Checking M Jay Liebs’ Enabling Social CRM is a convergence of Enterprise 2.0 and CRM

Nice post reflecting on various recent post about convergence trends. Keeping in mind that social is not under control of any organization and that social is about true conversations (and not the old one-way corporate communication models) a true valuable addition.

Found at

By mjayliebs

Before my peers from the Accidental Community slap me silly because of the technology focus of this post, I completely get that any Enterprise initiative, especially CRM, is People, Process, then technology.

The focal point here is that the people and process do need a supporting infrastructure in order to truly provide Social CRM. For the purposes herein, Social CRM will use the Paul Greenberg definition:

CRM is a philosophy & a business strategy, supported by a technology platform, business rules, workflow, processes & social characteristics, designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted & transparent business environment. It’s the company’s response to the customer’s ownership of the conversation.

A friend and collaborator Prem Kumar Aparanji (@prem_k) has put together a initial take (with good explanation), from an architectural footing, and my objective is to take that one step further. Even as I write, Esteban Kolsky, someone whom I have the utmost respect, has written the history of the world (CRM world), which is an important read.

What is important to note, is that as time passes, we are all diving in a little deeper. It is too easy to “wax poetic” at the 50,000 foot level, but we need to help figure out exactly how to do the things we are talking about. Prem even did a little crystal gazing and wrote the prequel to this post Enterprise 2.0 v SocialCRM – Fight or Tango (thanks Prem) – the answer is… down a few paragraphs….

The core of my suggestion:

There is no reason to reinvent the wheel and as technology advances we (business leaders in the CRM arena) should absolutely take advantage of it. There is also no reason, therefore, to ignore the great work being done in the Enterprise 2.0 arena. I am a huge fan of Dion Hinchcliffe – not just one of his posts, a great many of them (cool graphics too). Especially interesting to me are a few recent posts: the August 18, 2009 (Using social software to reinvent the customer relationship)

The elimination of decades of inadequate communication channels will suddenly unleash a tide of many opportunities, as well as challenges, for most organizations.

and September 2, 2009 (Enterprise 2.0 Finding success on the frontiers of social business).

….there is something fundamentally unique and powerful about social computing.

Though not all uses of social tools result in rapid adoption or instant results, those that establish an early network effect can and do push existing IT systems

Finally, Dion also spoke of a crucial component of making it all work. Finally, citing Dion one last time (today) the Data obviously a crucial element;  August 5, 2009 (The future of enterprise data in a radically open and Web-based world)

Exposing data — whether it is internally within an organization or outside to partners, or even the whole world — is a way of thinking about the very nature of the business, more than it is about achieving a one-off end goal. This is because open data seems to create immediate, close, and powerful relationships between the publisher and the consumer of the data, and leads to a series of unexpected outcomes.

(I thought about posting his great artwork here, but that would not be proper and would not do the articles justice, so take a look when you have a few minutes.)

Here is my line of thinking – Enterprise 2.0, by definition is “the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers.Andrew McAfee,  May 2006 and given the definition of Social CRM above, should it be such a leap to suggest that in order to truly engage the customer, we should invite them into our Enterprise? What better tool set to do this than Enterprise 2.0 tools?

There are lots of very smart people who can solve the technical challenges which will certainly arise – security, access control – just two of I am sure a dozen more. The larger challenges will certainly be on the people and process side – you know, that 80% of the real effort. If we are truly going to be ‘Transparent‘, and foster ‘Trust‘, in addition to one of my friend Graham’s favorite topics  Co-Create then we need to treat the customers and partners like family, and invite them into our home.

Graham’s article is certainly worth reading in its entirety, here is one of the key points:

Use just enough collaborative social technologies – Technologies, particularly those that support ‘social networks’, provide the backbone for collaboration between a companies and increasingly, with customers. This doesn’t mean a technology-first approach. But it does mean selecting the right technologies (and only the right ones) to enable effortless collaboration. (0ne of 11 bulleted points which are part of the article, seemed fitting for inclusion here)

In order to accomplish these goals, we really need to think of the customer as an extension of the Enterprise

As we invite the customers into the Enterprise, into our home, it is no longer an ‘us’ and ‘them’ – Customers are no longer managed, rather data is managed, analyzed to and for the benefit of the customer, the company and greater good – Customers are embraced.

It is not about technology, but about the best use of technology. It is not about the platform, but about the people who are the platform (how web 2.0 of me). It is not about one vendor either (I work for a vendor, full disclosure), it is about a solution that can provide the ROI and validation that Enterprise 2.0 is looking for – let’s call it Social CRM.

