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Jason Compton

Articles for Jason Compton

100 Proven CRM Ideas, Part 2

...successful and disastrous: 90 bright ideas for your CRM strategy and 10 dim ones to avoid. Edited by David Myron

100 Proven CRM Ideas, Part 1

...successful and disastrous: 90 bright ideas for your CRM strategy and 10 dim ones to avoid. Edited by David Myron

CRM Is a Journey, Not a Destination

We hear from 5 companies that have worked for years to refine, realign, and improve their customer relationships, long after the project first went live.

The 2005 CRM Service Leaders--Part II

CRM magazine presents the Service Leaders awards to the most impressive providers of customer care architecture, technology, and services who have worked tirelessly over the past year to improve their capabilities so that contact centers can go about their crucial business more efficiently and effectively than ever before.

The 2005 Service Excellence Award

An aggressive integrator, Concerto orchestrates streamlined call center operations in 2005.

The 2005 CRM Service Leaders--Part I

CRM magazine presents the Service Leaders awards to the most impressive providers of customer care architecture, technology, and services who have worked tirelessly over the past year to improve their capabilities so that contact centers can go about their crucial business more efficiently and effectively than ever before.

Are Megamergers Turning a Blind Eye to CRM?

New corporate pairings may have little to do with customer strategy.

Waiting for Wireless

Can on-demand CRM developers cleanly cross over into offline operation?

What Price Loyalty?

Giveaways can buy transactions, but not necessarily commitment.

Oracle's Oyster

The PeopleSoft acquisition alters the software giant's competitive landscape.

Is 2005 the Year for Wireless CRM?

Wireless network providers are consolidating at a brisk pace.

You've Got Questions, We've Got Answers

We went into the market to talk with CRM users about their main challenges, and then went back to industry experts for solutions. Here's what we found.

No-Tech CRM

How to improve customer satisfaction without relying on software, servers, and screen pops.

Leading Providers Team to Create a Web Analytics Association

Common vocabulary and government advocacy lead the agenda. Posts Record Revenue

The on-demand CRM provider is on pace to register 250,000 customers by this summer.

February 18, 2005

Pivotal secures a health insurance vertical customer; RightNow sells into the network application management space; Gartner predicts cooling growth in PC shipments; and more.

Companies Are Falling Short of Customer-Centric Goals

Executives cite a lack of tools and policies to build and maintain customer relationships.

On-Demand SFA Providers: Building Out Analytics and Localization

Competitors for on-demand SFA business are still racing for new customers and new capabilities.

February 10, 2005

ATG releases its first product with Primus technology; Siebel earns a contact center interface patent; Microsoft delays version 2.0 of Microsoft CRM; and more.

Online Marketers Are Anxiously Watching Search Trends

The rules of the game in Internet search are still being written, and strategies must adapt to suit the times.

Emerging On-Demand Players Join Traditional Providers to Lead CRM Innovation

Some of last year's top CRM solutions and solution providers are recognized.

February 3, 2005

West Corporation increases the size of its home-based agent capability; TechExcel releases version 5.5 of both its TechExcel CRM and TechExcel HelpDesk products; and more.

SBC Says ''We Will'' and Strikes a $16 Billion Purchase Agreement With AT&T

The local telecom giant will buy its former parent in the first half of 2006, pending regulatory approval.

Hospitals Improve Service With Real-Time Patient Interaction

A new partnership between Skylight Systems and Gallup expands in-room service and data gathering options.

January 27, 2005

Advanced Info Service selects Convergys for customer care; NuTech Solutions makes a number of key appointments; Best Software updates ACCPAC CRM; and more.

CRM Gains Attention as Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance Medium

Tighter controls on revenue generation and recognition processes are part of the latest business accountability challenge.

January 21, 2005

Webmetrics and Fry team for e-commerce performance validation; iKnowtion projects continued strong growth; The Container Store selects RedPrairie for labor productivity optimization; and more.

When CRM Leaves You Flat

Customers know when they are being managed, and the feeling is not a pleasant one.

Enterprise CRM: Change Is Inevitable

Vendors, strategies, and focus are all certain to evolve in 2005.

Real-Time Analytics: Excellent Insight, or Speedier Mistakes?

Think beyond the upsell when evaluating next generation analytics strategies.

January 20, 2005

Atos Origin acquires KPN's CRM business; SalesLogix signs Big River Telephone; Aderant announces its upcoming CRM suite; and more.

Oracle Declares ''Fusion'' for PeopleSoft and J.D. Edwards Products

The database and applications giant lays out the integrated future of its enterprise products.

January 13, 2005

CTT Portugal adopts edocs software for its online service platform; Onyx and WebSideStory announce preliminary quarterly results; FrontRange signs a Tivoli business partner; and more.

Genesys and Microsoft Announce a Collaboration Technology Alliance

The contact center platform developer will work to expand support for Redmond's upcoming Istanbul client.

January 11, 2005

Nextance hires KANA board member as CFO; SAP announces strong U.S. license growth; ResponseTek signs large Canadian credit union; and more.

January 4, 2005

Online holiday sales climb dramatically; Autobytel and ChannelNet expand their technology partnership; TechTeam Global makes another government services acquisition; and more.

