goals, and aligned the system to support the bank's strategy of advising clients on what they need and keeping them happy. "David is a passionate believer in the culture of service and selling," says Leslie Borel, Hibernia's commercial knowledge management and marketing manager. "His role as a manager of not only sales, but service and product, put him in a unique position to understand both the business side and the technical side of a CRM implementation, and to lead integrated sales, service, and marketing functionality." Frady championed the implementation of a customized J.D. Edwards solution designed to meet the specific needs of CRM for high-value banking clients. His drive and enthusiasm, and the system's ease-of-use, inspired users the embrace the system. "Sales officers and client service representatives are using it and loving it," Borel says. For the first time employees can log on to the system and look up client information in fewer than 10 seconds, and Hibernia has a knowledge base that tells what service issues clients are experiencing, so they can be addressed. "I expect our ROI will be off the charts," Frady says. Denis Pombriant, vice president and research director, CRM practice, Aberdeen Group While some analysts were still trying to create a buzz around bad news, Denis Pombriant was looking on the bright side. He authored the Aberdeen report "What Works: Ten Significant CRM Implementations in 2002," to illustrate that the highly publicized cases of past CRM failures were isolated and do not justify condemning an entire category of technology. In fact, according to the always-upbeat Pombriant, there were so many great successes to choose from he had a difficult time selecting just 10. "This survey proves that success stories are not hard to find, and that CRM is something that can be done effectively, profitably, and successfully," he says. Since the release of that study many other analysts and consultants are following suit, trumpeting their latest research on how the market is slowly turning around. Mike Overly, vice president of marketing, Hewlett-Packard At a time when most companies are looking to implement CRM in stages and get quick wins at each stage, Mike Overly dove into a company-wide CRM implementation. Overly has worldwide responsibility for CRM, PRM, and corporate contract solutions across all of HP's businesses and products. HP had hundreds of CRM solutions comprising different products from different vendors, as well as different instances of the same products. Overly led the charge to trim that number significantly. HP now uses Siebel as its primary CRM offering for SFA and marketing and PeopleSoft in its call centers. That was no small feat for a $72 billion company with offices in 178 countries and more than 145,000 workers--20,000 of whom are CRM users. To achieve what some might have considered to be the impossible, Overly used such strategies as garnering the unwavering support of CEO Carly Fiorina, tying some of some managers' compensation to meeting their CRM milestone deliverables, and turning off old systems as he introduced new ones. According to Overly, the early returns on investment are impressive, but he emphasizes that it is just the beginning: "At HP CRM is an ongoing process and a long-term commitment." David Thacher, general manager of CRM, Microsoft Business Solutions, Microsoft David Thacher has spent the bulk of his time over the past year shepherding the launch of the one of the most eagerly awaited products in the industry: MS CRM. It was no easy task. Thacher oversaw the creation of a vast partner network that includes more than 100 ISVs and more than 1,000 VARs, systems integrators, and other resellers. He hosted a nationwide tour to introduce the product to more than 10,000 prospective customers. All this while defending the viability of a version 1 product in a relatively mature market. His efforts have paid off. Potential partners are still clamoring to join the MS CRM network, and customers have given mostly favorable reviews thus far. With the positive uptake and potential of the mid-market, it is no surprise that Microsoft expects MS CRM to become a large part of its business. 2003 Influential Leaders: Ones to Watch Brent Frei, cofounder and CEO, and Mary Reeder, chief technology officer, Onyx Brent Frei and Mary Reeder make a powerful duo. They have fought the odds and have transformed Onyx to battled against tough competition and an ever tougher economy. Frei has championed the company's recent development of embedded CRM and has struck deals with such major players as IBM and Reuters. His focus on keeping CRM easy to deploy, use, and customize has helped 89 percent of Onyx's customers go live on time and under budget and has garnered an 86 percent user adoption rate. These results have driven Onyx's current success in the financial services market, where word-of-mouth has helped introduce and close numerous deals. Reeder shares Frei's focus on keeping CRM simple. Building on that philosophy Reeder lead Onyx Enterprise Portal 4.5 (OEP 4.5) from inception to launch. OEP is the company's most significant release in seven years, a product completely rearchitected on a Web services platform build on XML standards. Paul Stockford, president and chief analyst, Saddletree Research Paul Stockford knows the value of an efficient and effective call center: reduced costs and increased profits. For this reason Stockford is set on convincing contact center executives to embrace workforce optimization. To this end he has conducted several studies on the effectiveness of workforce optimization and has dedicated his research practice exclusively to that part of the contact center market. CRM Hall of Fame Barton Goldenberg, president and founder, ISM Barton Goldenberg has been a proponent of CRM since before the term was coined. He has been a co-chairman of DCI's four annual CRM conferences for 10 years, has authored CRM Automation, and has overseen the production of and has published The Guide to CRM Automation for 11 years. His keynote speeches and conference sessions for DCI, the Conference Board, and others attract standing-room-only crowds. Goldenberg has gained significant industry insight through this work, but also by consulting on more than 400 CRM initiatives. And he shares this insight in his speeches and conference sessions internationally. He is always looking forward for trends that will affect the industry. To that end he recently cofounded DCI's real-time enterprise conferences as a cochairman, and has conducted extensive research as to how companies can take CRM to the next level by incorporating a real-time strategy into their initiatives. Tom Siebel, Siebel Systems When most people think of airplanes, they think Boeing. When they think tissues or adhesive bandages, they think Kleenex and Band-Aid. And when most people think of CRM, they think Siebel Systems. Tom Siebel founded Siebel Systems in 1993 and has grown the company into the market leader with $1.64 billion in annual revenue and 25 percent of the market, according to Gartner. Even with its recent revenue slide and restructuring, it still has a commanding lead ahead of number-two CRM player, SAP, which according to Gartner estimates holds a 16 percent market share. Siebel has received acclaim as one of the top CEOs in business from several publications, received the David Packard Award from the Business Executives for National Security last year, and serves on the advisory board of three major universities. He has authored three books on e-business. Pat Sullivan, ACT! and SalesLogix creator; president and CEO, AttachStor More than 4 million professionals and 16,000 corporations are benefiting today from Pat Sullivan's first foray into the CRM market: ACT! Another 1.7 million North American firms use his second creation: SalesLogix. Sullivan, a salesperson at heart, founded Contact Software in 1985 and oversaw the evolution of ACT! until 1993, when he sold it to Symantec. Two years later he was back in action, founding SalesLogix. In 1999 he purchased ACT! back from Symantec, and in 2000 changed the company name to Interact Commerce to reflect its multibrand strategy. Ever the entrepreneur, Sullivan sold Interact to The Sage Group in 2001; it became known as the CRM Division of Best Software. He recently launched AttachStor, which offers solutions to optimize email performance. Sullivan has received numerous industry awards, including citations as an industry leader and pioneer. To his credit ACT! and SalesLogix have won several awards as well, including an ISM Top 15 CRM Award, the Microsoft Industry Solutions Award, and PC Magazine's Editor's Choice Award. And to the chagrin of many of the enterprise CRM vendors, ACT! maintains a powerful foothold among users, ever when their employers implement enterprisewide CRM. Contact Editor-in-Chief Ginger Conlon at gconlon@destinationCRM.com Additional reporting by Connie Guglielmo, David Myron, Lisa Picarille, Martin Schneider and Ellen Ullman
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