I do like how Esteban ends his blogs – “OK, I am done now.  Let’s open the floodgates of criticism and praise.”

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Checking out E Kolsky A brief history of SCRM

As we are moving away from mere communication to real conversations in a business environment in which a control attitude is replaced by a collaborative urgence it is always good for front office managers to reflect on how CRM and social media are converging.

This great and extensive post from Esteban enables you to do so.  Construct your mindset, connect and act!

Post found at

Paul Greenberg put the stake in the ground by defining SCRM and said that we needed to grow if from there.

I agree.  And it is in that spirit that I want to introduce this post.  A little bit longer that most of my posts, but a way to start the conversation on what does SCRM look like once implemented.

A Brief History of CRM

In the first few generations of CRM we saw the basic three pillars (sales, marketing, and customer service), a common data model (probably the best innovation CRM provided to organizations), and common integration points to the existing systems in the organization: ERP, legacy, databases — even partner applications in occasions (look ma, no VAN!).  The following picture is a basic representation of what CRM 1.0 looks like.

Traditional CRM Implementation

Traditional CRM Implementation

These implementations collected data across all functions in the front office, store it in a central location and use it.  That data was all operational: who did what when, for how long, and what were the results.  The promise of a “holistic customer representation” or “360 view of the customer” did not materialize since we were missing the most important item in the equation: what the customer wanted when they came to see us, why did they need that, and what was the result of the interaction.  In other words, we had the content but we were missing the context and intent of those interactions.

Later we began to add “components” that complimented what we were missing.  Created analytical CRM by adding analytics engines to it.  Began to measure customer satisfaction via surveys and inserted that value into the customer records (not always).  Became proactive by trying to get what we needed to make good decisions: context and intent.  Products were enhanced, better integration added, and more powerful CRM solutions released.

CRM 2.0 was born, but not necessarily an improvement in the search for perfect customer knowledge.  Despite collecting the information, and in some cases integrating it with the existing data, we could not mesh all the data, all the insights, and all the processes together.  All our actions were reactive, and the customer was not directly involved as part of the decision-making: it was still company-centric in reality albeit the label of customer-centricity.

We began to include the customers perspective and we evolved more by adding EFM engines, predictive analytics (sales, marketing, and customer service), proactive customer service.  We wanted to improve the relationship and get to work better with customers as we moved into CRM 3.0.  There were some improvements in relationships – but the vast majority of the information we needed was still out of reach.  Over 90% of customer feedback is in unstructured feedback: blogs, social networks, private conversations, chat and IM, emails and the like.  Not being able to tap this data was limiting as to how much an organization could learn about their customers.

There were early attempts to explore this new world.  Collaborative Customer Service (communities and forums), blog-trolling software with speech and tech analytics, different methods for feedback event beyond surveys (e.g. focus groups for customer service) were all attempts to collect and leverage this information.  Some of them worked great, some of them not so much.  Alas, the basic infrastructure for leveraging the information collected was still missing.

A Brief History of Social CRM (SCRM)

Enter the Groundswell revolution and the advent of Social Media into the enterprise.  Organizations start to listen to customers.  They acknowledge there is a lot of data about their business but don’t know how to find it or tap into it.  We feel empowered by what we are discovering — but we still don’t have a framework to take advantage of this!  The tools give some guidelines and insights as to how to proceed, but nothing really in the sense of strategy or what to do with it.

We are entering CRM 4.0 (amazing how Paul Greenberg’s book is also coming on version 4.0 — coincidence? I think not) and we need some guidance.

See the chart below for my proposed framework for SCRM:

Proposed SCRM Framework

Proposed SCRM Framework

A few things you will notice in this chart.

  1. There is nothing new to add here – everything you already have (if you have been following the evolution I described above) is still there.  Few things you may need to add if you have not been following along, communities, EFM, integration with the cloud.  How much and how? It will vary by your organization’s architecture and needs.
  2. There are two layers of business rules as they apply to social interactions.  One tells the organization how to approach each channel, the other what to do with the data collected.  If you had a CIH (Customer Interaction Hub (**)) implementation you would not need these (actually, if you had a CIH we would be having a very different conversation since that model already included most of what you need to make SCRM work).  What is the CIH?  It is a framework that I created that describes how to bring new channels into the organization and leverage them across the enterprise.  Email me about it, we can setup some time to talk or I can send you some slides.
  3. Communities come at you from two different fronts: customer communities and partner communities.  The new model for Enterprise 2.0 calls for many-to-many relationships between communities, this is simply preparing SCRM to be a part of E2.0.
  4. The cloud becomes a key component of your architecture.  You can ask anyone who heard me before, I had forever maintained that organizations would not adopt hosted-CRM, SaaS, or whatever label you want to put on it without secure data transfers.  Using SaaS solutions isolated from the rest of the enterprise is not a solution, is creating another problem.  Thanks to the cloud (and we are not there yet, I know) we see a glimmer of hope in the near future to actually use SaaS solutions seamlessly integrated into the legacy and back-office systems.
  5. Feedback Management becomes the fourth pillar for CRM.  This is the quintessential integration that makes CRM work in a social environment.  Most of what we capture from the communities must be considered feedback.  The limited operational data we obtain can be easily separated by the business rules and stored in the appropriate places.

