Posts Tagged ‘SalesLogix’

This is part 3 in a series on Cloud CRM vs On-Premises CRM

Any implementation of either cloud CRM or on-premises has a ripple effect throughout your organisation. This CRM ripple effect can either be very positive or dangerously negative, depending on the level of strategic thinking that drives your decision to purchase a CRM solution.

Cloud Based, Browser CRM Tends To Be Disposable

The typical use of a browser (app) is that somebody will open it, they’ll make an enquiry of the browser app and they’ll get the information and – without thought – click close. And then when they need it again they open it up again.

Now an (desktop) application it generally has log-ins and it gets to start screen and there’s generally anywhere from 25 seconds to a minute before you get to your log in screen.

Now if you think about the mechanics of somebody who is working on their database all day long and they are regularly going “click – close – I’m done” and then they’re going back to get their phone number and they realised they’ve closed the browser. How many times are they going to do that before they get miffed?

Users just want ready access, so a desktop application style access works because it tends to be something they own. It’s like ‘It’s my app, I use that in order to run that part of my business.” Whereas a cloud-based browser application tends to be something that they have to do for someone else, something more disposable, less serious.

Now that may sound unfair – there are a number of very significant deployments that are web-based apps – but they haven’t cost you anything. You’ve only got an investment in the form of “that’s where your mail arrives” but you didn’t really have to think about buying it therefore you don’t have to think about getting your ROI.

So you optionally use it or not, whereas when you are using an application that you went to some effort to get and where there is considered thought invested into what it is and how it’s going to be used, then there is an intent for return on investment.

The CRM Ripple Effect

From that comes a ripple effect. Owners, who are ultimately paying the money, are going “I’m spending this because I expect this outcome.” And this gets pushed down to the sales managers – “This is going to give you these capabilities therefore we expect that you are going to perform better and it also means that some of these mistakes that we have are going to stop. And the information about the customer that we currently lose every time an employee leaves is now going to stay in-house”.

There tends to be more of a considered approach to what is the intent for CRM is. So rather than just going “Oh I’ve just installed this software” or “Hey I have just signed up for this browser app, it’s really cool.” “Oh how much does it cost? Nothing? Well, great!”

But then who’s deciding how you should use it? Are your employees, the users on the ground, deciding corporate policy now? Who’s deciding what the communication standards should be? Who is deciding what you are going to do when you have certain business events?

If the users are just making those decisions merrily, what control does the actual owner or the shareholder have? None.

So any CRM – hosted or not – has a ripple effect. A cloud CRM is good in that it enables you to go “Yeah that’s good enough”, but there are inherent dangers in just making a flippant decision on something that important.

This is Part 3 in a 4 part series. Read the next entry. Read the First entry

Brett Cruickshank, MIMC
Managing Director, CRM Strategy
Mobile: 0419 631 375

Part two in a series on Cloud CRM vs. On-premises

Semi-Hosted CRM for Greater Speed While Connecting Remote Locations

Another common scenario in the cloud CRM versus on-premises debate (or hosted Vs non-hosted CRM) is illustrated via one client we have where they know that their IT guys don’t have the skills to execute CRM as technology platform and as a strategy but they have the capacity to provide some servers.

So we are being engaged to be their primary hosting service where all the “smarts”, all the management, all the infrastructure and being the central hub for sharing all the data throughout the organisation is done by us – but it is semi-hosted. They have offices in Melbourne and Sydney. We’re putting a local server in their buildings so they can have access to their data at landspeed, but that server sends its changes back to us and we send it to Sydney. Meanwhile the Sydney users get their data access and the stuff that actually moves between them happens at a relaxed rate.

So it’s not purely cloud CRM and it’s not purely on-premises but a hybrid model. They’re getting this service internally so it’s fast but the management of it is done by us offsite because they just need it done. They might have a short deployment, it might be a conflict in resources, it might be that they just don’t have the people, but whatever the reason, they need it and that’s where we come in.

So we do the heavy lifting in terms of management and deployment offsite but the customer still provides local cached services so that the users experience great performance.  

2 Reasons Companies Choose On-Premises CRM

And the last scenario is “Actually I don’t want it hosted at all, I want it on premise”.

Generally that falls in to two categories: 

  1. A customer just doesn’t do it – they don’t like hosted at all. They don’t believe in it.
  2. Or there’s an integration conversation where the CRM needs to sit next to the accounting system because they share data.

