Voices of CRM

May 14, 2009  7:13 PM

Where’s SAP’s CRM message?

Barney Beal Barney Beal Profile: Barney Beal

For a company that proclaims itself the leader in CRM, it sure didn’t have much to say about the subject at its recent Sapphire conference in Orlando.

SAP released its Business Suite 7, which includes a new CRM update, in February. But you wouldn’t have known it listening to the keynotes this week. While last year’s conference featured some significant news with SAP’s partnership with RIM to run SAP CRM natively on the BlackBerry, this year featured nary a word about CRM.

Continued »

May 1, 2009  8:03 PM

Is Salesforce.com simply shifting its maintenance to partners?

Barney Beal Barney Beal Profile: Barney Beal

Denis Pombriant has an interesting note on his blog today.

He says that effective today, Salesforce.com will start charging its partners for support.

Denis writes:

Effective May 1, 2009 and with a 60 day grace period, Salesforce.com will begin charging its developer partners for support.  I have not seen a press release but I have a data sheet on the offering.


The grace period starts today and the fees start July 1, 2009.  There will be three levels of service – Partner Premier, Partner Basic, Single Cases and Community.  Fees range from free to $24,000.

Given Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff’s pronouncement earlier this week of “The End of Maintenance” it would certainly appear that instead of turning to customers to boost its margins, Salesforce.com is instead turning to its partners. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and many an SAP executive have long maintained that the SaaS business model can be very difficult to turn a profit with. One would imagine it’s especially difficult if you can’t charge those maintenance fees of 22% of net licensing as Oracle has always done and as SAP will eventually do once it clears up these KPIs with SUGEN. Dennis Howlett over at ZDNet posted a blog entry yesterday citing research being conducted by Jason Carter noting that companies are no longer getting their money’s worth out of maintenance. He posts a chart showing a radical decline of research and design spend as a percentage of maintenance revenue.

Is Salesforce.com just shifting the costs?

April 30, 2009  7:05 PM

Benioff joins the software maintenance fray

Barney Beal Barney Beal Profile: Barney Beal

There’s been a bit of a brouhaha in the blogosphere over software maintenance fees this week.

The Salesforce.com CEO got things started when an internal corporate memo was “leaked” to members of the press and analysts, notably Vinnie Merchandani and Chris Kanaracus at NetworkWorld.

Here’s an excerpt from Benioff’s email:

Let me tell you about a customer that I met on our Cloudforce tour. This customer currently uses Siebel software to run her call center.  She pays more than $15 million a year for the privilege of having to implement the updates that Siebel sends her.  That does not include backup. Or disaster recovery. And of course, it does not guarantee that she will be using the latest technology.  The maintenance agreement only assures her that her outdated software will continue to work.  She is paying tolls on a road to nowhere.

Continued »

April 21, 2009  3:45 PM

Brent Leary on CRM for SMBs

Barney Beal Barney Beal Profile: Barney Beal

TBrent Learyhe recession has companies worried about their customer relationships more than ever and that’s encouraged small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to start taking a closer look at CRM software.

While consolidation has been a major factor in the market for CRM software for large enterprises, start-ups are cropping up all the time to serve the SMB sector.  SearchCRM.com sat down with Brent Leary, co-founder and partner of CRM Essentials LLC, a CRM consultancy and advisory firm focused on small and mid-sized enterprises that provides training and best practices for implementing CRM software and CRM programs.

In this 15-minute podcast, Leary discusses:

  • The current state of adoption of CRM software among SMBs
  • Best practices for SMBs deploying CRM software
  • What SMBs have learned about CRM failure from their enterprise counterparts
  • The effects Web 2,0 and social networking are having on managing customer relationships and how SMBs can and are taking advantage of it

April 14, 2009  2:11 PM

NetSuite takes a swing at SAP with integration offering

Barney Beal Barney Beal Profile: Barney Beal

You can’t accuse NetSuite of backing down from a fight.

A week after targeting Salesforce.com customers with its Suite Cloud Connect for Salesforce.com, NetSuite has turned its attention to SAP.