A (Very) Brief History of Customer Experience

There is one more thing to talk about: the link between SCRM and Customer Experience.  I believe this is where we will see the biggest improvement to organizations adopting SCRM.

Traditional Customer Experience Management relied on three components to do what it does: feedback management, business process management, and CRM .  As we move forward into SCRM these components will change – as will the function of CE.  See this next chart for a better idea of this change:

Shifts in Customer Experience Management

Shifts in Customer Experience Management

There are two things to note here.  First, the number of components and simpler complexity of the architecture .  By converting feedback management into the fourth pillar of CRM and taking some of the interactions between components as internal functions of SCRM the model has fewer “moving parts”.  This is good from the point of view of implementing simpler solutions and initiatives for customer experience.

The second item to note is that Customer Experience Management has morphed into Social Customer Engagement.  As customers discover how to converse with vendors better, and how to work directly within the “grid”, the term management is being replaced by the term engagement.  In addition, we see more and more customers gravitate towards communities of one type or another – and while we continue to deal with customers one-on-one, we cannot ignore the influence they receive and the trust they place in it.

More on this shift in Customer Experience in future posts.  Just wanted to introduce the concept.

Finally, an acknowledgment.  As I was shopping these slides and concepts around I got to talk to Prem Kumar (@prem_k in the #scrm Twitter community).  While exchanging ideas and concepts, he pointed me to his slideshare presentation on SCRM.  He has a lot of the same concepts with more detail and more technically inclined.  Unfortunately I had not see it before, or I would not have done the work I did.

I encourage you to take a look at his presentation for a better idea of how SCRM will grow.

OK, I am done now.  Let’s open the floodgates of criticism and praise.

What do you think?  What did I miss?  What didn’t i miss?  Any way you would do it better or different?  Please let me know.  Leave me a comment and tell me what you think is needed to move this to the next level – or what are we going to continue to support as we move forward.

(**) This is a link to Gartner Research.  You must be a client to access it, or you can pay for it if you think it is outstanding.


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Wave examples Google´s drive to Design Driven Innovation

It is now in the month of the launch of Wave.

And I’m halfway Roberto Verganti’s book about Design Driven Innovation.

I may be coincidence but his wordings seem to be very appropriate for the forthcoming introduction of Wave.

Having read about the Wave concept up to now (from a distance because as an operational manager my time spent is always confined by customer and staff requests) today this post made me even more curious (i tried to become one of the 100.000 first users).


These are the wordings of Verganti:>

Somewhere, sometimes, someone will eventually have a technology epiphany: a manifestation of essential and more powerful meaning of a technology. You and I may refer to classical cases of the Wii or the Ipod.

These are hardware examples but the impact on competition was disruptive.

A technological epiphany may occur when someone understands that a radical new meaning can emerge in a community or market. And that therefore the audience, the general public, a market is open to that new technology.

But also a technology epiphany may occur when a company searches for more-powerful meanings that that technology embeds….

What are the bottom-line implications of this analysis:

  • The full potential of technological breakthroughs is achieved only when someone uncovers the more-powerful quiescent meaning of a new technology
  • A technological epiphany is usually more disruptive to competitors than is the technological breakthrough itself.
  • As soon as a new technology emerges, companies should rapidly look for the technology epiphany before their competitors do.


If we define technology as `the way things are done or how` I say that Wave suggests a new technology epiphany.

And from a organizational, professional, customer or personal point of view it might imply a breakthrough. Because it enables us to communicate realtime, simultaneously with all media and channels available. And even more interesting it appeals to the need of everybody to check your communication in a more consistent `controlled´ way!

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Video on IT project failures

Projects – especially IT projects fail! In many cases IT projects fail more often then they succeed. Reports by Gartner, Butler, Forrester Research and AMR all point to disappointment.

The above failure data is troubling and sends a strong signals that much room for improvement exists. The data variances reported by the different agencies potentially indicate that the word failure is ambiguous and is defined differently depending on what character you played in the software implementation process.

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