Home Shoring Is Gaining Attention

A new report highlights the unique role telecommuting agents play in the rapidly changing call center workforce.

ServiceWare and Kanisa to Merge

The new company will take on a rapidly consolidating market for self-service and help-desk applications.

SMBs Are Adopting Right-Size CRM

Smaller companies are finally providing a long-expected boost in CRM adoption rates, but curbing overall IT-spending growth.

December 22, 2004

The year's strong IPOs revisited; Composite Software updates its enterprise information integration server; and more.

Capturing Loyalty in Business Travel

A new study examines customers' selection criteria between travel suppliers' Web sites'

CRM With No Money Down

Open source CRM vendors are trying to transform the industry.

How Well Will Oracle Manage PeopleSoft's Customer Relationships?

The marathon takeover battle ends with a handsome payoff for PeopleSoft shareholders, but questions for customers.

December 15, 2004

Hospitality Solutions rolls out SalesLogix; Harte-Hanks helps Collections Etc. better target customers; DoubleClick and Omniture begin product migration; and more.

LexisNexis Acquires Interface Software

The research and information giant adds CRM to its host of services.

Revitalizing a CRM Strategy

It's all really about being customer-centric.

Profits, One Customer at a Time

CRM strategists often speak of improving company performance by boosting revenue on a per-customer basis. CRM magazine cuts through the hype to examine what individual customer profitability can--and cannot--do for your business.

December 10, 2004

EdGenuiti clinches a new customer and supports a new server platform; engages a political figure; SAP adds telecommunications vertical support for mySAP users; and more.

Siebel Unveils an SMB Unit

The CRM developer plans to capture midmarket business with a dedicated sales force and elite partner program.

December 1, 2004

Sento acquires Xtrasource; Wachovia implements Callidus; SugarCRM launches its SugarCube server; and more.

IDC Anticipates Brisk Services Growth

The CRM services rate slows, while Asian consulting and outsourcing gains the lead the worldwide services market.

Salesnet Names Alan Goldsworthy New CEO

The on-demand SFA provider will name a new chairman at a later date.

Owning Loyalty in Business Travel

A new study examines the customer's selection criteria between agency and travel-supplier Web sites.

It's Not Business As Usual

As the CRM industry reinvents itself, 2005 promises both new opportunities and new challenges.

CRM Vendors Look to Improve Retail Banking

Several new solutions aim to put greater power on the teller and tele-agent desktop.

ACT! 2005 Users Report Troubled Transition

Best Software believes the situations are isolated and under control.

RFID: Ready for Industry Deployment?

The product-tagging system must be used as more than supercharged bar codes.

Is Help on the Way for Consistent Channel Pricing?

A new Aberdeen Group survey shows that organizations are slow to adopt channel price-management strategies.

PeopleSoft Says ''No'' Again

Oracle sets a November 19 deadline for shareholders, but the takeover battle may last longer.

Is November (Unofficially) Email Marketing Month?

CRM vendors flock to high-capacity online promotional capabilities. Partners Introduce a Range of Integrated Applications

Dreamforce '04: Dozens of software vendors are now tying their CRM capabilities to the on-demand CRM platform. Unveils Winter Release Details

Dreamforce '04: New customizing manager and customer service capabilities are key updates.

The Yankee Group on Revitalizing CRM Strategy

The CRM analyst firm lays out strategies for improving bottom-line results with CRM.

IBM and D&B Sign Substantial Outsourcing Agreement

Big Blue takes over data collection and customer service processes for D&B.

SugarCRM Launches a New Version, With On-Demand and Turnkey Service Options

The open-source CRM pioneer looks to grow quickly in its first year.

CRM Companies Have a Strong Presence in Deloitte's Fast 500

Communications and analytics specialists lead the way in a solid showing of rapidly growing CRM firms.

Aprimo Applauds its Customers and Predicts a Change

The key to driving acceptance from all marketing professionals, not just those motivated by numbers and compliance, is to improve their workflow.

Anatomy of a CRM Analyst

Analyst firms provide their services either on demand or on a subscription basis to clients, which comprise end-user businesses, industry vendors, and investment firms.

Six Sigma Returns to CRM

Companies are applying Six Sigma to sales and marketing processes, looking for those characteristics of an opportunity that have the greatest chance of success, or those leads that show the hallmarks of quality.

Knowledge Management Plays a Key Role in CRM Success

Knowledge-centered CRM firms have brought greater attention to the crossover.

NetSuite Retools With Analytics and a Recommendation Engine

Effective immediately the NetSuite 10 core contains an Upsell Manager as a standard component.

CMO Council Publishes a Marketing Performance Framework

The report outlines a marketing performance measurement model and guidelines for process improvement.

Siebel Caps User Week With Stronger Earnings and Refined Service Offerings

Siebel Systems' unexpectedly strong business represents performance above financial analyst expectations, but not above Siebel's own track record.

New Alliances and New Products at Siebel's User Week

Siebel has provided analytic capabilities to customers for some time, but the new Siebel Business Analytic Applications collection is designed to run both in Siebel user environments and other business scenarios.

Software as Service Is Evolving Slowly But Surely

The report is the premiere entry in a series of papers Summit plans on the on-demand and hosted software markets.

