Hearty Welcome to Customer Champions & Master Minds
I believe "Successful CRM " is about competing in the relationship dimension. Not as an alternative to having a competitive product or reasonable price- but as a differentiator. If your competitors are doing the same thing you are (as they generally are), product and price won't give you a long-term, sustainable competitive advantage. But if you can get an edge based on how customers feel about your company, it's a much stickier--sustainable--relationship over the long haul.
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Your Partner & Companion ( P&C)
Dinesh Chandrasekar - DC*
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Match Made in Enterprise: CRM & BI Integration
The combination of some technologies are real killer combos such one is CRM and BI, I call it a Match Made in Enterprise and it’s here to stay for a long. Nevertheless like any other integration it has its own challenges and some honey to make money ( good results )Ultimately, a BI tool is most beneficial when that tool has deep, rich data to analyze, such as the information stored in a CRM system. The bottom line is that BI tools help companies organize and manage customer and transaction data, from top to bottom, by improving tactical and strategic decision-making for company growth.
Purpose-built BI tools such as Oracle BI Apps, SAP Business Objects, Cognos ,Informatica and Microsoft BI Analytics are designed to pull information from a variety of business systems and organize it into a business "dashboard." Dashboards provide visual summaries of key business information. The power of the dashboard comes from connecting it to live data generated by, say, a CRM application. Dashboards consolidate information in real time and display key performance indicators (KPIs) or key financial indicators (KFIs), which are high-level gauges of how the organization is performing against specific goals.A business owner can quickly scan KPIs through the dashboard and drill down into them to make informed business decisions and projections, spot trends, and manage the overall health of the organization. Typical KPIs include sales and revenue forecasts, financial budgets, cash flow, lead conversion rates (in sales), and inventory turnover (inventory management). The dashboard also allows users to add information or statistics that may be unique to a company or industry via customizations.
Objectives for a BI and CRM integration project
Each organization has a different set of challenges and customized systems. However, there are some typical overarching objectives for a BI and CRM integration project that can be categorized as follows:
Collecting and consolidating data:
Keeping everyone focused on the tasks at hand and avoiding data collection overload.
• Missing data: Storing data in a central location for marketing, sales and customer service. By integrating BI and CRM, the right information can be captured and added to the central repository.
• Duplicate data: This is a common challenge with CRM applications. Many organizations consider integrating BI tools with CRM tools to reduce duplication. Which is not…
Overcoming BI and CRM integration challenges
Companies see the greatest benefit from integrating BI tools with their CRM system when they create dashboards to display and analyze information for finance and HR, partner relations, customer service, executives, sales, and marketing. Since each company has significantly different needs when it comes to integrating BI tools with a CRM system, there is no turnkey solution or commercial, off-the-shelf software that can be used as a plug-and-play component for integration.Therefore, it's all about employing a methodology that will ensure a "rapid" trip to the endgame: creating dashboards.
We call it a “RAPID" methodology. The RAPID acronym breaks down as follows:
The RAPID methodology integrates speed, people, technology, and processes with a focus on critical business issues. In some circumstances, it has accomplished in days what might otherwise have taken months to complete. Following the methodology allows companies to build a working prototype in as little as a week or 10 days, with about 80% accuracy.
The RAPID methodology breaks down as follows:
• Goals and needs -- and then determine the specific objectives for the BI-CRM integration initiative. There is no stock set of objectives because each enterprise has different needs across a variety of industries.
• Business processes -- to understand how the data is coming in, and from where.
• Which systems are used to generate reports -- and the compatibility of these systems?
Existing examples of reports, measurements, and tools that are used to run the business. This helps guard against data duplication, identify opportunities for growth, and streamline data gathering.
• Metrics used to measure success. Without properly focused and balanced performance measures, companies won't see the impact of processes and functional performance.
• Business processes – and documents them.
To set priorities,development effort and project timelines.
• To take inventory of resources. Is there enough experience to handle the implementation in house? Or will you hire a third-party consultancy to help with the process?
• To determine schedules, the approach and effort needed to bring the initiative to fruition.
• Tools and pre-determined processes.
• Timelines and budget.
• Goals and plans to help communication thrive across the organization.
• Dashboards and the reporting functions.
• Schedules and procedures.
• The best method after trial run-throughs.
• A training program for staff, featuring the new form and method of measurement.
• A feedback mechanism so that small changes can be made moving forward in real time.
It is important to deliver prototypes along the way. Prototypes are valuable to end users, since they provide flexibility to request changes, which helps ensure that the BI tool will meet user needs. This process dramatically increases end-user adoption, which ultimately determines the success of many CRM & BI implementations.
The methodology is built on the understanding that an all-at-once comprehensive approach is detrimental to success, because of today's complex business environment. For example, a company may spend a year building a data warehouse, but when the time comes to utilize the tool, the data and business needs have changed. Through BI-CRM integration using the RAPID methodology, the company can have the flexibility to transmit comprehensive sales information globally, in about a day.
Deploying a RAPID or any successful methodology allows for the entire BI-CRM integration process to occur in a timely manner, while allowing flexibility to fine-tune the systems as business needs change. One of the biggest challenges for some companies is making the best use of data. By integrating the CRM system with BI tools, companies can make great strides with critical business intelligence data. Integration allows companies to collaborate and make decisions quickly, based on real-time information and metrics. An effective BI-CRM integration truly has become a change agent for many companies.
Inception (Three-Disc Blu-ray/DVD Combo + Digital Copy) , Decision Points ,Business Intelligence Competency Centers: A Team Approach to Maximizing Competitive Advantage (Wiley and SAS Business Series)