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CRM Helps Businesses Move to the Cloud

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September 24, 2012

CRM Helps Businesses Move to the Cloud

By Mae Kowalke, TMCnet Contributor

Has customer relationship management (CRM) software played a major role in moving the world economy toward a subscription-based business services model?

With readily available broadband Internet and the increasingly prevalence of Web services, business is beginning to transform itself into a subscription economy where purchasing and owning software is no longer desirable, and the emphasis has shifted from products to services.

“These assets become more like liabilities, dragging businesses down,” wrote Lindsey LaManna in a Business2Community article. “The vendor landscape will change as they work to build applications that support the companies and consumers within the subscription-based economy. This means providing quick, instant utility.”

Don Huesman, managing director of the Innovation Group at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, agrees. “The days of having front-loaded initial expenditure on a large product that you own and pay maintenance on is over. A much more economical approach to a subscription based service is in our future.”

Cloud-based customer relationship management might be playing a large but unseen role in advancing the SaaS (News - Alert) economy, suggests enterprise relations management and CRM consultancy DeValde. CRM software has successfully migrated to the cloud, with widespread business adoption. The success of CRM along the SaaS model has laid the groundwork for interest in using a subscription model for many business needs.

“Previously, organizations had large customer databases & separate systems to handle the various interactions with those customers,” according to a statement from DeValde. “Integrating these systems & getting them to effectively work together, was often a frustrating & expensive exercise that required plenty of time and money spent on hardware, software, skills development & personnel.”

Then came cloud-based CRM. DeValde noted that organizations have realized the cost savings and simplicity that come from cloud-based CRM, as well as the benefits of mobility.

“Remote collaboration is also a major benefit to cloud-based CRM software, allowing different branches, departments or teams to work together to maintain the customer relationship,” according to DeValde. “This streamlines the overall customer service process, which is of huge advantage to the organization & its customers.”

With cloud-based CRM such a smashing success, using the SaaS model for other functions also begins to sound smart.

“As these organizations get used to the convenience & cost-effectiveness of a cloud-based CRM system, they'll look to migrate their other IT systems to the cloud,” DeValde predicted.

This is a win for smart vendors.

“The cloud-based software market offers great potential for vendors who should be eager to take advantage of customers' needs,” noted DeValde.

And they might just have CRM to thank for the opportunity.

Want to learn more about cloud communications? Then be sure to attend Cloud Communications Expo, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at Cloud Communications Expo. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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