PeopleSoft Warming To Oracle's Offer?

Published reports quote PeopleSoft Director Steven Goldby as saying, "If there's an indication that they would pay what we consider to be the right price, and there's a possibility that we could close the transaction quickly, I'm open to discussions with Oracle."

CRM Association Taps Larger Board For Expansion Push

Joining CRMA's board are executives and representatives from key industry firms like Forrester Research, Gartner, and Baseline Consulting.

PeopleSoft Founder and Chairman Duffield Replaces Conway as CEO

Most of PeopleSoft's CRM strategy has evolved during Conway's tenure, including the close of the acquisition of Vantive that first served notice that PeopleSoft would be a CRM player.

Marketers Are Putting Money Behind Retention

A new survey of top marketing executives at large and midsize companies gauges attitudes towards customer retention and valuation.

Airframe Is Open for Business

Airframe has little to fear if it remains focused.

The Age of Fluff-Free ROI

Part of the freedom to improve ROI calculations arrived as CRM became more pervasive within whole organizations, and was not simply relied on to provide domino effects from individual groups like the sales and support organizations.

Vertical Focus: Healthcare Organizations Turn to CRM to Cure Their Ailing Customer Strategies

The industry feels the same pressure as other markets do to do more with less.

Walking the Customer Centric Walk

One half of U.S. businesses claim to be customer-centric, but a new study shows that far fewer live up to the promise.

Siebel Leads Enterprise CRM Rankings

Siebel takes the top honor as the CRM Leader, with other eight firms clustered in the Challenger segment.

Abbott Laboratories' Shocking Ethics Gambit

The pharmaceutical research firm augments its traditional program of paper manuals, management discussions, and group lecture training with a touch-screen video game dubbed Rocked or Shocked.

How to...manage customer expectations

Follow these four steps to ensure that your customers know what you will do for them--and what is not a reasonable expectation.

Oracle Replaces Its Top On Demand Exec

Timothy Chou led the firm's hosted-applications efforts for years and reportedly remains with the company in an unspecified role.

CRM is GO!

Essentials for a 21st-century start-up: Business plan? Check. Line of credit? Check. CRM strategy? Check.

RightNow and Get Top Marks for On-demand ROI

A new report evaluates seven on-demand CRM providers: ACCPAC CRM (now a unit of Best Software), Entellium, NetSuite, RightNow, SAVO,, and Siebel On-Demand.

Technology Marketing to Resume Growth

Brand building was ranked highest among marketing priorities, despite the strong positioning efforts many vendors employed during the tech boom; the brand-building efforts may reflect both fresh faces and survivors looking to establish new markets.

Oracle Wins Antitrust Suit

Among the challenges in store for Oracle is bitter opposition from PeopleSoft management and directors, who have generally refused to negotiate with Oracle.

Concerto Acquires a Legendary Contact Center System

Being able to compete on equal footing with contact center giants is important as the customer contact market shifts to longer purchase cycles driven by the need for technology refresh, rather than hordes of startups demanding quick solutions.

Capital City Wants ''Certified Friendly'' Hospitality Workers

A new, four-month training program dubbed Certified Friendly is designed for hotel, restaurant, attraction, and local government staff.

The 2004 Market Leaders

The time has come once again for CRM magazine to reward excellence and achievement among vendors in the CRM industry. CRM vendors have individually and collectively worked to build confidence in the discipline, and those efforts are paying off. According to AMR Research, companies are still making modest-but-measurable increases in their spending on customer management tools and strategies, to the tune of an additional $600 million in spending expected for 2004. Interest is strongest among midmarket and SMB firms, which we classify as those companies under $1 billion and under $100 million in annual revenues, respectively. But there was plenty to stir things up this year. Read on to see what companies prevailed from 2003, and how others are leaving an indelible mark on the industry.

The 2004 Market Leaders (Part 2)

The time has come once again for CRM magazine to reward excellence and achievement among vendors in the CRM industry. CRM vendors have individually and collectively worked to build confidence in the discipline, and those efforts are paying off. According to AMR Research, companies are still making modest-but-measurable increases in their spending on customer management tools and strategies, to the tune of an additional $600 million in spending expected for 2004. Interest is strongest among midmarket and SMB firms, which we classify as those companies under $1 billion and under $100 million in annual revenues, respectively. But there was plenty to stir things up this year. Read on to see what companies prevailed from 2003, and how others are leaving an indelible mark on the industry.

The Siren Call of the Midmarket

Midsize companies are increasing their uptake of CRM, while large, international enterprises are cutting back.

SMBs Plan Growing Investments in CRM

Aberdeen interviewed 232 decision-makers at SMB firms to examine the components of business technology that most closely map to the strategic needs of small enterprise.

Best Software Updates ACT!

Best Software unveiled ACT! 2005, the latest version of the original desktop contact manager.

High-Profile Project Flameouts, Or Temporary Setbacks?

Two unfortunate situations have captured center stage at the end of summer 2004.

