Software as a Service: Handling Customers, Hands-Free

By Brian P. Watson Print this article Print

Start with your sales operation. Add fast-deploying applications. Then drop the maintenance costs. Could this be a recipe for the end of software as we know it?

Still paying hundreds of thousands of dollars on hardware, labor and maintenance for in-house customer relationship management systems? Hosted CRM is not a new concept, but more and more companies are deploying the software to pump up their sales operations.

Those companies are finding cost savings in reduced maintenance fees and deployment times. They're also gaining more visibility into their sales and service operations than ever before.

Handling Customers, Hands Free
A stream of consolidation and new offerings reshaped the on-demand CRM market, pitting high-profile insurgents against some of the world's largest software makers. See how a major market research firm, a health food maker and an English consulting giant boosted their customer relationship operations with hosted software.

Vendor Profiles

Oracle: Stewarding Siebel
RightNow Technologies: Aggressive Player
Salesforce.com: Price Pushback

Also: Voice of Experience: Getting Out of the In Box
Alex Marxer realigned ResortCom International's business processes and installed an on-demand CRM tool that sped up customer response times.

5 Tips for On-Demand CRM Planning
Experienced customers and insightful analysts dole out top tips for evaluating and deploying a hosted CRM system.

QUESTION: Have you deployed on-demand CRM software but decided to go back to on-premise tools? Tell us why. Write to us at baseline@ziffdavis.com.

Next page: Handling Customers, Hands Free

This article was originally published on 2007-03-08
Associate Editor

Brian joined Baseline in March 2006. In addition to previous stints at Inter@ctive Week and The Net Economy, he's written for The News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., as well as The Sunday Tribune in Dublin, Ireland. Brian has a B.A. from Bucknell University and a master's degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

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