Outsource Magazine Issue 24 - (Page 93)

feature Cloud CrM TOUCHING BASE A cloud solution can help a diffuse workforce maintain a coherent, coordinated approach to customer relationship management. Here’s why… Chris Bucholtz, SugarCRM Chris Bucholtz is the Editor of SugarCRM’s CRM Outsiders Blog. Formerly the editor of Forecasting Clouds (www.forecastingclouds.com) and InsideCRM (www.insidecrm.com), he has covered a wide variety of technology topics over a 17-year career. T he sales director is in Manchester. The marketing guy is in Surrey. Customer service is based in Scotland. Headquarters are in London. And the contractors the company brings in to help with these roles are all over the UK. In addition to the software they need to do their specific roles, they all need to access the company’s customer relationship management (CRM) solution. Not long ago, this would have been a difficult scenario to manage, both from a human and a technological standpoint. Today, however, the advent of the cloud gives businesses the ability to build and manage these distributed and diverse work forces. workforce. Seasonal businesses – for example, retailers who become extra busy around Christmas – can increase staff with contractors for those periods, using the cloud to minimise the technical barriers to bringing them onboard. When those periods of high activity end and the contractors leave, their software subscriptions can be turned off. Floating beyond it limitations Before the cloud, remote workers created an IT headache. New licenses for any software needed had to be purchased and installed. Often it was easier to install these applications in the IT department and mail out a pre-loaded PC, creating an asset management issue. Updates to software had to be managed by IT, often involving much hand-holding with the remote worker. When the worker left, the business still owned the application and its associated maintenance costs. The cloud helps eliminate these problems, and introduces benefits that help the entire organisation. The most obvious benefit is the simplification of IT’s job in handling remote workers’ technology, but perhaps the most powerful benefit is that the cloud allows businesses to add the best temporary workers they can find during spikes in activity, not simply the best temporary workers found locally. Companies can draw from people they’re already familiar with – for example good employees who have left for family reasons – and agencies can build rosters of workers who have had experience in certain industries, regardless of where they live today. the Cloud and Crm: more than Just a delivery model When there’s a need to add staff in marketing, customer service or even sales for finite periods, those employees need to be closely integrated into the existing customer-facing organisations. The cloud helps do that; if the cloud-based applications the in-house people are using are properly integrated, the same can be said for remote workers. They won’t be using two flavours of the application just to permit them to work remotely, and they’ll have equal access to data. That means that whenever one of these remote, temporary workers interacts with a customer, he or she will have the same version of the customer’s story to work with as anyone else in the business, and any updates to that story will be shared automatically. Flexible Working Cloud computing allows companies to treat computing infrastructure like a utility – pay for what you need, when you need it. You don’t own the system of delivery; you outsource its management to others who specialise in that task. It allows you to scale your technology rapidly, since software is delivered via the internet. Any user with a computer and an internet connection can be given access to applications and data. That metaphor can then extend to your Consendre mod eugait alit luptati sisisisit augait num iusti facidunt ipsumsan el eraestrud exerat ad onulla cor ing eumsandre ex elit “Courteous treatment will make a customer a walking advertisement.” – James Cash Penney atetue tet ulla feu feum niamconEm ea commodiam ad tem dolortio Utat lum quisim et, quissi.Volobore m iurero dolobore. www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk ● ●●● ● 93 http://www.forecastingclouds.com http://www.insidecrm.com http://www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outsource Magazine Issue 24

Editor's letter
News & comments
Seeing through the cloud
Steve Forbes
Embracing a lean culture in recruitment
The roar of the crowd
Andrew De Cleyn
Greening the chain
Private properties
NOA round-up
PR Chandrasekar
Ten ways to shake your world
Matt Barrie
Roundtable: an excellent process
The talent question
Transition and change
Never the twain
Setting the standard
Touching base
Top ten
The legal view
HfS research
Online round-up
Inside source
The last word

Outsource Magazine Issue 24