The 2004 Market Leaders (Part 1)

The time has come once again for CRM magazine to reward excellence and achievement among vendors in the CRM industry. CRM vendors have individually and collectively worked to build confidence in the discipline, and those efforts are paying off. According to AMR Research, companies are still making modest-but-measurable increases in their spending on customer management tools and strategies, to the tune of an additional $600 million in spending expected for 2004. Interest is strongest among midmarket and SMB firms, which we classify as those companies under $1 billion and under $100 million in annual revenues, respectively. But there was plenty to stir things up this year. Read on to see what companies prevailed from 2003, and how others are leaving an indelible mark on the industry.

Customer Analytics Tools Are Sprawling

Unisys and KRC Research polled 150 top executives and IT decision-makers to examine the concerns and goals of companies that have deployed a comprehensive analytics strategy. Reports Quarterly Profit

The company logged more than $75 million in total revenues in the February-through-July time period, compared with less than $41 million in the same period a year ago.

FrontRange Solutions Announces Revenue Growth and New Headquarters

The company is also putting the finishing touches on a formal launch of its voice-over IP contact-center solution.

Merger Storm on the Horizon?

Pure-play knowledge-base providers are seeing a need to compete with service-oriented companies.

ATG Acquires Primus in an All-Stock Deal

ATG touts the benefits of bringing together the offerings of both companies, but cost savings are clearly a concern for both firms.

Report: Companies Need Coherent Customer Survey Strategies

Quadstone defined a five-step model for proper follow-through on customer service inquiries.

High Expectations, Struggling Satisfaction Ratings

In a six-nation survey of nearly 6,000 individuals, Americans gave their highest level of satisfaction to postal services, banks, and utility companies--none of which earned the approval of even half the survey base.

Windows Upgrade Will Require MS CRM Patch

Both MS CRM servers and clients are affected and in need of patching.

SalesLogix Unveils Version 6.2

Among the advances in SalesLogix 6.2 are more tightly coupled sales and customer service capabilities, better access to opportunity data (including new-opportunity analytics), improved language support, and an expanded roster of customizable features.

The Black Hole of Customer Email

Top organizations seem content with delivering abysmal email response rates to customer inquiries.

Making the Right Call

Call center outsourcing can provide value to an organization, but not by walking away from responsibility. We examine the people, process, and technology issues managers should consider when making their decision.

How to...choose the right metrics for determining ROI

ROI criteria must change to reflect the changing needs of the marketplace and the changing pressures on shareholder value.

Market Watch: Many Possibilities, One Price

Pricing optimization systems provide better customer segmentation, better deal-building engines, improved communication with management and pricing analysts, and better markdown strategies.

Listening to Customers Earns Cimco Nearly Perfect Customer Retention

A customer advisory board setting can produce valuable feedback as customers have an opportunity to pool their collective experiences and present them in a coherent manner.

Is Outsourcing a Cost Disadvantage?

A new Gartner report directly challenges some of the key assumptions and conventional wisdom surrounding service provider decisions.

Digital Service Channels Are Gaining Acceptance

The use of email as a customer service channel is becoming a fact of life for a growing proportion of U.S. households.

Close Customer Relationships Are Critical to Supply Side Successes

The industry's chronic inability to accurately gauge customer demand for styles and option packages, particularly among domestic mainstream imprints, is leading to frustration.

Enterprise CRM Providers Enjoy Different Fortunes

Some of the biggest names in enterprise CRM opened their books today, but told different stories.

Mobile CRM: Not Just for the Enterprise

Wireless platform developers are increasingly building solutions to suit the needs of companies with fewer than 1,000 employees

Consumers Want a Shorter Path to Service

Customers would prefer a short path to performing their half of the service interaction, rather than navigate the menus of IVR and FAQ.

The Challenge of Retaining Customers

The study indicated a relatively small degree of pushback for data-driven loyalty programs.

Don't Trash That Catalog Just Yet

Independent marketing strategists continue to validate mailings as an important part of a broader customer strategy.

Compliance Comes to CRM

Customer strategies will inevitably be affected as thousands of public companies, and even many of their privately held peers, adopt the requisite policies.

Who's Answering the Phone?

For companies that label themselves customer-centric, how they approach back-office customer support is a litmus test.

Onyx Expands Its Global Focus

The move is Onyx's latest as the company aggressively looks beyond the United States for new growth opportunities.

7 Strategies for Profiting From Customer Data

These seven strategies illustrate some of the best ways to apply the information you may already have in your contact center to improve your standing with customers.

How to...know when to upgrade your CRM tools

You don't necessarily need to pay top dollar for every new revision and incremental improvement the vendor offers up.

Tracking Marketing Performance

MPM is just one of a growing battery of disciplines that aims to give substance and accountability to marketing activities.

Beyond the IPO

CRM insiders see the debut as a potential return to acceptance by the investment community.

The Divide Between Marketing and IT Persists

Marketers do understand the problems they need technology to help solve. Particularly among companies with a B2C component to their business, nearly four in five nominated channel management as a problem. Of those firms seeing channel management challenges, it was their highest-ranked issue.

NetSuite Expands Its E-Commerce Capabilities

Concurrent with the announcement of the NetCommerce modules, NetSuite indicated that it now has 1,000 business customers using NetSuite's live e-commerce capabilities. IPO Raises $110 Million

Going public creates a new set of challenges for Not only must its management continue to comply with ongoing and increasingly complex disclosure regulations, but it must also contend with the overnight wealth enjoyed by the company's currently faithful employees.

