destinationCRM Dashboard: April 2008

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  • Social Networking Permeates Customer Service Solutions: Social networking continues to stomp directly on the heart of companies' conventional customer service processes. More CRM vendors and firms are joining together to deliver this 21st-century utility to consumers looking for another avenue when reaching out to companies to inquire about products and services. CRM strategic consulting and systems integration services firm eVergance and technology provider Jive Software expanded their partnership recently in order to deliver Enterprise Web 2.0 social productivity to service and support environments.

  • CRM Best Practices Aren't Practiced: Despite a wealth of information on the topic and no shortage of professional services to ease the way, many businesses continue to struggle with adopting and using CRM capabilities. According to a Forrester Research report by William Band, vice president and principal analyst for business process and applications, many of the 260 executives polled rated their companies' performance in 11 key areas to be poor or below average. The survey participants, members of Forrester's CRM research panel, scored themselves against Forrester's framework of 150 best practices and discovered the common thread in weak areas was failure to consider the reason for adoption.

  • At Your Service: Where SaaS Goes from Here: As the number of "-as-a-service" phrases proliferates, Web content management (WCM) software provider Clickability is up to its eyeballs (and yours) in this trend. The release of the firm's full suite of on-demand WCM solutions includes not just software-as-a-service, but infrastructure-as-a-service, implementation-and-support-as-a-service, and innovation-as-a-service.

  • Money and Mobility Sweeten Sugar's Pot: As one of several announcements coming out of its SugarCon 2008 global customer and developer conference, open-source CRM provider SugarCRM revealed that it had received $20 million in a second round of venture capitalization, bringing total funding to $46 million. Venture-cap firm New Enterprise Associates joined existing investors Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Walden International to provide SugarCRM with the new funds; the company says it will use the money to fund expansion in the CRM market, research and development, and overseas growth. "This additional funding will allow SugarCRM to accelerate its goal of moving the CRM market from a proprietary, lock-in model to an open, value-based model by delivering the most modern, open, flexible CRM platform in the industry," said John Roberts, SugarCRM's CEO and cofounder, in a prepared statement.

  • Salesforce Turns Silver: Salesforce.com delivered the 25th iteration of its on-demand business computing system with the Salesforce.com Spring '08 release. This latest version of the innovative software-as-a-service (SaaS) toolset adds to its CRM capabilities even as it continues the company's expansion into areas other than CRM; notable additions this time include development tools, content management, and an expanded set of community capabilities. The announcement also adds a claim that Salesforce.com will become a multicategory and multi-application leader. "We've focused on getting people to adopt, use, and love these applications," says Bruce Francis, vice president of corporate strategy. "Salesforce.com is bringing technology over from the consumer world so that it makes sense in a business context."
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