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CRM BLOG SAFARI

Up in the Clouds

The Google-Salesforce.com partnership grows ever more intertwined. The latest development occurred Monday when Salesforce.com released a Google Data client library for the Force.com platform that provides access to the full suite of Google Data application programming interfaces using Apex code, allowing developers to integrate their Force.com applications with Google Apps.

Salesforce.com has been leveraging the efficiencies that cloud computing can deliver for some time. Increasingly, though, firms in other industries — for example, financial services — are beginning to catch on to its benefits, as Shore Communications notes.

“A lot of the action in financial information is taking place well away from the desktop and in the bowels of computer networks that support securities trading and sales. Not all of these stories are about the dominance of the Web as the cloud of choice — the financial marketplace has many specialized networks that support its sophisticated information-driven marketplaces — but certainly the concept of cloud computing popularized by the Web in which desktop technology is just an interface to sophisticated services from potentially any network providing information and execution services.”

101 Reasons to Opt for SaaS

Althouth he doesn’t actually list 101 reasons, John F. Martin, senior vice president of Strategy and Technology for IQNavigator, devotes a lot e-ink to making the case for the Software as a Service business strategy.

Some of Martin’s reasons have a familiar ring (see above), but he points out some areas of savings that may escape the general business case.

“I read a fascinating study on [enterprise resource planning] staffing ratios by Computer Economics, which underscored just how much big companies are paying in personnel costs to support on-premise software operations, upgrades, customizations, and testing,” he recounts.

“For each ERP user who used any module, the top-quartile performance had one support person for every 50 users,” Martin continues, “which represents close to [US]$200 monthly support costs per user. Notably, while ERP systems have much more broad-ranging functionality than most process-focused SaaS solutions, support costs actually did not change based on scope of functionality implemented, as different users typically used different ERP modules — so the HR module had about the same support costs as the sales module, financial module, etc., and these support costs were linear by module. With SaaS solutions, almost all of these customer-incurred support costs go away.”

By now, the SaaS argument has been accepted in most industries in the United States, Yankee Group analyst Sheryl Kingstone told CRM Buyer. “Companies by and large know the business case and appreciate the model. If they are sticking with on-premise, it is usually for a specific, internal reason.”

The next battle for acceptance, said Kingstone, will be in Canada and Europe, where many businesses are still unsure about the model.

Customer Etiquette

Customers have certain expectations when they send an e-mail to a company, Bryce Marshall at Knotice blogs. He gives a good primer on what should be part of the response.

Briefly: Thank the customer for the transaction. Confirm the details of the transaction. Provide details related to the transaction and — perhaps most critical — provide contact information for customer service.

“It’s a marketing truth: Respond to your customers and they will respond to you,” Marshall says.

Sales Ops Hero

Some folks at LucidEra, an on-demand analytics vendor, might have just a bit too much time on their hands.

The following lyrics, are sung to Foreigner’s “Jukebox Hero”:

Standing in the room, with her head hung lowCouldnt get a login, they were all out of doughHeard the roar of the team, she could see their screensPut her ear to the wall, then like a distant scream

She heard one “get smart ping,” just blew her awayShe saw reps in her eyes, and the very next dayBought a beat up group edition in a second hand storeDidn’t know how to use it, but she knew for sure

That one application, felt good in her handsDidn’t take long, to understandJust one Appexchange, slung way down lowWas her one way ticket, only one way to go

So she started blogginAint never gonna stopGotta keep on blogginSomeday she gonna make it to The Force

And be a sales ops hero, got reps on her mindShes a juke box heroShe took one app, sales ops hero, reps on her mindSales Ops Hero, she’ll create reports through the grind

In a User Group without a name, in a heavy downpourThought she saw her own sandbox, by the old data center doorLike a trip through the past, to that day in the rainAnd that one application made her whole life change

Now she needs to keep blogginShe just can’t stopGotta keep on blogginThat girl has got to stay logged on

And be a Sales Ops Hero, got stars in her eyesShe’s a Sales Ops Hero, got stars in her eyesYeah, Sales Ops Hero, got stars in her eyesWith that one application she’ll login tonightCome alive tonight

Yeah, shes gotta keep blogginShe just cant stopGotta keep on blogginThat girl has got to stay logged on

And be a Sales Ops Hero, got reps on her mindShe’s a Sales Ops Hero, got stars in her eyesJust one application, put reps in her eyesShes just a Sales Ops Hero, aah aah aahSales ops hero, Sales Ops Hero, she’s got reps on her mindReps on her mind

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