NetSuite Goes It Alone

At the end of this month the Oracle Small Business Suite on-demand service provided by NetSuite will be rebranded NetSuite Small Business Suite.

CRM's Future: Open Source?

Open source technologies are starting to crop up in CRM, from the server platform to the user interface.

Top Challenges For Mobile CRM Users? Data Management and Bandwidth

Mobile CRM continues to be a juggling act of convenience versus connectivity, particularly as more companies switch to emerging service-based CRM tools.

Online Service: Better for Customers, Or for the Bottom Line?

A major challenge for serious adopters of online self-service is the fact that the quality of the interaction is very dependent on the customer's ability to use the self-help system.

Best Software Unveils Triple-Barrel Midmarket CRM Strategy

Insights '04: Best Software revealed plans to take more CRM market share in the small- and midsize business markets at its annual Insights conference, held in Orlando, Fla., last week.

Is ''Relationship Starvation'' Choking Consumer-Driven CRM Success?

Is there hope for intimate B2C relationships beyond the intermediation of self-service and outsourcing?

Pivotal Targets MS Office Integration

Pivotal's basic email client has been improved, with closer integration with Outlook 2003; the SmartPortal system has been expanded to a more open interface, allowing easier third-party data integration.

Marketing Executives Are Seeking Greater Accountability

About 40 percent of respondents say they are dissatisfied with their ability to take accurate measurements.

Customer Care Merger Validates Onshore Outsourcing

The combined company expects $125 million in 2004 revenues, and says that accelerated growth in the former Phase 2 operations will lead to the creation of 500 jobs in U.S. operations over the next year and a half.

Banks Balance Security and Customer Convenience

Banks are choosing to focus more of their security efforts on identity management, rather than scattering resources across multiple systems.

How to...encourage channel partners to adopt CRM

It is vital to bring partners into the overall CRM strategy as completely as possible.

Is Hosted CRM Foreshadowing Next Business Wave?

The online delivery of CRM technology may actually represent one of the early battlegrounds of technology evolution for the years ahead.

Connections Inside and Outside the Enterprise Are Crucial To CRM

No amount of cultural change will stand if data cannot flow freely and reliably.

U.S. Call Center Agents Grow as Expats

The biggest adjustments can be cultural.

Mobile CRM Is on the Go

New technologies are boosting the adoption of wireless solutions.'s Public Offering Stalled

The Securities and Exchange Commission has stopped the clock on's initial public offering.

Pocket-Size CRM Choices Grow

In addition to BlackBerry, Sendia has plans to support other handheld data platforms, including the PalmOne Treo and certain PocketPC form factors, with Symbian as a possible future addition.

Privacy and DNC Regulations Boost Call for Marketing Automation

The company's Marketing Automation 4 allows marketing staff to focus campaigns on highly targeted customer segments, while operating under the constraints of company-wide privacy rules.

The Demand for Hosted Service Offerings Is on the Rise

KANA customers will be able to integrate Response Live with a larger suite of service management products.

Salesnet Turns to the Channel to Capture the Midmarket

Partners now account for more than half of Salesnet's new accounts in the midtier.

Hosted Service Gets a Boost

RightNow's S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission indicates that the company has enjoyed quarterly revenue growth for more than six years.

NaviSite Acquires SureBridge to Boost CRM Capabilities

Not counting the value of unspecified SureBridge liabilities absorbed by NaviSite, more than 70 percent of the acquisition is being funded by promissory notes totaling $39.5 million.

CRM Gets Real

According to a survey of nearly 1,000 CIOs conducted by Gartner Executive Programs (EXP), two in three CIOs consider CRM efforts in 2004 a high priority.

How the right people for a CRM strategy team

The a dedicated project team must secure sponsors, not buyers; must consider every impact; must let consultants consult, while you lead; and must include IT and superusers.

How to...ensure CRM data quality

The steps are: Reduce multiple master records; don't abandon eyeballs; reduce overlap whenever possible; and practice continual cleaning.

Big Bang Is a Scientific Theory, Not a Training Strategy

Put aside the notion that the flip of a technology switch should herald the start of CRM training. For training to be truly effective it must begin before any CRM technologies are implemented.

CEOs Are Focused on Core Markets

Despite record-low interest rates, more than one quarter of CEOs listed "limited access to capital" as a threat to technology growth.

EMEA to Add 16,000 Call Centers by 2008

Growing economies in tier 2 and 3 regions, ranging from western Europe to South Africa, will create higher demand for domestic call center services, while aggressive technological catch-up will make eastern European call centers prime providers of customer care outsourcing.

Hosted CRM Finds a Niche in the Enterprise

Hosted services are showing up on the radar of the Global 1,000, and are seeing increasing uptake among large organizations looking to plug holes in their CRM deployments, either as a cost savings over additional licenses of a conventional CRM system or to improve adoption.

Microsoft Ends bCentral and Unveils a New Small Business Portal

bCentral never became the sole, authoritative source it was meant to be, and Microsoft is under increasing pressure to find growth opportunities.

