The enterprise IT environment is complex. Many systems, technologies and practices that were developed at various times coexist in the same world. With expectations for technological advancements at their peak, we’re tasked with enabling these systems to work together harmoniously to support the continuous sharing of information.
Systems and data must connect to allow full use of capabilities as if all information were native to each. There also must be many ways to present information to end users, though data is evolving on a constant basis. Given this complexity, it’s not surprising that an intelligent CRM system in an enterprise environment requires specialized insight and know-how to ensure a seamless integration that’s both relevant and current.
What does an enterprise intelligent CRM solution look like? Any smart solution first and foremost must be designed as an enterprise-first application: one that is flexible, scalable, upgradable and ultimately easily deployable.
To a great extent, success in the enterprise environment depends on the use of “enterprise literate technology,” as opposed to reliance on “technology literate enterprise” concepts that were common in the past.
Enterprise literate technology understands an organization’s business needs and is built with the standards of what the company needs to accomplish in mind. It can help predict outcomes, better facilitate operations, and even automate day-to-day tasks. With today’s functional and technical complexity, heterogeneous integration requirements, and need for scale and security, CRM integration success depends on an enterprise literate technology approach.
From an enterprise management standpoint, the first task is to find a platform designed for this purpose. The following four considerations are critical when sourcing intelligent CRM software for enterprise systems.
1. Flexibility and Context Matter
Enterprise CRM solutions should be tailored to meet business specific needs. The primary goal for any CRM solution should be a seamless user experience, delivered through a fully integrated single application that is responsive across all devices and platforms.
A good choice will offer a comprehensive customer view by integrating enterprise and third-party data sources through a customized, context-aware system. Systems like this automatically manage all communication and context passing between the CRM system and other third-party portlets needed to ensure everything works together as a single integrated system.
What’s more, enterprise intelligent CRM with built-in artificial intelligence has the ability to incorporate additional data sources to allow users to leverage available information effectively in order to better service customers.
From automating workflows to eliminating burdensome administrative tasks, the flexibility of an intelligent enterprise solution provides a deeper understanding of the customer, which helps with decision-making processes and simplifies day-to-day operations.
2. Is It Scalable?
CRM is more than just a software. It’s an essential strategic growth tool that all enterprises need. One of the main motivators for any enterprise CRM provider should be to equip an organization with the simple tools needed in the early stages of a business, as well as the capabilities to scale up as the business expands and grows.
Implementing a reliable, fully scalable CRM system in the beginning as part of an overarching business strategy ensures seamless growth down the road. After all, a good foundation — which includes a company’s ability to scale up to meet the demands of growth and challenges as they arise — is fundamental to any organization’s success.
With an enterprise-first approach to CRM, organizations can rest assured that the simple coordination of all the different customer touchpoints in a business — from ales and marketing to face-to-face interactions with customers — will be facilitated effectively through one centralized platform as the business grows.
This is what makes ongoing collaboration, information sharing and task management simple and efficient. Keep in mind all of this must be done with a robust and complex security system, too. A truly scalable solution allows organizations to configure security to protect their customers and match their requirements as the business expands, while allowing information to be shared across the company dependably.
3. What are the Integration Capabilities? Is It Upgradable?
When CRM integration is an afterthought, failure is inevitable. Instead, the technology must allow for integration with a wide variety of client platforms, data sources and applications, since every organization has different needs.
Without integration for items such as social media and news feeds, for instance, it is next to impossible to take customer management and experience to the next level. For organizations and CRM solutions alike, a comprehensive understanding based on the client’s complete relationship with the company is essential for customers to receive the expected level of personalized, continuously evolving service.
Look for and integrate a system that understands the nature and concerns of enterprise operations — including its ability to upgrade as needed. Technical and functional challenges are to be expected, but a well-integrated system supports upgradability from the beginning.
Among other things, it is important to not force unnecessary data replication or compromises on data security, visibility and residency. Instead, organizations should deploy an enterprise-first way of thinking that provides configurable, world-class functionality along with the business controls needed to take operations to the next level.
4. Deployment Should Be Simple
A purpose-built enterprise CRM software system should make deployment simple. It should be compatible with a variety of open source and common software platforms. An intelligent platform takes the “how”out of the equation by translating processes easily. It should be easy to tailor it to specific business needs.
The user’s job should be simply to dictate what the system should do, not how it will be done. Both the functional and technical complexity should be handled by the software itself, which should be sophisticated enough to render information-sharing appropriately across all common Web applications and technology devices.
Easy deployment insulates a software investment from the shifting underlying technology landscape, and ultimately makes the development and maintenance of a CRM solution more manageable over time.
There is unmatchable value in deploying an enterprise CRM system that can be customized for an organization’s specific business needs to give the ROI and improved customer experience companies seek.
Integrating an enterprise intelligent CRM system can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Every business has a unique set of needs, and selecting robust software that allows for thoughtful integration of data and applications can improve operations and help businesses expand and grow, while making the transition seamless and mitigating unnecessary stress.