Software Pulse

Business Strategy for Software Executives

October 29, 2007

Mike Murphy

CRM 10 Years Later: How Good is Your Service?

It's time to get back to the ideals around which CRM was supposed to have been built; servicing the customer – not just the corporation.

By Mike Murphy, InQuira

Customer Relationship Management (CRM), one of the great application categories of the last decade, has lost its identity. Or rather, it has too many identities, most of them focused on selling to, rather than servicing, the customer. Therein lies the problem, and the opportunity.

Helping customers efficiently and effectively resolve their issues is still largely an unsolved challenge for CRM. A major IT research firm recently asked the support organizations of major corporations how effective they were at meeting customer needs. Just over half of respondents felt that their phone support was effective, and it went downhill from there for every other support channel.

As a consumer, how many times have your support requests resulted in a speedy, competent resolution versus a laborious, frustrating experience?  Why do we have billion dollar CRM software markets, and still we deliver consistently poor support experiences?  Imagine how big the market COULD be if companies had software that could actually deliver consistently good results.

There are some companies that are getting it right, however, and this has changed the customer profile - he is more demanding, less patient, and less loyal than ever before. If you cannot deliver the right experience to that customer, you miss an opportunity to cement a relationship, and open the door to your competitors.

All hope is not lost; the answer is far simplier then one might think, it just requires a return to the fundamentals of customer service.


Find Your Vendor on

Don’t forget to check the Services Directory when you are looking for a new vendor. The page includes a variety of listings for businesses which specialize in serving the software industry. Vendors include developers, public relations experts, marketing firms, financial consultancies and more. Just click on a firm’s name to find out more information.

To list your services firm on, simply scroll to the bottom of the Services Directory page and and click on “Want to post a service? Login/register here.

Oracle Pulls a Fast One

With all the hubbub surrounding the BEA offer, it was easy to miss Oracle’s acquisition of Interlace Systems. Tony Baer didn’t. He says Oracle took advantage of SAP’s focus on its Business Objects deal to steal the company away. Read more in this week’s post to the Blog on M&A.

An Alternative Approach to SaaS Value

Virtual appliances present an alternative to delivering SaaS value. Billy Marshall of rPath outlines how software companies can leverage virtual appliances to improve the economics of their business in this post to the blog on virtualization.

Publish Your Perspective!

The Blog wants your opinions. Send your thoughts on the enterprise software industry to and we’ll publish them in our blog.

DON'T MISS: Making the Most of Web 2.0 Content

The success of online participatory media--video-sharing sites and corporate wikis alike--depends on the quality contributions of a small core of enthusiasts. Read how to make the most of this Web 2.0 content in this article from The McKinsey Quarterly.

News Update: Playing Hard to Get

BEA rejects then counters Oracle’s takeover bid; plus, a new round of Microsoft vs. Google, a new meaning for SaaS and a new forecast for enterprise software. Read these stories and more software news of the week in the latest Software News Summary.

Poll: Will Oracle Get BEA?

It looks like the Oracle-BEA deal is dead – for now. Will Oracle eventually wear down BEA? If not, what will happen?
Take our Pulse Poll >>

Last week, readers gave their opinions on how high Google’s stock could go.
Give us your opinion and see the results >>

More at

Some firms replace offshoring with onshoring.
Read the most important enterprise software industry news of the week >>

Mashup maker, JackBe, receives $9 million.
Monitor the latest software venture capital deals >>

BravoSolution buys Verticalnet for $15 million.
Size up last week's software M&A deals >>

Datawatch named Kenneth Bero as president and CEO.
See who's made it to the top in our list of recent software executive appointments.

Send us your feedback on this newsletter and the site.

Parting Thought

“Pull the string, and it will follow wherever you wish. Push it, and it will go nowhere at all.”
–Dwight D. Eisenhower

Courtesy of Malcolm Kusher, The Kushner Group