TMCnet News

The CRM Week In Review
[September 08, 2006]

The CRM Week In Review

Editorial Director,
Customer [email protected] Solutions magazine
We'll call this one the "Post-Labor Day Blues" edition of the CRM Week in Review. Summer may not have left us yet, but it's definitely picking up its coat and jangling its car keys in its hand.
This week, take a moment to read Part II of TMCnet contributing editor Susan Campbell's piece called, "Study Reveals Surprising Insights Into Global Contact Center." Susan writes that "Contact centers as an industry have changed dramatically over the years and many lessons have been learned along the way." Yes, for instance, in the mid 1980s, call center managers learned that strapping their agents to their desks in 95-degree rooms and hiring someone to beat the kettle drums to make them work faster was an ineffective tool for employee motivation.


TMCnet feature writer Art Rosenberg addressed the issue of unified communications this week in his article, "Consumer UC 'Gaining a Son-in-law, Not Losing a Daughter!'". In this piece, Art writes that, "The enterprise has long dealt with their customer contact 'daughter' — the telephone. Like the daughter in the family who is getting married, the enterprise is not losing their 'daughter,' the telephone caller, but will be dealing with their new 'son-in-law,' the multimodal customer, who will be exploiting new 'Consumer' UC services to interact with the enterprise." Let's hope that this particular son-in-law is the kind who fixes the drip in your kitchen sink and listens to your complaints about the price of home heating oil, not the kind who shows up, drinks all your beer and falls asleep in your favorite chair in front of the TV.
David Sims wrote this week that CRM provider Kintera is announcing an extension of its social constituent relationship management (CRM) roadshow to include five additional cities. These events will be held at Microsoft (News - Alert) facilities throughout the country, and you'll want to attend if your organization wants to understand how social CRM on a software as a service platform can benefit fundraising efforts and constituent relationships. Don't know what social CRM is? Don't worry…The CRM Week in Review had to read the article to find out, too.
TMCnet Associate Editor Michelle Pasquerello set out to answer one of the great mysteries of the Universe this week. That is, "Are There Suitable/Affordable/Adequate Technologies for Small to Medium-Sized Call Centers?" The answer to the question, in fact, is not forty-two, but "yes." (I'm sure you're relieved to hear that.) Michelle interviewed Glenn Platkin, vice president and co-founder of hosted telemarketing solutions provider TeleMarketingKey.
Still think on-demand is just a fad? The enterprise business software's version of the pet rock? We learned this week that this year, on-demand software vendors are expected to rake in just under $2 billion, up from $1.5 billion last year, according to AMR Research. That's still less than 10 percent of the overall software market, but it's growing more than 20 percent a year, compared with single-digit growth in traditional software. And though there's widespread disagreement on how pervasive this change will be, on-demand is a powerful enough trend that the incumbents have been scrambling to come up with a strategy.
Swiftpage, an e-mail marketing service provider, announced this week that Swiftpage for ACT! supports the new ACT! by Sage 2007 (9.0) contact and customer management product family from Sage Software. The advantage in this that Sage officials see is that by having the product "fully integrated," Swiftpage for ACT! users "never have to leave ACT! to send e-mail marketing communications."
David Sims reported this week on an announcement by Palm, Inc. that the Treo 700wx smartphone supports Good Mobile Defense for security and fleet management, as well as Good Mobile Intranet, giving users access to Web-enabled enterprise systems, including sales force automation (SFA), customer relationship management (CRM) and corporate intranets. So in case you're NOT into staying in touch with your CRM system 24 hours per day, seven days per week, you're going to have to either run faster out of wireless range, or perhaps cover your vacation getaway house with lead panels.
Finally, if you haven't already (or if you haven't lately), check out the fab plans TMC has for its upcoming Call Center 2.0 event that will be collocated with INTERNET TELEPHONY Conference & EXPO. Call Center 2.0 will be a concentrated, information-heavy and frankly badly-needed-in-this-marketplace event that will be sure to amaze you.
That's all for this week, followers of CRM. Be sure to tune in next week for another collection of CRM tidbits with which you can impress your friends and neighbors at cookouts.
The author may be contacted at [email protected] .

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