ZIFFPAGE TITLEBite, Chew, SwallowBy John Moore | Posted 2005-05-23 Email Print
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Call 2005 the year of the add-on for customer relationship management.
Bite, Chew, Swallow
IHOP's Piccininno says the hurdles in rolling out a customer relationship management system aren't very different from those encountered in other enterprise applications. "You've got the typical stuffthe data migration does happen a little bit slower than you would have liked," he says. Integrating the way Oracle's various modules exchange data, for example, "has been a little bit of a challenge."
On the other hand, IHOP has yet to hit an obstacle that would cause the company to rethink its strategy. "We've implemented a lot of software in a very short amount of time," Piccininno points out. "We have been very consistent in our approach and, in general, things have gone very well."
But extending the core capabilities of a customer relationship management system takes more than just adding new software, according to Oakwood's Villarreal. Ultimately, he says, customer relationship management software is simply a tool that is part of a larger strategic goal: Villarreal sees Siebel's software as one element to transform the way Oakwood handles its marketing. To make effective use of the software, the company has hired consultants well versed in marketing analysis and strategy who know how to roll out campaigns, he says.
In general, Yamaha's Bergstrom and other technology managers say they believe an incremental approach provides the best path to effective use of a customer relationship management system. Salesforce.com provides a new feature set every few months, he says, and offers the ability to add customized applications.
The wealth of options, Bergstrom says, makes it all the more important to move forward one piece at a time. His advice: "Don't try to implement everything at once."