DNC Compliance and Overseas Investment Lead Call Center Agenda

The Telecommunications Industry Association, in conjunction with Wilkofsky Gruin Associates, has released its 2004 Telecommunications Market Review and Forecast.

Call Center Outsourcing Anchors BPO Successes

A new global study by KnowledgeStorm and The AlignIT Group reveals that while offshore call centers and contract programming continue to provide positive returns for many businesses, many other industries are seeing only mixed results from offshoring efforts.

Despite Billions in CRM Investment, Financial Customers Still Ready To Walk

Despite billions in CRM investment, financial institutions still need to ensure that their self-service experience differentiates them enough to be a tool for customer retention.

CRM Association Retools for 2004

The flagship chapter of CRMA changes to practitioner-focused model; national association implements CRM system.

Aberdeen Group Reinvents Its CRM Strategy

New Aberdeen CEO Jamie Bedard's strategy has aimed the company away from technology vendor-driven research.

The European Email Market Is Poised for Growth

The market for service-provider email solutions is expected to grow at a 17 percent annual rate.

DoubleClick Finalizes Its SmartPath Acquisition

DoubleClick finalizes its SmartPath Acquisition to expand its share of the marketing automation market.

Sales Processes and Technologies Are Out of Whack

Businesses are not properly marrying their process with their software, creating gaps that are sapping the effectiveness of their CRM strategies.

The Price Optimization is Right

Depending on industry, such items as terms of delivery, service, and payment can account for more than half of margins.

Call Centers Splurge on Workforce Optimization

According to research firm Datamonitor, in 2003 call centers worldwide spent nearly $700 million on workforce optimization systems. Based on vendor projections and other industry factors, Datamonitor expects that figure to rise to $1.2 billion by 2008.

The 2004 Service Elite

The Elite award honors customer companies that have gained impressive returns on their customer service investments. Winners were selected based on return on investment, project implementation times, and overall impact on the organization.

How to...successfully link new CRM technology with legacy systems

Integration is the linchpin to success; it can seamlessly bridge systems, or become a costly and time-consuming albatross. Following are five strategies for connecting the new with the old.

How to...choose the right contact center outsourcer.

To understanding the potential return on an outsourcing arrangement is to first understand the inefficiencies and challenges facing your current customer contact solution and then to set targets for the outsourcer to meet to improve the situation.

Expert Advice

CRM magazine investigated the depth of CRM expertise and adoption at the companies selling the technology by interviewing executives at several leading developers, ranging from large, traditional vendors to up-and-coming hosted providers.

The Changing Role of the Contact Center Agent

Driven by everything from sophisticated tools to brutal cost pressures, the role of the contact center agent is changing, in large part to create more business value from a smaller, more highly skilled workforce.

How to...use training to get buy-in for CRM

Unless CRM project leaders bring to the training table a clear picture of how their teams will accomplish their CRM goals, their projects may be prematurely grounded.

Hot Projects: Healthcare

BJC HealthCare's after-hours pediatric-nursing help line looked to improve performance and cut costs for the triage service; Memorial Hermann has been working on CRM improvement plans to boost customer service capabilities; and Franciscan Health System works with Customer Potential Management Marketing Group to maintain and mine an extensive customer database.

Hosted CRM Is Hot

All the hosted solutions aim to help companies do more with their sales forces with less up-front investment.

Pivotal Sale: Going, Going...

The identity of the ultimate new owner remains up in the air as Onyx earlier this month made a richer stock-only offer to acquire Pivotal and CDC Software last week announced its own bid for the company.

A Battle Won in the War on Spam?

The laws focus primarily on the most heinous practices of shady spammers like deceptive subject lines, lack of opt-out provisions, disguising the source of the email, and delivering pornographic materials with no warning.


The mortgage-refinancing boom taught wholesale lenders a real lesson about the loyalty and attention span of their broker-partners.

One Company, Two CRM Strategies

Two divisions that serve The Schwan Food Company's markets, Schwan's Home Service and Schwan's Food Service Group, have revamped their CRM strategies as part of Schwan's ongoing effort to keep customers satisfied and loyal.


The 2003 CRM Elite

*Winners were selected from among companies that either nominated themselves or were nominated by their vendors.

HOT PROJECTS: Automotive, Travel, & Transit

Donatos Delivers Satisfaction

Although the company uses a host of internal metrics and the occasional secret shopper, real-time customer feedback is its primary tool for tracking satisfaction.


When customers don't know about services they may want to buy, it's like throwing away opportunity.

Feel the Love

As in any relationship, being considerate and responsive goes a long way towards developing devotion.


A Slice of the Good Life: Rockford, IL--Rapid Granulator

A Solid Foundation

HOT PROJECTS: Construction

CRM in Action: Boosting Satisfaction Survey Responses

Customer Insight Leads to Sales

The sales staff can now see the links the more than 65,000 recipients follow in the bimonthly newsletter, and can identify which customers are likely to be interested in certain markets.

Creating a Uniform Sales Culture

How Allied streamlined 30 varied sales strategies into one.

The 10 Best Things to Do With Your Data

Follow these 10 steps and you'll have information that really means something, rather than just have a lot of data that confuses more than it informs.