Continued »

April 13, 2009  6:32 PM

Is now the time for contact center spending?

Barney Beal Barney Beal Profile: Barney Beal

Donna Fluss is bullish on the future of contact center analytics applications.

I spoke with the president of DMG Consulting last week about her recent report, which identifies two new markets in contact center technology — customer experience analytics (CEA) and desktop analytics (DA). Fluss predicts the number of CEA implementations to approach 1,000 by the end of 2011. She expects the number of DA seats to exceed 1.5 million during the same period, that’s growth of 100% in 2009, 50% in 2010 and another 50% in 2011.

Now one might question the relevance of a consulting firm defining a market segment and then predicting Continued »

April 7, 2009  11:59 AM

Salesforce.com gives away free mobile app

Barney Beal Barney Beal Profile: Barney Beal

In London for its annual Cloudforce event, Salesforce.com was in a giving mood today.

Salesforce is offering a scaled-down version of its mobile application free to its customers. While customers running the Unlimited product already receive the full Salesforce Mobile application, now customers of Professional Edition and Enterprise Edition can download Mobile Lite.

Users can log calls and emails, update activities and tasks and view dashboards that are configured for viewing on mobile devices. The application is available on RIM’s Blackberry, Apple’s iPhone and Windows Mobile devices.

Two things struck me from this announcement: how far mobile CRM has come and how Apple’s AppStore Continued »

April 2, 2009  5:42 PM

SearchCRM.com joins the blogging revolution

Barney Beal Barney Beal Profile: Barney Beal

We hear blogging is the hot new thing.

Ok, so we’re not that far behind the times. We’ve held off on hosting a blog on SearchCRM.com, but as you can now see, we are on board.

Regular visitors to our podcast blog will notice that the Voices of CRM has a new home. We will continue to offer monthly podcasts with luminaries in the CRM industry. They will now live here in their new home, along with regular blog posts from SearchCRM.com writers and editors.

First, let me explain why we haven’t launched a blog before this (and no, it is not all due to a traditional journalist’s skepticism about the medium). We already provide significant coverage of the technology and Continued »

March 9, 2009  9:41 AM

Anthony Lye on Oracle on Demand, Social CRM

Barney Beal Barney Beal Profile: Barney Beal

Anthony LyeThe CRM landscape changed forever with the arrival of Software as a Service (SaaS). Oracle, despite its legacy as an on-premise CRM vendor, and its two major CRM acquisitions in PeopleSoft and Siebel, has not stood idly by however.

We sat down with Anthony Lye, senior vice president of CRM at Oracle, to discuss the company’s latest SaaS version with CRM On Demand Release 16 and its strategy around providing social networking-like collaboration tools as separate CRM applications.

Lye also discusses some of the key areas where he sees a difference between Oracle’s products and Salesforce.com’s.

In this 20-minute podcast, listeners will learn about:

  • Oracle’s latest SaaS CRM releases.
  • An explanation of the multiple deployment options Oracle provides and what customers are asking for now.
  • How customers are deploying both SaaS and premise-based CRM systems.
  • The strategy behind offering Social CRM as separate, standalone modules.
  • How Oracle is using social networking internally.

January 12, 2009  2:33 PM

Lior Arussy on the customer experience in an economic decline

Barney Beal Barney Beal Profile: Barney Beal

Lior ArussyThe upcoming year presents some significant challenges for the customer experience as many organizations are cutting staff, budgets and programs. While conventional wisdom holds that it is during a recession that maintaining and getting the most out of your existing customers is more important than ever, that can be hard with fewer people and resources.

We sat down with Lior Arussy, president of the Strativity Group, to discuss how organizations can keep focused on the customer experience amidst these challenges.

In this 17-minute podcast, listeners will hear:

  • Advice for staying focused on the customer experience despite budget cuts.
  • Lessons that can be learned from companies like Dell which emerged from the last economic downturn stronger, thanks to the customer experience.
  • The proper customer metrics to be focused on during a recession.
  • How outsourcing and self-service applications factor into both cost cutting and the customer experience.

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