Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Bespoke CRM – back in vogue?

It does seem that age old question IT Directors are faced with when their business has a CRM requirement, just won’t go away – “do we buy off the shelf or do we go for a bespoke CRM solution?"

The past few years have seen many companies shy away from bespoke CRM solutions, maybe due to the perceived higher cost and risk, or maybe as a result of numerous high profile government IT initiatives that have badly failed and served to simultaneously make everyone in the IT industry shudder at the cost.

Whilst business leaders have always understood the inherent benefit that a solution tailored to their existing business practices and make-up provide, that understanding has been tempered with a large slice of should they invest in a bespoke solution that does everything or trade a proportion of that functionality for an off-the-shelf product that everyone else uses

No doubt there are some very good off the shelf CRM solutions out there, with differing delivery options, packaged components and as the saying goes ‘no one ever got fired for recommending the market leader’.

So are Bespoke CRM solutions back in vogue?

Well it would appear the tide is turning in favour of solutions that meet all the CRM requirements of the business, bridging existing operational solutions, collecting data and insight from all channels, integrating Social Media and in so providing that one-stop-shop that customers demand.

These days bespoke CRM solutions are not built from the ground up, but from the customers’ existing data layer and intended touch points, utilising proven, scalable, reliable software libraries and hardware platforms – reducing the risk and costs previously associated with the bespoke CRM solutions of yesteryear.

Finally, given these uncertain economic times it would seem to make sense that business leaders are more inclined to buy into CRM solutions that fully support their own, very specific, business and customer requirements, over the functionality that maybe provided by an off the shelf product which is probably being used by their competitors – after all, everyone needs an edge!

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