Hosted MS CRM: No Big Threat

Microsoft's online CRM strategy is not a threat, competitors say.

Profits Plus Efficiencies

CRM can be part of an innovation agenda, but it will more likely show up as part of a broader effort, such as a knowledge-worker empowerment strategy.

Keeping TCO Low

Siebel says that the lion's share of R&D will be dedicated to reducing the running expenses--it turns out that the vast majority of IT dollars goes into the ongoing care and feeding of enterprise applications.

Firms Are Satisfied With CRM

In a poll of 111 corporate decision-makers at firms with more than $500 million in annual revenues, three quarters of the survey group expressed satisfaction with its CRM results. The largest obstacle to success, cited by nearly half the survey group, was corporate resistance to the process changes that come as part of a CRM transformation.

CRM in Action: Simplify Business Processes

Online Customer Service Needs a Boost

Email can be saved, but only when companies get serious about staffing it full-time, rather than rotating agents off and on call-taking duties.

Siebel Crowns Itself Analytics Leader

Siebel says it worked from press releases and 2002 earnings reports from competitors, filling in the blanks with published 2001 data and customer-analytics industry-growth projections; one industry analyst notes, however, that formal 10-K reports will not be available until March, and favors a more deliberate approach to declaring leadership.

Is Web Wanderlust Dead?

Years of stamping Web addresses on everything from TV commercials to business cards has paid off only if the site is worth visiting more than once.

Siebel Versus SAP

A numbers debate has some in the industry squirming around the question of declaring either SAP or Siebel the true leader, which should prove interesting if and when Siebel or another firm starts declaring CRM revenues in excess of SAP's numbers in an upcoming quarter.

Executives' Guide to Call Center Excellence: Productivity Tools--A Little Technology Goes a Long Way

New tools enhance call center agent productivity.

Build or Buy?

Jets or Giants? Coke or Pepsi? The first two are a matter of taste. But how your business acquires the technological core of its CRM strategy cannot be simply about preference. Here's how to make the right choice between implementing a packaged solution and using internal or external IT resources to build one.

Portals: A Gateway to CRM?

Portals can be a gateway to better customer relations through improved employee collaboration, including an ideal way to enforce workflow practices.

Happy Employees Equal Happy Customers

Companies can no longer afford to keep workforce management and CRM in separate silos.

Industry Overview

The Evolution of the Call Center

Trends and Technology

Call Center Technology Steps Up

Gartner's CRM Excellence Awards

Mexico's Grupo Financiero Bital takes top honors; British Columbia Automobile Association tops in mid-market category

Leading the Niches

Analytics, PRM, and call centers all have notable vendors that support them. But classic CRM vendors are powerhouses in these markets as well.

Predicting the Future

Future Electronics doesn't need a crystal ball to know that CRM will give the company the edge it needs to gain a competitive advantage.

Growth Target

Dow Chemical is using CRM to reach $60 billion in sales.

Time to Cut the Cord?

Common sense says so, but finding a successful wireless CRM implementation is anything but common.

You Want it When?

No customer wants to be offered something that cannot be delivered for the advertised price or lead time. That makes supply chain management (SCM) an attractive proposition for an enterprise looking to improve its production and back-end efficiencies. Simply put, money saved by improving customer services and by better coordinating the flow of piece parts and finished product is money earned.

Mission Critical: Encouraging Collaboration

Breaking down boundaries between internal departments and outside partners proves vital to CRM success.

The Year in CRM: Stormy Waters

CRM faced its first real economic challenge in 2001. We examine the losses and victories of the year and take a hard look to see if CRM's greater ideals are being lost amid revenue warnings and profit-scavenging.

Can Demand Chain Management Make the Grade?

Terminology is like currency--invaluable, but if too much of it is thrown around, it becomes devalued. Is demand chain management simply CRM under a new label, or a truly breakthrough business model?

CRM Vendors Promise Rapid Rollouts

Rapid-rollout CRM solutions offer users fast, targeted solutions to specific customer relations problems. Questions remain however as to the true usability of these pared-down offerings.

On Time, On Target

The ability to tailor customer contact and offers in real time is the pinnacle of achievement for personalization. Are the technical hurdles simply too great to overcome?

Demanding Answers

Terminology is like currency--invaluable, but if too much of it is thrown around, it becomes devalued. Is demand chain management simply CRM under a new label, or a truly breakthrough business model?

Peregrine Makes Its Mark in Customer Support

Peregrine's $1.1 billion acquisition of Remedy suggests that the future of Peregrine's products may lie in customer support-driven solutions. But the fate of Remedy's CRM suite remains unclear.

Personalization vs. Privacy: Drawing the Line on Customer Information

Privacy advocates struggle to protect consumers and data collection regulations tighten worldwide. In response, companies must find new ways to collect and utilize consumer data to provide personalized CRM while remaining sensitive to these issues.

Steering the Sale

Guided selling applications can automate the process of steering a customer to the product that's right for both them and for the manufacturer. But they don't come cheap and require serious institutional self-enlightenment.

