Customer Data


Customer Relationship Metrics Takes On the Unstructured Data Challenge

Customer Relationship Metrics has launched Text BI, its latest offering in its suite of managed analytics solutions. Text BI enables companies to take unstructured text-based data from surveys, emails, social media, CRM systems and other applications, and organize it into a format that makes it easier to analyze.

Deployment of Text BI begins with a thorough assessment of the data sources that are most important to the company. Armed with this information, Customer Relationship Metrics creates a road map and puts the proper tools in place to define a cohesive strategy for collecting and analyzing data. Once Text BI is deployed, customers have regularly scheduled meetings with analysts who are trained to review and interpret the data being collected.

“The key to successful CRM is being able to take unstructured data and convert it into something actionable,” Jim Rembach, chief spokesperson for Customer Relationship Metrics, told CRM Buyer. “We are giving businesses access to analytics tools in order to tackle the business barriers they currently have with the way their data is stored and used.”

Growth in unstructured data has been explosive, whether it’s information from customer comments, conversations occurring with other companies and customers, social media posts, or written interactions, he added.

“In order to find the relationships between different data sources, you have to be able to take that unstructured data and make it more structured,” Rembach said.

The proliferation of unstructured data has made it increasingly challenging to conquer the “last mile” with analytics technology, he added. “There have been failures associated with CRM and other sophisticated analytics when it comes down to the human capital component. You need the know-how to manage, convert, analyze, understand and find relationships. That means tools to help businesses understand their data sources better.”

With that understanding, organizations can better define and map relationships, Rembach noted. “We don’t need to measure the world. We just need to measure the right thing.”

DISH Serves Up Cloud-Based Mobile Workforce Management From TOA

Pay TV operator Dish Network has partnered with TOA Technologies, an on-demand provider of enterprise-class mobile workforce management and customer experience management software solutions, to deploy TOA’s ETAdirect platform to thousands of field technicians. As a carrier- and operator-agnostic solution, ETAdirect is compatible with iPads, tablets, smartphones and other devices used by mobile workers.

By moving to a single, central cloud-based platform, Dish is able to consolidate its technical field- service operations and align all field-service activities in one system, providing a single view of the field. Dish employees and third-party users, including field technicians, dispatchers, service representatives and managers, are using ETAdirect to manage customer appointments from precise appointment booking to service delivery completion.

ETAdirect combines advanced analytics technology with a routing and scheduling optimization engine and proactive customer communications to accurately route more than 10,000 jobs in four minutes. Dish has claimed that this is the largest-ever deployment of tablet-based mobility to a field workforce. It also reported that this new approach will significantly reduce wait windows and improve delivery time accuracy.

“With this solution, customer service agents can use the Dish CRM system to get true visibility into the field when they book appointments with customers,” Yuval Brisker, cofounder and CEO of TOA Technologies, told CRM Buyer. “Booking is done in direct relation to real capacity and actual technician availability, all based on historical patterns and predictive analysis — not on averages.”

Experience with other customers has shown us that this type of visibility and accuracy can achieve customer satisfaction scores as high as 98 percent, he added.

Zoho Expands Mobile Apps for CRM

Zoho has expanded its portfolio of mobile applications to include its customer relationship management solutions. The new Zoho CRM for Android simplifies customer relationship management for mobile sales professionals and others using Zoho CRM, the company’s on-demand customer relationship management software. Highlights of the Android version of Zoho CRM include the ability to

  • access contacts, accounts, potentials, leads, tasks, events and call logs in Zoho CRM
  • View, create, edit and delete records in all supported modules
  • Access customer information while offline, outside network coverage area
  • Add/modify customer information offline, with all additions and modifications auto-synced to the Web once a network connection is available
  • Perform powerful searches for required information in both client (offline mode) and server (online mode)
  • Call contacts directly from within the app and log calls subsequently

Zoho CRM for Android is available immediately. Mobile apps for Zoho CRM are free of charge but require a subscription to the Zoho CRM Mobile Edition at US$3 per user per month.

HP Eases Unified Communications Deployment for Enterprises

HP has announced two new offerings that facilitate the rapid adoption of unified communications (UC) solutions: HP AppSystem for Microsoft Lync, a turnkey platform designed to expedite UC deployments, and a customizable HP and Polycom Rich Media Communications (RMC) solution for greater visual collaboration.

With these offerings, HP is enabling clients to quickly and cost-effectively deploy Polycom RealPresence video solutions and Microsoft Lync, a UC solution that offers audio, video, Web and instant messaging capabilities.

HP AppSystem for Microsoft Lync is an integrated UC platform built on HP Converged Infrastructure. The solution is preconfigured for rapid deployment of Microsoft Lync, allowing clients to quickly realize greater collaboration between employees, partners and customers. The offering also includes assessment, deployment and support services to help ensure the platform is quickly up and running.

The HP and Polycom RMC solution combines HP Networking products based on the HP FlexNetwork architecture with Polycom RealPresence video solutions built on the Polycom RealPresence Platform, which provides comprehensive software infrastructure for universal video collaboration. Clients can easily prepare and install network video capabilities from desktop to conference room and immersive suites.

Denise J. Deveau is a seasoned freelance writer based in Toronto, Ontario. She has more than two decades of experience in business- and technology-related subjects.

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