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Organisations with multiple subsidiaries or business units (BUs) face various challenges in implementing enterprise CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solutions.
In the early days of CRM, each BU was likely to implement a solution tailored to meet their own specific business and customer needs. And so, over time, a plethora of different CRM applications propagated across the enterprise – each implemented to suit the localized needs of their BU. Some of these CRM applications worked well. But some didn’t, and cash-strapped BU’s had little motivation or inclination to change them.
And then the consultants and rocket-scientists got called in to “review” the landscape – and develop strategies to “consolidate” and “rationalise” CRM across the business i.e. an “Enterprise CRM Strategy”. The aim being to help reduce costs and build efficiencies into their organisation – but also gain benefits through synergetic and collaborative (or ‘joined-up”) working, and information sharing across the enterprise.
Some organisations chose to undertake a wholesale scrap of all existing CRM systems and introduce a single platform, or plonk in a big hairy beast (like SAP) – to deliver a “single and consistent view of the customer”.
Others simply got rid of those applications that didn’t work – and extended licences to them from those BU’s that had good experiences. This helped them rationalise and minimise the number of vendor products they worked with, and gain better benefits from scale.
But did either of these approaches make a blind bit of difference? Perhaps, in some cases. But not always. And, sometimes, at quite a significant cost and upheaval to the business.
Today, cloud platforms like Salesforce.com have allowed organisations with multiple and disparate business units to establish a more dynamic, flexible, more open and scalable Enterprise CRM solutions. One that enables them to take, through a hybrid approach, better advantage of the things that already work and (through integration) establish a more connected enterprise – so that that can deliver and engage with their customers through wider channels, including mobile and spocial media, more effectively .
The attached paper discusses and compares the three most common approaches to delivering an enterprise CRM architecture (including the hybrid approach) to help you assess the relative pros and cons, and define the strategy that fits best for your organisation.