Commence Corporation Caretsky Addresses CRM Saas

By: Thomas Cutler

Larry Caretsky is the CEO or Commence Corporation (www.commence.com) a provider of CRM solutions for the Manufacturing, Distribution and Construction sector. Caretsky has authored several white papers including Six Points to Consider, Getting Back to Basics, CRM an Executive Perspective and Practices That Pay, a book that describes how to Leverage Information to Achieve Industrial Selling Results.

The introduction of software as a service, (SaaS) pioneered by companies like SalesForce.com, NetSuite, and RightNow Technologies has inspired more businesses to move forward with CRM. This new deployment model has proven to reduce the initial cost of hardware and software acquisition and alleviate the lengthy implementation cycles that have plagued the CRM industry for years. Industry reports confirm that businesses both large and small are gravitating to the SaaS model, prompting other mainstream companies such as Oracle and Microsoft to enter the space. But, has SaaS solved the real problem with CRM? Despite the reduced cost and deployment time of SaaS, user adoption continues to be an issue and cancellations among the providers remains a serious concern. What then is the problem with CRM?

The answer may be two-fold, beginning with management's failure to recognize that the successful deployment and use of a CRM system requires proper planning, the assignment of skilled resources, and a commitment to its utilization. Let's compare for a moment the implementation of accounting and ERP software to that of CRM. Accounting and ERP systems enjoy a high degree of success with regard to implementation and use even though they require hardware, software and lengthy implementation processes. Yet we said earlier that this was one of the initial problems with CRM. Interestingly enough Accounting and ERP systems due to their complexity and regulatory requirements also require the commitment of management and a team of highly skilled resources to ensure a smooth and successful implementation. Before any implementation begins a great deal of planning takes place, internal procedures are documented and a skilled project team is assigned. The vendor selected will also be required to have an experienced team of people on site before, during and after the implementation. Why are companies willing to make this level of investment in planning and resources allocation? Because Accounting and ERP is serious business and mission critical to the organization. CRM however is often viewed as just software for the sales guys and receives a lukewarm reception from the management team who are unable to connect with its utilization and value.

Selecting the right CRM solution for your business can be a daunting exercise. There are plenty of options and a myriad of consultants eager to offer their advice, but no one has found the magic formula that will ensure your success. The continued growth of this industry sector has attracted some the most prominent software providers, yet the level of dissatisfaction among companies that have implemented these solutions remains high. Clearly something is wrong.

Enterprise Information Systems
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