CUSTOMER RELATIONS A to Z: Our guide to who’s who in CRM

Unlike contact management, CRM is less about what you know about your customer and more about what they know about you. CRM strategies encourage customers to believe business knows their needs in advance, and helps businesses to anticipate customer needs rather than just react to them.
Contact management tools are best described as subset of that; they help businesses to track and access up-to-date customer-contact information like details of the last customer enquiry or the customer’s account status. Despite this confusion, CRM specialists say New Zealand businesses are increasingly aware of the impact good CRM tools and practices can have on businesses’ growth and customer satisfaction.
Helen Robinson, managing director for CRM specialist Pivotal Corporation, thinks CRM in New Zealand is now in settled state. “CRM is widely understood to be necessary – both from strategic perspective and technologically.”
New Zealand businesses see the benefits and will continue to make CRM investments, she says. “CRM is expanding into the dynamic front office, or demand chain automation, where there is further value. Things like business process management, analytics, marketing automation and execution will enable organisations to adapt quickly and effectively to changing business requirements.”
And smaller businesses now realise that CRM strategies are not just for large enterprises according to Microsoft New Zealand solution specialist Charlie Wood. “They [can be] affordable and easy to install for smaller businesses,” he says.
Research last year from Gartner showed 15 percent of global businesses with up to 500 PCs had clear CRM strategy and employed CRM software. It predicted this penetration would grow to about 40 percent within the next five years. “As CRM tools become more mid-market friendly, they will be used to level the playing field and gain competitive advantage,” says Wood.
Tony Bullen, Asia Pacific managing director for CRM specialists Stayinfront, says that while CRM decisions should not be based solely on technology, technological innovation is driving the CRM market.
Recent IT evolutions in IP telephony, automated voice response software and radio, wireless and other mobile technologies, are examples. “CRM options in 2004 resemble an la carte menu. Companies that compete on price shouldn’t over invest in CRM; but those that compete on customer service should realise its positive impact,” he adds.
But how much do well-tailored, customised, and supported CRM investments cost SMEs?
Many New Zealand CRM brand resellers are also small businesses and so well positioned to understand small business pressures, says Wood, while agreeing the full cost of CRM project can be hard to pin down. “While companies of all sizes can pay one amount for software licensing and an equal amount again for support and training, those costs rise exponentially if the software requires lot of customisation or the business needs extra support.”
Costs can also increase if business decides to add CRM tools to an existing financial or ERP software suite instead of investing in full ERP suite that includes CRM. With “sole CRM” implementations, the quality of software integration becomes more important and consulting may be more expensive.
No one suggests CRM investment is cheap. But the up-front expenditure can be offset if companies use hosted software services through application service providers (ASPs) to trial CRM without purchasing software licence. The business then has access to CRM tools through an online connection for monthly fee. “The [ASP option] gives customers some flexibility. It’s low risk entry to CRM,” says Wood.
However, even hosted CRM services must be strategically planned – something smaller businesses may struggle with.
Bullen says analysing and supporting the New Zealand SME market is tricky because small companies rarely employ people with CRM skills.
But SMEs that get CRM right have the most to gain. “CRM helps SMEs put processes in place; they can tailor product offerings and marketing investments to ensure sales opportunities are not falling through the cracks,” says Bullen.

CRM specialists
However good CRM technologies are, most businesses are stuck without quality CRM specialist to help with CRM planning, design and integration. The following guide lists key CRM brands available in New Zealand. Whether locally or internationally based, brand providers tend to work with local business partners. Where applicable, each brand provider has listed these partners.

Accpac
CRM claim
Designed to support all aspects of customer relationship management, ACCPAC CRM is rapidly deployable in-house or as hosted application. ACCPAC CRM seamlessly integrates with your back-office ACCPAC accounting applications.
NZ CRM services offered
• Business analysis
• Design and implementation
• Support
• Training
CRM software brands
• Accpac CRM
• Accpac CRM Sales Team
• Accpac CRM.com
Number of NZ fulltime staff
Australia-based
Number of CRM business partners in NZ 11
Key principal
Daithi Holden, general manager Accpac Australia Pacific
Contact 0800 904 409
Email [email protected]
CRM website link
http://www.accpac.com/products/crmsfa/

Epicor
CRM claim
Epicor offers award-winning customer relationship management (CRM) solutions that enable you to have full visibility of your customer relationship so that you can provide improved levels of service to your most important asset.
NZ CRM services offered
• Business analysis
• Design and implementation
• Support
• Training
CRM software brands
• Epicor Enterprise
• Epicor Clientele
Number of NZ fulltime staff
Australia-based
Number of CRM business partners in NZ
5
Premier NZ partners
• Cogita
• Datacom
Contact +64-2-9927 6200
Email [email protected]
CRM website link
http://www.epicor.com.au/au/

Greentree International
CRM claim
Our CRM suite provides solution that can be easily tailored to suit most businesses, with seamless integration into the core Greentree financial and distribution modules and secure workgroup-based access to sensitive information.
CRM services offered
• Business analysis
• Design and implementation
• Support
• Training
CRM software brands
• Greentree CRM suite
Recent projects
• Computerland Northland – using Greentree CRM service-related modules to intelligently manage technical helpdesk, field service requests and multi-location asset maintenance in real-time, all of which seamlessly integrates with the Greentree Financials and Job Cost modules.
• Leisure World – using Greentree CRM to run customer service call centre and network that manages extended warranties and contracts for imported fitness equipment.
Number of NZ fulltime staff
30
Number of CRM business partners in NZ
11 – Endeavour Solutions, Verde, Computable Solutions, Primacc Systems, PS Computing (Waikato) Enabling Technologies, Datacom Systems, Reid Wray & Associates, Proact Solutions (Whangarei), PriceWaterhouseCoopers (Napier only), Computerland Hawkes Bay
Key principals
Peter Dickinson, executive director
Don Bowman, managing director
Contact Graeme Hill, channel manager
09 366 3888
Email [email protected]
CRM website link www.greentree.com

Microsoft NZ
CRM claim
From first contact to after-sales service, Microsoft web-enabled CRM solutions automate day-to-day tasks for sales, customer service, field service, call centre and marketing professionals. They strengthen customer loyalty, and empower sales, marketing and customer service teams to work together to shorten sales cycles and increase revenue.
CRM services offered
• Business analysis
• Design and implementation
• Support
• Training
• Partner relationship management
• Multi deployment options
CRM software brands
• Microsoft Business Solutions Axapta
• Microsoft Business Solutions Navision
• Microsoft Business Solutions Great Plains
Recent projects
• Zeacom Limited – co

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