Building a CRM-Savvy Sales Force

Choosing the right sales force for your CRM-savvy company means more than just finding people who know the software. The new sales person must be willing to farm existing customers as well as chase down new ones

Managing Knowledge, Even in Bad Times

Both the evidence and the experts suggest that knowledge management initiatives and tools should not be among the cuts. Processes that extract and save knowledge and make it available to other employees--even if there are fewer of them--can ease the impact of contraction on a company.

Mid-Market Marathon

The buzz about the mid-market may be old news but the battle for dominance seems to be what's fueling CRM vendors just lately.

Call Center Simulators

Building and maintaining a qualified staff is a constant challenge. Atlanta-based Simtrex offers its answer in Star Trainer, a voice-interactive call center simulation environment that attempts to train and reinforce agents with repeatable, real-world skills and tasks.

Green Thumbs

Your company can reap growing profits hiring CRM-savvy salespeople--ones who know how to cultivate customer relationships.

In the Middle of the Action

Midsize enterprises remain a coveted market for CRM solutions vendors.

A Marketing Marvel

With Annuncio Live, Lucent Technologies creates a productive "one-to-one" marketing machine.

Quantum Leap in Quality

Quantum's Snap division makes online marketing work.

Tying the Knot

Is lifetime customer value the key to long-term profitability, or a numerical mirage?

Fulfillment: CRM's Forgotten Function

These 10 steps will help your company develop and maintain a fulfillment strategy that meets customer expectations and maintains a solid foundation for customer retention.

The One-stop Sales-Marketing-Service Field Force

This case study examines how Johnson Controls converted its field maintenance staff into a one-stop sales, marketing and service force.

Where does CRM fall on the org chart in most organizations? At my company it is part of the IT department. Is this the norm or is CRM more prevalent as a re-engineered sales group or even part of operations? Where does CRM fit in for the long term?

Complex business-to-business relationships put a whole new level of demands on your customer service organization.

Delivering The Goods

How can your company retain customers if it can't even follow through on orders? Here are 10 tips that will help you establish an effective fulfillment strategy-and keep customers happy.

The Hub of a New Universe

iQVC creates a distribution hub to optimize fulfillment of irregular-sized orders of its growing product offerings.

The Auto Industry Gears Up for CRM

Henry Ford offered his Model T in "any color you want, as long as it's black." Today, the automotive industry is under pressure to take a far different approach to customer satisfaction. Grows its Business

Marketsoft's eOffers helps dot coms market smarter.

Online Self-Help Grows Up

An examination of the new generation of online self-help technology and how companies are using it to increase the bottom line.

Online Self-Help Evolves

No longer limited to FAQs and figures, self-service help sites build customer satisfaction and save you money.

Leading the Way

Getting sales leads into the CRM system has long been the most ignored element in sales and marketing automation. That's changing as new and innovative solutions become available.

ERP Vendors Embrace CRM

Through mergers and integrated solutions, ERP vendors struggle to find a place in a market dominated by CRM.

Build a Web Gateway for Your Best Customers

Build a one-stop, Web-based information source for your "80/20" customers: the 20 percent that usually account for 80 percent of its revenues.

Marketing to Generation E

Customers taking control. Marketing departments scrambling to craft individualized messages. It all sounds like too much to bear. Here's a plan for handling this wild world of e-marketing.

ERP Vendors Embrace CRM

With CRM sitting in the market's sweet spot, ERP vendors struggle to be relevant.

The Evolution of the Banking Call Center

The electronic banking trend offers many conveniences, but also presents customer satisfaction and customer retention challenges. As banks are getting more wired, the call center is becoming a crucial component for banking industry success.

Smart Outsourcing

How to select an customer center outsource provider, negotiate terms and manage the relationship effectively.

Conjoined in Mutual Development

A case study of how computer giant Compaq worked hand-in-hand with startup Conjoin on the release of its first product, Field.First.

eBay Uses e-Mail to Nurture e-Customers

A suite of software from Redwood City, Calif.-based Kana Communications helps eBay process its customer service e-mail. The Kana system sorts incoming e-mail messages into queues based on the subject line and a referral tag determined by what the customer was doing on the site when the e-mail was sent.

Call Center Dividends

The electronic banking trend offers many conveniences, but also presents customer satisfaction and retention challenges. As banks are getting more wired, the call center is becoming a crucial component for banking industry success.

Remote Control: Reducing the Risk of Outsourcing

Outsourcing call center services can save you money and meet quickly expanding needs--but you need to be sure that outsourced processes are aligned with organizational priorities.

Finding Gold on the Web

Intarka's ProspectMiner runs time-saving lead searches on the Web.

Can Marketing Be Measured? You Bet!

While marketing automation processes might have been used as budget fillers in the past, new applications that enable companies to measure individual customer-based ROI have the potential to vault marketing departments into the realm of revenue generators.

Whatever Happened... to Notes-Based SFA?

Overshadowed by client-server and Web-based applications, hampered by some technical deficiencies, this venerable platform isn't out of the SFA picture quite yet.

CRM Training by the Book

An investment in SFA training can reduce support costs and improve the return from your automation project.

Marketing Automation ROI: Wishful Thinking?

While marketing automation processes might have been used as budget fillers in the past, new applications that enable companies to measure individual customer-based ROI have the potential to vault marketing departments into the realm of revenue generators.