You can’t really do that that well in a hosted environment because otherwise all of the data interchange is going over the Internet and I am not really sure that many customers are going to be all that delighted about their financials flying all over the ether.

Even though you can put security connections around it all, it is still risky. In a hosted accounting system, and goodness knows there are an increasing amount of them, the data is in a hosted environment but the actual data itself is not being transmitted – it’s screens and keywords so it’s actually secure for a different reason in as much as we’re not transmitting the data over the Internet whereas integration over the Internet is a little bit more complicated. Security-wise, it’s just not there yet.

CRM Strategy Vs CRM Stopgap

So at the end of the day the conversation over hosted or non-hosted comes down to a couple of things. If all you want to do is just have a throwaway, “I just need something for now” solution then there are plenty of services out there but you shouldn’t really expect anything by way of return on investment by anything other than wild surprise.

The rest of them are “I’m executing a strategy, but I am picking the best way to use it”.

So it comes down to your capacity to support CRM as running cost, or as a skills and expertise issue, or a timing issue – whatever – but that shouldn’t detract from what the solution looks like. One thing that we have observed and constantly tested is that browser applications tend to be very, very disposable.

This is Part 2 in a 4 part series. Read the next entry. Read the First entry

Brett Cruickshank, MIMC
Managing Director, CRM Strategy
Mobile: 0419 631 375

I believe that the hosted CRM vs. non-hosted (or cloud CRM vs. on-premises) argument is a red herring that needs to be reframed as CRM Strategy vs. Stopgap.

  1. Stopgap: The solution that you buy because you just need something.
  2. Strategic: The solution that you buy because there are a multitude of options that can be deployed as part of your strategy.


If it’s the latter then hosted or non-hosted, cloud or on-premise CRM – it doesn’t even come into play. It’s a non-issue.

If it’s the former and you’re just buying it without a strategy then you’re probably doing more damage than good. You’ve deemed that lack of access to customer data is not a threat – but relationships (and selling IS relationships), customer data and what you know about the customer IS the game.

Why CRM Minus Strategy Doesn’t Work

There are a couple of schools of thought when it comes to hosted (cloud) CRM. One of the schools of thought is: “I don’t really know what I need but I know I need something. I either don’t have the time, don’t have the energy or I don’t really know how to describe what I really want but I want something because everybody is screaming at me.”

 “But I’m not really ready to go through an in-depth needs analysis, so I’ll get some online thing.”

They ask themselves “What do I know about? Actually I know about Salesforce. I’ve seen that around, that’s probably going to be OK”. So provided it doesn’t kill them financially, they buy 5, 10, 15 users and boom: “There’s your CRM. There’s a place you can put your data. Now go away and stop bothering me”.

It’s not strategy, but they’ve got something so they can say “I’ve delivered CRM”. And they can start to use it. What generally happens then is you’ll get some data into it, you’ll get a couple of evangelists who’ll go off and do something with it and you’ll get a couple of other people who will do the mandatory minimum or nothing at all.

It’s probably about a 15 – 20% chance of it igniting and only if one of the evangelists happens to have the ear of anybody senior.

But successful adoption tends to be flukey. So there’s no necessary guarantee of outcome. But what it does enable them to do is to use their credit card to solve a problem. It doesn’t involve IT so they can go around a lot of work and just say “There’s a subscription, knock yourself out”. It doesn’t appear as a capital cost so they didn’t have to budget for it. They can just put it into an operating budget and deal with it easily. 

This scenario is not the ideal way because it doesn’t really get you anywhere. It just puts a finger in the dam and stops it from dripping until you get back to it.

This is Part 1 in a 4 part series. Read the next entry.

Brett Cruickshank, MIMC
Managing Director, CRM Strategy
Mobile: 0419 631 375

This is the first in a series of Quick Notes training papers on Sage SalesLogix.

SalesLogix: When should an account be an account?

There is much confusion over business rules on when to create accounts and when to use addresses so in this paper, we aim to provide the thought tools required to set your policy.

This training is provided as a free PDF file – just click the big red button!

Sage North America CEO Pascal Houillon spoke with Bloomberg TV

May 11th 2012

Pascal Houillon, chief executive officer of Sage Group Plc’s North America unit talks about the company’s accounting software and branding strategy. He speaks with Pimm Fox on Bloomberg Television’s “Taking Stock.”

Watch the video
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