Anyone running a successful business knows that it is through one’s customers that projected profits are reached and longevity in the domain is achieved. This is the reason why customer relationship management (CRM) systems are so important. Using CRM in the 'Cloud' is an inevitable outcome for most firms, given the benefits such an architecture renders.

IT departments at large firms are not specialized in cloud or CRM computing, and should therefore not be tasked with providing such a solution.

 

The Switch to Cloud

The main advantage of switching to cloud hosted CRM are the enormous cost-savings versus having an on-premise solution. Operational costs, maintenance and development costs, are all substantially less in the cloud model. Access, ease of use, up-time and security are all drastically improved. Productivity increases, more sales, client information capture and maintained, bureaucratic reform, and call-centre savings are the results.

 

How Do Cloud and CRM Mix?

When you operate a CRM system in the cloud, you do not just save money, but also space, thanks to the remote access capability which no longer requires you to keep your own set of hardware, racks, network connections, backup software, security systems and data centre space. You can focus on your business and other IT demands.

 

Customize Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management is an important part of every business; however, cloud based solutions must be customized to fit your business, your processes, your needs and your objectives. Out-of-the-box solutions such as salesforce.com do not meet these demands. To customize salesforce.com or any other cookie-cutter system, is to incur an enormous charge in both development costs and licensing.Anyone who has experience with salesforce.com will confirm this fact.

 

Your software system is your business

CRM and SFA solutions should replicate your own business processes, objectives and end-user demands. The best solution is to use a vendor with a framework of SFA/CRM related modules, which can then be re-engineered to fit your particular business flow. This requires following a software development methodology and working closely with the CRM-hosting company. Enterprises within the same industry will have different business processes, so there is no point in using a closed out of the box system, be it a web system like salesforce.com or an on-premise client-server deployment.