CRM's 21st Century Challenges Are Met By BT BizBox
October 25, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology NewsAs the Web has given customers more power, businesses have turned to Customer Relationship Management, which itself has emerged as a powerful trend. Companies have realized that they have to sell the way customers want to buy, not the other way around. In what has become a buyer-driven economy, customers have finally been able to drive the issue home because technology has given them a much louder voice.
CRM comes in many software packages, but is more than tech gear. It's a philosophy in dealing with customers that covers a wide spectrum of requirements, from service to employee training to information management. It's constantly evolving and taking on many forms, one of which is being orchestrated by a new system called BT BizBox, whose aim is to provide simple and effective productivity tools for small and medium-sized businesses.
"It is becoming more important to understand your customers and their behavior in order to stay ahead of the competition," said Sarah Laycock of Tierlinear, developers of the BT BizBox application. "Understanding the customer is important for product designing and marketing, so the more information you can store on your customers, the better. If you do not have a suitable CRM for recording all this information, it means you have to employ people to do it for you, which adds additional operational costs to your business."
CRM evolution is still in the early stages, with a bright future that is leaning toward more and more companies incorporating the objectives of a CRM strategy into their business plans. But those business plans are fluid, and always changing. Therefore, CRM needs to be flexible, which is the essence of BT BizBox. Instead of being fully developed before it's put into organizational use, BT BizBox can be developed by these organizations in real-time, creating a customized solution that can roll with the latest developments of a new generation.
That new generation, as has clearly been demonstrated, is a digital one. The so-called "PlayStation" era is a group that’s comfortable with tech and has been bred on digital. It's a culture that's wired with iPod's and Sidekicks, Blackberry’s and Razrs.
"This group of customers will expect you to conduct business with them in an always on, always connected, real-time way," wrote Barton Goldenberg, author of CRM Automation. "Always on, always connected is a result of the move from an analog to a digital world, which will be completed around 2030. In the digital world broadband rules, every mobile device has a wireless connection to the Internet, all computing devices are connected to each other, and all computing devices are synchronized and always up to date. In other words, real-time becomes the norm for conducting business."
The norm has become solutions that are vertical, where products that are designed can meet the needs of a particular industry. A one-size-fits-all CRM market is headed for extinction. Because the customers of these businesses want their information On Demand, these businesses are demanding more from the abilities of CRM, looking for more management functionality and adaptability.
Like a customized house, Tierlinear has built the foundation, partnering with BT (British Telecommunications), one of the world's leading providers of communications solutions and services. Its web-based system has all of the basic business tools like customer and contact management, timesheets, scheduling and invoicing. Now, BT BizBox is turning to the consumers to influence the finishes touches, with further development of the application being built through feedback from the BT BizBox community. This solution, which is currently in Beta format and free to use, gives small and medium-sized companies a cost-effective way to managing its business needs.
"It provides all customers with a business in a box solution, which helps organizations become more efficient and effective," said Laycock. "It is developed by the community so there is no predefined product roadmap. Developments and future requirements are driven by the customers."
Furthermore, web-based software like BT BizBox is part of a revolution that's transforming business. Agile software lets business and consumers have better access when applications sit on distant Web servers and run on standard browsers, eliminating the hassle of installing software or moving data when switching computers.
"BT BizBox is a web-based system, so it can be used anywhere in the world," said Laycock. "End users can log into the application anywhere they have access to an Internet connection and it is simple to use. Software as a service is growing due to the access of the applications, the ease of use and the low cost."
Register for a BT BizBox account at http://www.btbizbox.com