Part 1: Selecting a Customer Relationship Management Solution in the Technology, Media & Telecommunications Industry

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Adding on to my previous post on selecting an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solution in the TMT (Technology, Media and Telecommunications) industry, this post explains one of the unique challenges in TMT for implementing a CRM Solution.  Implementing a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution in the TMT space is a difficult process. 

Why does this industry sector have unique challenges?   Unlike selecting an ERP, the challenges are not so much about the functionality and features of the solution, but are more about the culture of a TMT business.   One of the main reasons CRM implementations are delayed in TMT businesses are because TMT business often say…. We can do CRM in our ERP, why buy another system? 

Trying to do CRM inside of an ERP is a recipe for disaster.  The main intent of an ERP system is to provide flexible structure for the business, with repeatable processes and auditable data.  Everything in an ERP ultimately ties back to the financial reporting requirements of the business.  It is all about Structure! 

Yes, your ERP will have a customer master, but that is just the beginning of a CRM system.  Trying to implement CRM functionality in your ERP will feel very restrictive to your sales, marketing and customer service teams.  The front of the house requires flexibity and ease of use over all other requirements.  In TMT businesses all the sales, marketing and customer service team members know about easy email, slick workflow, easy dashboarding, and a variety of other end user productivity tools.  You have to provide these sophisticated and easy to use tools if you want adoption. 

Consider implementing a CRM system that INTEGRATES with your ERP, but is not EMBEDDED in your ERP.  This approach will give you great value as the customers will be maintained in one location and shared with the other system.  The ability to integrate with mobile and portal solutions will be far superior in a CRM integrated to your ERP rather than embedded in your ERP solution.    

Check in for Part 2 of this post next Month!

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