By Mike Stiles on Jan 11, 2013
Discussions around social being extended across all facets of the enterprise are especially putting a “social spotlight” (shilling my own blog there) on the symbiotic relationship between social and CRM.
Today’s public is gravitating toward social as the desired means of communicating and interacting with brands. So social becomes the potential touchpoint for every aspect of the CRM daisy chain, from attraction to lead to sale to upsell to customer service.
Which might leave you wondering, “How do we best connect our CRM system to a social management system so that data from each can inform the other in a beautiful technology dance rivaling the Paso Doble?”
I’d like to submit a word for possible consideration as having purely negative connotations: piecemeal. Many brands are entrenched in disparate legacy systems handling the various arms of the enterprise, even though total data integration is the obvious future. They’ve set about connecting these various systems from various vendors so data can flow from one to the other.
It’s not seamless, nor is it truly integrated. It’s piecemeal, with all the dangers and inefficiencies that come with it.
VP of Product Development for the Oracle Social Cloud Jim Anderson is helping enterprise organizations see the promise of one partner spanning both CRM and SRM (Social Relationship Management). If you were a fly on the wall in those meetings, here’s what you would hear Jim say:
Tech surrounding enterprise data, including social, is evolving quickly. With multiple vendors and platforms, what are the odds all will innovate and upgrade evenly? What happens when one upgrades, causing breakages or lapses in the others? These systems were not designed to work together, so you spend your time and resources fixing what breaks instead of innovating and advancing on a unified front.
Multiple systems exchanging data and playing nice with each other sounds do-able and cost-efficient. But with differing rate-limiting issues causing possible silent failures that lead to incomplete data and inaccurate conclusions, transaction interruptions, unexpected data types, unavailable systems, and differing language and international character sets (just tossing out a few examples here), your enterprise is essentially relegated to the “least common denominator” of what all the pieces of your piecemeal are capable of. That keeps you as far away from the leading edge as possible.
Now picture hardware and software from one qualified vendor engineered to work together, pulling SRM, CRM, HCM, and other functions of the enterprise under one roof in the cloud. True integration. A single point of contact, incentivized to align and resolve any disconnects. Such holistic approaches and long-term partnerships are the real path to capitalizing on innovations in data and confidently making enterprise-wide, data-driven decisions.