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Internet-based technologies have played an important role in the development of modern CRM applications over the last several years. They have been the critical driving force behind the rise of on-demand CRM, and have also enabled on-premise CRM vendors to dramatically simplify deployment and administration. CRM has become far more accessible as a result; adoption rates have soared, and companies today enjoy unprecedented choice when it comes to how they want to purchase, consume and support their new business applications.
Deployment, nonetheless, is a ‘how’ rather than a ‘what’, and competing CRM solutions are separated by a broader range of considerations than just the choice between on-demand and on-premise. Additionally, the relative advantage or disadvantage of one deployment type over the other is entirely dependent on each company’s individual objectives and circumstances, which are likely to change over time and vary according to a number of criteria. This article, therefore, aims to provide a clearer understanding of the context of deployment within overall selection criteria and examines the five key considerations associated with the area.
Five things you need to consider before choosing your new CRM solution1. User empowerment2. Investment timeline and TCO3. Data sensitivity4. Availability of internal IT resource5. Integration
1. User empowerment
A CRM solution should:• Provide powerful functionality that supports your users in their daily activities,• Should be sufficiently flexible so that it can be configured and customized tomeet their particular needs• Should always be accessible by them, regardless of whether they are in the officeor on the road.
What does Sage CRM Provide in This Area?• Full suite CRM across sales, marketing and customer service for both on-demand and on-premise users• Basic to intermediate customization capabilities for on-demand users• Advanced customization capabilities for on-premise users• Extensive codeless customization across on-demand and on-premise solutions• Full web architecture for both on-demand and on-premise users• Full offline capabilities for disconnected users• A user experience specifically optimized for mobile devices such as smart phones, PDAs and Blackberry devices.
2. Investment timeline and TCO
The average lifecycle for a CRM solution today is in excess of 5 years. Arriving at a clear understanding of the likely total cost of ownership (TCO) associated with any new CRM deployment is an important consideration in any selection process. Deployment choice influences this area considerably and companies should compare the investment and cost structures of both models thoroughly before making a decision.On-Premise CRM will require upfront capital investment which will be written down over the lifetime of the system. On-Demand CRM, by contrast, involves fixed, periodic subscriptions over the solution lifecycle. On-Demand, therefore, can provide several advantages to companies with limited budgets as it does not require the same upfront expenditure on software, hardware Infrastructure or implementation services. When viewed beyond the near-term, however, on-demand solutions can result in higher costs when compared to their on-premise peers.
On-demand, therefore, will suit organizations that:(1) Wish to benefit from lower up-front investment thresholds and(2) Prefer a predictable, fixed monthly cost. On-premise CRM, by contrast, is more likely to suit companies where a lower medium-to-long term TCO is a key requirement.
What does Sage CRM Provide in This Area?• A low TCO for on-premise deployments• A low, predictable monthly cost for on-demand deployments• A low cost on-premise environment for companies with extensive customization and integration requirements• A simple on-demand service contract without hidden lock-in clauses and uncapped renewal price hikes with a pay-per-month option in certain regions.
3. Customer data sensitivity
While on-premise CRM retains customer data in-house, on-demand CRM externalizes customer data to a 3rd party facility. The degree of customer data sensitivity, therefore, will have an influence on deployment choice. For certain companies, customer data is perceived to be too sensitive to be hosted externally and on-premise CRM, therefore, will generally be the preferred option for these organizations.In some circumstances, however, on-demand CRM may actually provide greater data security and protection when compared to on-premise deployments. In the case of an SMB for example; hosting customer data in a highly secure, purpose-built third party data center with high levels of redundancy, backup and monitoring may deliver a level of security and protection that could not be achieved cost-effectively internally.The sophistication of hosting operations varies significantly between on-demand vendors. A comprehensive review of any potential solution provider’s data center, therefore, should be a core component of any on-demand evaluation process.
What does Sage CRM Provide in This Area?• Deployment choice between on-demand and on-premise• A world class, SAS70 certified data center for on-demand deployment
4. Availability of Internal IT Resource
The availability of internal IT resource is a key factor to consider when selecting a potential CRM solution. Initial project roll-out and on-going support and administration will require IT expertise; sourced internally or externally. Your choice of deployment model, therefore, should reflect the availability of in-house IT staff.
Deployment CRM must be capable of being deployed quickly and easily. As such, customers should be up and running in days and weeks rather than months. Shorter implementation timeframes equate to lower project costs. They also reduce project risk and facilitate an earlier return-on-investment in the solution lifecycle. On-Demand deployments remove the need to install software locally or carry out hardware and software installation and configuration in-house. On-Demand, therefore, is particularly suited to is particularly suited to organizations with limited or no internal IT resource. Companies with limited internal IT resource may also consider on-premise CRM solutions which are fully web-architected
What does Sage CRM Provide in This Area?• 100% web architecture that ensures the solution can be deployed quickly and cost-effectively on-demand or on-premise, and over multiple locations where required• A fully web-architected on-premise solution that combines ease-of-deployment with significant customization and integration capabilities• self-service, codeless administration tools and easy-to-use wizards for both on-demand and on-premise deployments that reduce or remove the need for dedicated IT resource• A global network of Sage offices and business partners to provide local, on-the-ground support for on-demand and on-premise CRM users
5. Front-to-Back-Office integrationThe primary objective of a new CRM project is to unify customer information across a company’s front-facing activities; sales, marketing and customer service. This, however, does not necessarily guarantee the full 360 degree customer view that a company may aspire to. To realize a truly comprehensive customer view, you should consider integrating your CRM system with your back-office environment.Front-to-back-office integration enables front-office users to access the financial and transactional data associated with their customers (data not normally generated by or stored within a CRM system) without the need to leave their CRM application. Such data may include invoice history, sales history, payment history or other important back-office related customer information.
What does Sage CRM Provide in This Area?• Standards-based Web Services APIs that enable quick and cost-effective integration capabilities between Sage CRM on-demand/on-premise with 3rd party applications and back-office environments• Out-of-the-box integration between Sage CRM and Sage’s market leading ERP packages• It is also worth noting that where a vendor provides both on-demand and on-premise CRM using the same Web Services APIs, such as Sage CRM, you can potentially change deployment types while still retaining the same back-office integration.
Conclusion:Deployment type is an important choice, but should be made in the context of a broader variety of considerations. Companies should be mindful of the expected lifespan of their new CRM solution and ensure that their requirements will be met across a variety of criteria including: functionality, cost, ease-of-maintenance, ability to customize, ability to integrate and ability to empower users.Both on-demand and on-premise deployments have their own particular benefits and drawbacks. Some manifest themselves in the near-term while others come into play at a later stage in the solution life-cycle.While this blog post has discussed the broad spectrum of business and technology considerations that impact on deployment choice, a company cannot realistically be expected to make a definitive deployment decision upfront given the wide variety of future variables. Partnering with a CRM vendor that provides deployment choice, therefore, is a distinct advantage. Sage offers its customers unprecedented flexibility in this area; allowing them to choose the most appropriate model for their needs at the point of roll-out, as well as the freedom to move to a different model in the future if their needs change.
To get a glance of which CRM you should opt, contact us at Sage Software Solutions Pvt Ltd or make inquiry at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also request for a free demo. We will be glade to assist you.