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1.4. Beyond CRM Boundaries

This latest stage of the evolution of CRM is one in which the advancements in technology drive opportunities for the business beyond the typical boundaries found in traditional CRM. The previous stages of evolution provided opportunities for organizations to achieve many goals, including visibility and management of customer-related information across departments, automation of processes within and between departments, efficiencies in day-to-day activities, flexibility in implementation architectures, and many others. To go beyond the benefits already presented, some CRM Suites have been developed on an extensible application platform. To do this, providers either have to retool their existing architectures or provide new solutions built from the ground up with this capability in mind.

1.4.1. Expansion Beyond Traditional CRM Boundaries

Organizations and CRM providers have consistently pushed the boundaries of CRM Suites to achieve the most value possible. The traditional functional areas that CRM supports for sales, marketing, and customer service departments are sometimes blurred with back-office groups and requirements for extending visibility beyond customer information. Business models can include relationships where the customer is also a partner and a supplier. In these complex models, the relationships between relevant information are a challenge to structure and the solutions have to be extremely flexible to support it. Most successful efforts in extending traditional CRM Suite solutions have been through integration with add-on functionality from independent software vendors or one-off custom solutions that must be maintained and supported internally.


  

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