Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What does enterprise security, going green and going under have in common?

If you are wondering what enterprise security, going green and going under could could possibly have in common then allow me to elaborate. CRM.

That’s right Customer Relationship Management (CRM) ties these three topics together since they can all be improved by implementing a CRM Software solution. CRM helps enterprises met SOX compliance and maintain a single secure database. Also, CRM aids an organizations effort to cut down on wasted time and resources in their attempts to green up their operations. Finally, with the condition of the market these days’ businesses are searching for ways to reduce operating costs and better track leads to ensure no opportunity ever slips through the cracks.

Enterprise security is not a new worry like the other two mentioned, this is always a number one concern to organizations. Although it is not a new concern I think it is safe to say that with guidelines like SOX compliance, efforts placed on ensuring security will only increase. CRM comes into play here by providing businesses with functionality like custom profile and user role security settings, record level security, field level security, login time and IP access restrictions, advanced administration and audit trails. These features are built into many of the major CRM platforms like Salesforce, or Netsuite and aid businesses control who can view or edit what information. Leveraging this type of functionality will not only show you who are accessing what for security reasons, it also brings a new level of accountability to an organization.

Next up is going green and the efforts businesses are taking to better align with this concept. Organizations are following many avenues in hopes of making their operation earth friendly which in turn can also save them money. Out on the market today is a wide array of tools designed to clean up businesses by cutting out unnecessary functions. For example, I was recently looking at Interfax and other online fax solutions. In today’s age there really is not much need for the dinosaur way of sending and receiving faxes which wastes paper and time. Let me ask how long does it take you to send a simple fax? This small but still meaningful green solution cuts out the need to first print a document, take the time to walk to the fax machine which isn’t always in your office or even on your floor, stand there and wait just to waste one more piece of paper describing the transaction. All this can be cut out by SaaS solutions which allow you to send document or email to fax or receive fax to email. Tying back to SaaS CRM vendors some of them even integrate with fax providers, I believe Salesforce has this integration as well I’m pretty sure integrates with InterFax now. This is just one area where organizations can cut down on waste but there are many with Online CRM. The simple ability to access your entire database from any location with an internet connection also cuts out wasted resources. When traveling or working in the field there is no need to print or bring documentation with you, just login to your CRM offline or mobile solution and you have everything you need.

Finally, going under is a rising concern when the market is feeling a pinch. During a time when banks are closing their doors and large corporations like Lehman Brothers are declaring bankruptcy businesses begin searching for ways to save money and secure their future. Hosted CRM Software helps organizations of all sizes manage and track their business which can uncover wasted resources or marketing campaigns with poor ROI. One of the greatest benefits to using Web Based CRM Software is the ability to closing track and report on leads, campaigns, opportunities and accounts. Accurate real time lead tracking is key to making sure no lead is ever forgotten about or passed by. Kind of on this topic, recently I have seen a lot of Real Estate agencies making the move to Web Based CRM. This is most likely for some of the reasons mentioned here like accurate lead tracking along with the fact that it is cost effective and quickly rolled out. Never missing an opportunity is extremely important when purse strings are tightened and consumers are less willing to part with their dollar. This is why businesses large and small need the tools to allow them to track opportunities and leverage analytical and reporting tools to uncover trends in the market, all possible with CRM Software.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Take Your Business to the Clouds

We have reached a new era with the way we compute and leverage enterprise or business software. No longer are large organizations required to purchase expensive on-premise software solutions or host and maintain costly servers to store their data. Also gone are the days where small business owners must purchase off the shelf packaged software or order multiple discs in order to install software on more than one computer. This new era of business software solutions is brought to you from the clouds and delivered via the internet.

The term "cloud computing" has been around for some time now, referring once to ATM networks the term applies to so much more today. Chances are that you have computed in the clouds even if you don't understand what it means. Some examples of cloud computing you or your kids may be familiar with are online photo storage and editors, web based word processors like Google Docs or online data storage services.

The term "cloud" is just a reference to using the internet to access software or services. In short, Cloud Computing leverages the internet, a web browser and a centralized data center. When you are cloud computing your information or data is stored in a centralized off-site data center instead of your personal computer or in-house servers. You access your data over the internet using a web browser like IE or Firefox to securely send and receive your information.

There are many great benefits to services provided over the internet including a lowered cost to run software, no need to deploy and maintain expensive servers yourself, real time platform upgrades and 24/7 access to your data from any computer with an internet connection. This means small businesses no longer need multiple versions of software for different computers since no software is actually stored in house.

An example of how cloud computing is helping organizations of all sizes is web based customer relationship management software (CRM). This Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution allows companies to take their business to the streets since users can access their data in real time anywhere in the world via the internet. When leveraging SaaS CRM, every department within an organization shares a single database which breaks down the doors that once separated sales from marketing or billing form shipping. With up to the minute information everyone involved with particular processes in an organization will have up to the minute information as transactions are processed or leads are captured. There are many Web Based CRM vendors out there in the clouds today with this form of Software-as-a-Service growing rapidly. Some of the major players currently providing this form of SaaS CRM are, Netsuite and

I think it is now safe to say that cloud computing will be a big part of business in the years to come with the large number of services currently offer over the internet. For more info on some of the online services currently out there here is a good post I found on this topic which outlines over 270 online business tools with short descriptions of their services, "".

CRM Software Solutions, On-demand Web hosting Customer Relationship Management

CRM Software Solutions can be discused here and I appreicate all contributions to the topics of customer Relationship Management Software Solutions.