Hope everyone is enjoying the fantastic holiday season. This year, CRM had a mixed bag of performance and the same is true for many organizations.In a global economy where change is the only constant, getting to the top is hard, but staying there is even harder. Most companies do well in suitable market conditions, but are unable to adapt to business cycles. Other enterprises survive downturns but are unable to rebound. CRM partly helped every organization to do something better and for some organization the same CRM altered their fortune (both good and bad). As a CRM evangelist I love to predict what is in store for CRM in 2012 and I will assure you will see the majority of this come true next year.
The reason for every major vendor made acquisition in the cloud space is primarily to expand their CRM footprint. Be it
Oracle, SAP or Microsoft everyone want to expand their CRM footprint. The recent Oracle acquisition of RightNow CRM is evident that it’s betting high time on Cloud CRM. The flip side of the cloud crm is that it doesn’t provide a robust integration platform as that of Enterprise CRM. The year 2012 will be very demanding for these product vendors to provide a unified integration platform.
Prediction 2: Integration is back in business
The weaving net to interweave all new cloud crm and enterprise apps is the Integration platform. The Integration projects will see new lease of life to bring back the charm of enterprise CRM in Cloud platform. The promise of enterprise crm in cloud crm is still a big question but however every vendor is making their best effort to make their cloud crm offering an enterprise one. New age middleware technologies will offer extension to the cloud platform with Cloud adapters.
Prediction 3: Social Media intruder
It’s too early to expect the intelligence out of unstructured data that is churning out of social network sites. Be it a twitter, Facebook, MySpace and other god knows types. Every one of them has data about the customer but the data is in unstructured form and you will not be able to make any meaningful conclusion with or without analytics. The so called social crm applications just provide the integration to these social network sites but not really the meaningful insight about the customer or his/her behavior. The negative trends did have a damaging impact on variety of brands but some of them are intentionally spread by the competitors. There is no means to control such actions but atleast the CRM is getting into this sphere of influence and there will be lot of bolt on solutions that may get developed by the Apps developer for the big vendors.
Prediction 4: Mobility everywhere
Apples and Berry’s gonna rule the CRM and every sales superstar want to use only mobile crm apps. They are gonna make laptops and desktops redundant. The data is gonna be on finger tips and you got to have a gorilla scratch of your IPAD if you don’t like the data inside. The real challenge is gonna how to secure the mobile enterprise apps and when so much of sensitive information is gonna be in your hip pouch. You will see again lot of mobile enabled security apps comes to play here to secure the enterprise data. The HTML 5 and Java gonna set the trend for CRM UI development.
Prediction 5: Consumer driven Web commerce
Consumers will gain edge over the distributor and partner. The choice of service and product will be determined by the customer. The innovation will be driven by customer experience and advance product and price configurations will become part of web commerce application. The Nike stores which offer the flexibility to design your pair of shoes and Home depot which gives you the flexibility to configure your own consumer electronics will set standard to other industry to bring innovation to life in the web commerce space.
Prediction 6: Industry Vertical Solutions
The “One size fits all “generic CRM will eventually die the natural death and more of industry focused CRMs will regain the glory. The word of caution for all the cheap promises made by some of the small crm vendors and consumer will baptize those vendors for demand of more industry specific functionalities which they may not be able to provide. The System Integrators role to provide the right fit solution to the consumers also will make big impact on the vendor selection.
Prediction 7: Integrated Hubs and Data Enrichment
The time for integrated hub which will have the capability to tie together customer golden record with that of product/service hubs and other hubs such as site, activities, suppliers etc. Customer will ask more on the data quality front and it’s not just cleansing but to enrich the data with standardized reference files from industry data specialists like that D&B, Reuters etc.
These prediction lists may go on and on but the mentioned ones will be the top priority ones for great almighty customers who are waiting to see the dawn on the investment they made in CRM. The CRM technology has been a fortune wheel and you need great luck to have the right fit CRM, the right System Integrator and more importantly the right organizations and its users to make the CRM program a success. When you get all things right you are customers are the first ones to reward you with right incentive.
Happy New year to all my Partners and Companions