Creating Intelligent Customer Interaction

Without obtaining a complete, single view of all the structured and unstructured information across the enterprise, organizations are putting themselves at great risk by not comprehensively understanding the state of their business. Companies are spending billions of dollars on enterprise applications like CRM, ERP, and SCM. Yet, some analysts estimate that as many as 70 percent of all CRM implementations wind up failing. Why? It is clear that CRM as a technology has yet to deliver on its promise of intelligent customer interaction. When searching within a CRM system, the search results are limited to the information stored in the CRM system only. This siloed approach prevents the decision-makers from accessing the entire universe of important information contained across the broad spectrum of their enterprise information repositories. Most enterprise systems, including CRM, ERP, and SCM, can process only structured database information from within their own silo of data. With 80 percent of a company's data stored in unstructuredformats like emails, presentations, Excel spreadsheets, PDFs, and a variety of other documents, intelligent businesses are demanding the ability to retrieve from these data sources and from the Internet single, integrated collections of highly relevant information. With continual development of complex and sophisticated information gathering systems, organizations simply cannot make solid decisions based on the 15 to 20 percent of collective knowledge that is housed in CRM systems, nor can they ignore the content of customer emails stored in their CRM systems. Since data from multiple functions and departments including sales, finance, and marketing are often included within a company's CRM system, it is crucial that the content flowing into and out of a CRM system be easily searchable and accessible by those who need to access this information. A 360-degree view of the organization promotes valuable customer interactions
Enterprise search technology addresses the complexities of information aggregation by providing a unified gateway to sources of information throughout the enterprise. Enterprise search technology empowers companies to get the most out of their investment in these systems by leveraging the wealth of information they contain. By providing business managers with a complete, 360-degree view of all of the information existing throughout their organization, enterprise search technology enables businesses to decrease the time spent looking for data, improve customer relations, and dramatically increase their revenues. Sound intelligence drives better CRM decisions Scalable, flexible enterprise search-based software solutions designed specifically to tackle real-time, data-intensive search and information retrieval challenges are enabling intelligent access to existing corporate CRM systems and beyond. In standalone implementations, enterprise search platform solutions demonstrate increased revenues, lowered TCO, and improved worker productivity. However, when combined, or embedded within a business application such as CRM, these benefits are enhanced by the structure and business-focus of the host application. Such enhancements include more intelligent interaction based on a holistic view of the customer, improved analytics capabilities, context-sensitive search and navigation, and information integration. Most important, customers who receive the right information when and how they want it appreciate the value of superior service--impacting customer acquisition, retention, and growth. About the Author Ali Riaz is COO of Fast Search & Transfer, a leading developer of enterprise search and real-time alerting technologies. The company is headquartered in Oslo, Norway, and Needham, Massachusetts, and operates globally with a presence in Europe, Japan, and the United States.
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