Leading industry figure in attack on CRM strategies

Customer relationship management (CRM) suppliers, and their Internet offshoot e-CRM, have come under attack from a prominent figure in the industry.

Lorna Rowland, a director of Getronics, says too much e-CRM is being sold in isolation rather than being integrated with the rest of a client’s online strategy.

“It’s the difference between selling a piece of technology and something which requires continuous development,” she argues.

Speaking this week at the Economist conference on e-CRM, Rowland claims “no CRM project can be viewed as a finite task with a start and end date. As one project ends another must begin if the client company is to retain competitive advantage.”

She blames the mis-selling of CRM on the fact that too many of its suppliers are “tied to the product offerings of one – or even a few – hardware and software vendors”.

This means they are unable to keep up with the constantly changing Internet.

“Suppliers must not regard CRM as ‘just another IT project’. The dynamics of the development process and the commercial environment in which they are commissioned must be conducted at a faster pace – which means at ‘Web speed’ rather than the pace of traditional IT projects,” says Rowland.

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