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Salesforce.com Engulfs Communities in Community Cloud
August 27, 2014
Salesforce.com on Wednesday announced the debut of the Salesforce1 Community Cloud. The product is launching as a new division for Salesforce.com, on par with its Sales, Service and Marketing Cloud offerings, said Lisa Hammitt, VP of business operations. Built on the Salesforce1 Platform, Community Cloud connects to Salesforce CRM and related business processes.
There May Be More to Salesforce's RelateIQ Buy Than Meets the Eye
July 14, 2014
Salesforce.com will shell out $350 million in common stock for RelateIQ in a deal expected to close by October. It will provide another $40 million dollars in stock for its cash balance. RelateIQ will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Salesforce, according to an SEC filing. "This gives Salesforce more of a footprint in process orientation," said Denis Pombriant, principal of Beagle Research.
Microsoft Dynamics Steps Out of Shadows
June 03, 2014
Microsoft on Monday announced global availability of the latest feature set in Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which was introduced earlier this year. It offers new marketing functionality, enhanced customer service features, a Unified Service Desk for call centers, and additional social listening features. The marketing functionality in this version of Microsoft Dynamics CRM has been rebuilt.
Going Off-Script to Delight Customers
May 16, 2014
I had an exciting moment while grocery shopping last week. After 10 years of going to the same market and seeing the same checkers, one of them actually pronounced my name right. I know my last name's a bit hard to pronounce, and clerks have spent the better part of the 21st century asking me how to say it. I also know that, at the market where I shop, clerks are instructed to thank customers.
FirstRain Mobile Showers Sales Reps With Data
May 13, 2014
FirstRain has released its third iteration of the mobile version of its personal business analytics app, enhancing it with social sharing functionality and building in a new contextual layer that gives users more information about the data they receive. FirstRain also debuted a version for Windows Phone with this rollout. These changes are preceding what FirstRain is doing on the desktop.
Are We There Yet? The Long Road to the CRM Revolution
April 17, 2014
They say you must walk before you can run. It follows that you should crawl before you walk. In CRM, however, there are a lot of businesses that talk at great length about wanting to run even though they haven't mastered crawling yet. They battle with the same old problems: adoption issues; technology decisions made before business needs are identified; lack of executive buy-in.
4 Ways to Waste Great Marketing Opportunities
February 28, 2014
CRM has always purported to be about relationships, but it's often used primarily for sales. That's kind of a good news, bad news situation. The bad news first: CRM got a bad rap when it didn't become a sales panacea (mostly for adoption issues). The good news: It exposed a void in the mix that marketing automation rushed to fill. The key to successful relationships is communication.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Gets a Fuel Injection
February 18, 2014
Microsoft on Tuesday unveiled a set of Microsoft Dynamics CRM features that will be generally available in the second quarter of this year. There are three main areas of change in this latest iteration: new marketing functionality; enhanced customer service options; and the introduction of a unified service desk for call centers. There are also additional social listening features.
Betting Big Bucks on the Real Omnichannel Deal
February 04, 2014
CRM vendors for years have been acknowledging the need for omnichannel support while bending over backwards to explain how their particular applications or product suites excelled at providing that missing link. A funny thing began to happen at the end of the 20th century. Instead of talking about it, CRM vendors started doing something about it. One by one, they made some strategic acquisitions.
Marketing Automation Report Card
January 29, 2014
After two years of fairly hectic activity in the marketing automation space, it might be useful to ask where all the commotion has gotten us. Once a captive of finance, which was concerned with reeling in marketing's costs and rationalizing expenses with known -- or at least knowable -- benefits, marketing automation emerged in the last couple of years as a powerful tool.
Nimble Spreads Its Social Wings
November 11, 2013
Before speaking with a reporter recently about the latest upgrade to his company's CRM platform, Nimble CMO Eric Quanstrom ate his own cooking, so to speak: that is, he used Nimble to learn as much about her as possible. A few keystrokes later, he knew where she went to school, her hometown, other business affiliations and that she was an avid tweeter.
