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Denise CRM Software Optimization Strategies Report

 


IV. Best Practices Spotlight: Software as a Service (SaaS)

Compared to CRM software deployed traditionally, on-premise, CRM systems that are delivered as subscription-based software as a service (SaaS) offer numerous advantages in the optimization phase. SaaS-based CRM systems can often more easily facilitate continuous improvement because:

  • Architecturally, SaaS CRM systems are better enabled for cloud computing extensibility, allowing resources to be more easily linked inside or outside of an enterprise's IT environment through pre-established integration points. An additional benefit to companies implementing SaaS CRM systems is that they can be more easily linked with other business software applications. Beyond traditional enterprise systems such as accounting software, ERP applications, manufacturing systems or order management, SaaS implementations can also more readily accommodate integration with mobile and offline applications. This allows companies to, for example, do customer broadcasts via Twitter, synch Outlook calendars with CRM data, use business intelligence (BI) tools to analyze CRM data or link CRM data to digital dashboards.

  • SaaS CRM systems typically receive a point release update about every month and a new version release about annually. These improvements are included in the subscription price and are available to customers at no additional cost. This ease of upgrades stands in stark contrast to the traditional on-premise model, which software upgrades are laborious, very costly and often follow a process of "buy-install-patch-buy-upgrade and when necessary-forget," resulting in CRM systems that are not kept current and do not evolve with changing business needs.

    As a best practice, companies should consider SaaS updates and upgrades as options, not a requirement by the vendor and ensure a vendor provides optional upgrades as part of their service. Many SaaS CRM vendors currently mandate their software upgrades, however, this norm is beginning to change as vendors offer single tenant SaaS solutions and customers demand a level of control as to when their systems are changed. Also, despite the easier approach to upgrades, customers need to evaluate the new features and capabilities available via SaaS releases and decide if they want to use them, which does have an internal resource cost associated with it.

  • SaaS implementations can also allow for isolated tenancy, depending on the CRM vendor selected. This approach to SaaS provides separate and distinct hosted environments for each customer. During the optimization phase, a chief advantage of isolated tenancy is that it allows the SaaS CRM system to be configured and updated or upgraded according to each individual customer company's needs.

New Hosted Hybrid Options

New hosting options are available for companies that want the control afforded by on-premise deployment, as well as the relatively minimal management overhead of SaaS. Remotely managed, on-premise CRM software gives companies the flexibility, access and control of an on-premise system, with the convenience and benefits of outsourced application management and maintenance.

Remotely managed, on-premise CRM software is an advanced capability that can provide the best of both worlds. In terms of CRM optimization, it gives companies the assurance they require of having the application and associated data on-site, with the benefits of frequent software upgrades or improvements without incremental cost.

CRM Optimization ReportCRM Optimization via ProcessCRM Optimization via SoftwareCRM SaaSCRM Optimization Report Summary

 

 

 

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As a best practice, companies should consider SaaS updates and upgrades as options, not as a requirement imposed by the vendor. Many SaaS CRM vendors currently mandate their software upgrades, however, this practice is beginning to change as vendors offer single-tenant SaaS solutions and customers demand a level of control as to when their systems are changed.

 

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