A new Forrester survey commissioned by Capgemini, Salesforce, and MuleSoft reveals companies face the same recurring customer experience (CX) struggles. They lack an integrated single source of truth for customer data and are strapped with subpar personalization capabilities.

Zoho’s Surround Strategy

Surround strategy is the antithesis of rip and replace. Rather than replacement, a business can move parts of its workload from some workhorse system, say ERP, to Zoho -- where things like pre-built reports and Zia, an AI-based digital assistant, can help business users interrogate data stored on th...

This is not good. A new report commissioned by Replicant tells a story of customers frustrated when service fails or is way too slow. That's not new -- and Replicant is not the only vendor to ring the alarm. For many years Oracle has reminded vendors that one bad service encounter is enough to make ...

When a complex need arises, customers expect to be connected to a well-prepared agent who can quickly resolve the situation. That fix must be applied in a way that leaves both the customer and agent feeling great about the outcome. Fortunately, the technologies now exist that allow contact centers t...

Dreamforce Observations

Dreamforce saw Salesforce continuing to build out a product offering that in some ways defies description. For the CRM rank and file there were plenty of announcements and enhancements -- and for others some tantalizing views of what may be coming in future releases.

INSIGHTS

Salesforce Is No Longer Just a CRM Company

Dreamforce happens this week, emanating from San Francisco and reaching out to the world via the global cloud computing network Salesforce helped to create. With that, this may be the last time to say with all sincerity that Salesforce is a CRM company. Truth be told, the transition has been ongoing...

ANALYSIS

Where Does Oracle Go From Here?

If you follow a market long enough and if it's a successful marketplace, you notice that some of the companies in it go through a succession of moves; first in new products and then in finance. The confusion comes when a company like Oracle lives through multiple up and down cycles. When you look at...

With the recent completion of the Slack acquisition, Salesforce can look forward to improving the quality of the customer-facing business processes that it supports with more and better collaboration. However, the presence of Slack may now highlight the reality that while vendors operate at the spee...

INSIGHTS

CRM’s Virtuous Circle

First, cloud-based CRM democratized business information, then it erased the distance between customers and vendors. Now it is poised to expand into other areas with similar democratizing opportunities. I am speaking about how we work -- at least those of us in the knowledge economy -- but there's a...

INSIGHTS

Salesforce Season

There may be two Salesforce seasons in a year -- the one we're finishing and one that happens just before Dreamforce. Roughly speaking, these seasons happen when the company disgorges a raft of new technologies both to update existing products and to bring forth new ones. This season covers a lot of...

ANALYSIS

Grinding Data Into Information

A lot of time and treasure has already been spent on "going digital" with no clear understanding of what that should mean. But going digital should, at least in part, mean taking full responsibility for turning a business' mountain of customer data into usable information that advances the company m...

IT has not been simply about data processing for a long time. Recent data breaches show the increasing importance of things like encryption, automated database management, and taking security measures to safeguard vital data. All of that is necessary overhead that must be supported by CPU cycles. Th...

Various CRM vendors have been issuing interesting survey results from the pandemic that purport to show the "new normal" in full flower. Salesforce did so recently, and now Oracle is getting into the act. While the data generated from these and many other surveys is interesting, and drives much disc...

INSIGHTS

Three-Part Evolution

I've been writing about the importance of platform as a tool and as a strategy for a while -- and not only with regard to Salesforce. I'd say most CRM vendors have a platform story; others like Oracle and Zoho come up as examples all the time. The difference with Salesforce is that it's looking bey...

Should employers consider job seekers' social media posts when hiring?
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