Your Employees Are Rock Stars
October 30, 2013
I go to a lot of conferences. Usually they're a combination of customer user group meetings and analyst days, and we all hear more or less detail about product futures, new functions and features, and policy rollouts. If you know how to look at these events, you can see a certain scene repeated: A customer meets an employee face to face for the first time and gushes like a kid meeting a rock star.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Sharpens Social Skills
October 21, 2013
Microsoft on Monday announced the availability of its latest version of Dynamics CRM along with a new partnership with InsideView that adds social intelligence capabilities to the CRM system. Available for purchase starting Oct. 31, Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 offers a number of new features and capabilities, including new templates for certain workflows and work processes.
Earshot Helps Marketers Tap the Home-Field Advantage
September 28, 2013
Imagine you're walking down a city street heading for a vegan restaurant that you've heard good things about. You get to the address only to discover it has gone out of business. Hungry and disappointed, you pull out your smartphone and wail to the Twitterverse, "Veggie Delight is closed! I'm starving and there is nowhere to get a vegan meal!"
Experian Steps Up Its Social Engagement Push
July 25, 2013
It can be difficult enough to market to consumers through one channel, but trying to work across channels compounds that difficulty considerably. Enter Experian Marketing Services, which recently upgraded its cross-channel marketing platform with several new features. Experian regularly updates its application, said the company's Jeff Hassemer.
Pipeliner 5.2 Keeps CRM in Sync
July 08, 2013
After making its beta debut back in 2009, Pipeliner CRM software recently graduated to version 5.2, bringing with it the ability to automatically sync data in near real time -- for both Mac and PC computers -- locally or through the cloud. "This is key for salespeople that work globally," said Nikolas Kimla, founder and managing partner of Pipelinersales.
Intercom Connections Aid $6M Funding Round
June 21, 2013
Intercom, which offers businesses a tool to create personalized communications with customers, has secured some $6 million in a Series A round of funding. The Social+Capital Partnership, founded by former Facebook VP Chamath Palihapitiya, handled the fundraising. Some prominent tech players have attached their names to Intercom, including Twitter founder Biz Stone and Facebook exec Paul Adams.
Thunderhead.com Smooths Out the Wrinkles in Customer Communication
June 17, 2013
Almost a year after launching its ONE Correspond for Salesforce, Thunderhead.com rolled out version 2.0. A part of the company's flagship ONE Engagement Platform, ONE Correspond for Salesforce allows users to create communications for customers. Via Salesforce's Chatter, it also has strong collaborative features that give users a way to review, edit and approve documents internally.
New Tools Play Up Twitter Games, Polls for CRM
May 02, 2013
Fan Appz provided more tools for digital marketers Wednesday when it added a suite of Twitter features to its real-time customer feedback platform. The new features help brands interact with followers by running polls, hashtag games and loyalty-based reward activities on the social network. Those interactions can help build a brand's database.
Salesforce.com's New Mobile Chatter Expands the Conversation
March 22, 2013
Salesforce.com has rolled out the latest iteration of its Chatter app designed specifically for the mobile environment. "With this version, we are taking [it] to a new level, allowing users to really drill down into accounts and take many different types of actions while in the field," said Michael Peachy, senior director of solutions marketing at Salesforce.
Let's Hear It for The Ecosystems!
March 06, 2013
Could we have a moment of sustained loud noise for all of the companies that form the various ecosystems around major product lines? I mean it. The ecosystem -- and maybe not even social -- is the story of the last five years. While many of us have been talking up social, the ecosystems have been adding immeasurably to the customer experience.
Sage Made a Wise Decision
February 20, 2013
I liked what Sage did last week in agreeing to sell off some non-core assets to partners, and I am most interested in the decision to sell ACT! and SalesLogix. The move reduced Sage's bullpen of CRM solutions from three to one -- and that's the right number for this market.

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