Increasing SMBs’ capabilities, at little cost, with CRM

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Thanks to a combination of economic pressures and the
ability to interact closer with the customer, there’s been a notable rise in SMBs
implementing CRM, said Michael Fauscette, Group Vice President, Software Business
Solutions at

IDC

.


At the CRM Evolution Conference in New York City, I spoke
with Fauscette and Brian Vellmure, Principal and Founder of Initium, LLC (

blog

) about the current
state of SMBs deploying and integrating CRM into their business processes.


SMBs awoke to wanting to implement CRM when the recession
hit, said Vellmure. It was a time everyone was trying to “do more with less.”
Today, that productivity and customer connectedness has carried through. They’re
using CRM to acquire more customers and automate marketing processes, continued
Vellmure.


As for integration, Vellmure is seeing a lot of growth in
business intelligence. Companies are getting more contextual awareness by connecting
their data with other databases, such as Hoovers.


Fauscette is most impressed with how companies are using
communities to create networks of support, thus alleviating their own customer
service demands. Not only are people helping each other, but they’re also
getting product feedback to help them actually improve the product.

What SMBs should expect from and pay for a cloud service

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If you live in a metropolitan area of the U.S., you’re probably
fortunate in that you don’t have to think about where your power comes from,
and only occasionally do you think about where your connectivity comes from.


But those living in developing countries are always thinking
about the where, when, and how of power and connectivity, explains Ramon Ray,
editor and technology evangelist for

smallbiztechnology.com
. Ray sat down with CEO of Zoho , Sridhar Vembu, at the CRM Evolution Conference in August, to discuss vetting cloud providers and what prices SMBs expect to pay for cloud services.

Watch the interview to hear what Ray and Vembu have to say about SMBs and the cloud!