thomas.wieberneit@aheadcrm.co.nz
CRMKonvos – Latin American expert insights: How different is this market?

CRMKonvos – Latin American expert insights: How different is this market?

Ralf Korb and I had a special guest in Jesus Hoyos, long time CRM practitioner and analyst who works from Mexico and Florida. Jesus concentrates on the Latin American and North American markets. Apart from being a genuinely great person, he had a lot of interesting topics to cover, starting from how different even the various Latin- and South American markets are to how pricing models should be different, not only to accommodate for a pandemic situation but also for the structures of markets that are dominated by small companies, companies that are far smaller that the enterprises that are usually targeted by the bigger vendors. This also has implications on product development, training schemes and its availability, partner and ecosystem enablement and a lot of of other topics (including kayaking in the Everglades). This is a conversation mostly in English, with some Spanglish and a few German in between. And it is jam-packed with valuable information. Well worthwhile viewing and listening...
CRMKonvos – Bob Stutz and Esteban Kolsky of SAP are talking straight

CRMKonvos – Bob Stutz and Esteban Kolsky of SAP are talking straight

In this episode Ralf Korb, Marshall Lager and I had two very special guests: Bob Stutz, president of SAP’s CX group, who shapes the CRM industry for more than 20 years now and Esteban Kolsky, former analyst, both independently and at Gartner. Esteban has deep roots and a passion for customer service processes and now leads the sales and service products at SAP CX.  And then there was a special star, perhaps the youngest guest who we will ever have. Again, and as usual for our CRMKonvos, we did not stick to one hour. Bob and Esteban actually shared their insights for a full 90 minutes, which is something for which we are deeply grateful. We covered a lot of ground starting with how 22 years of experience in the military services can help in the software industry – and not ending with why it took him and his team that long to publish an SAP CX strategy.  You are interested in the state of AI and machine learning? Ask Esteban – or listen to his statements in this episode. Same for what we are doing wrong in customer service for five decades now. And he needs to know, having a service centre background and having covered the service arena for 20 years now in various roles. Did the acquisitions that SAP did in the past years make sense? Why did it take SAP that long to figure out some of the gems in their portfolio? How should pricing look like and why would make this pricing vendors build better software?  Why Emarsys? Where does it fit into the stack – and why?Ever wondered what the real...
SAP throws the CX Glove

SAP throws the CX Glove

It has been an intense 2 weeks. The CX or CRM or however you want to call it market got a serious makeover. After a long time without a tangible strategy, SAP announced a lot of things, starting with the intended acquisition of Emarsys, followed by an announcement about the release of a customer data platform as part of its SAPCXLIVE event, and then it also conducted its SAPCXLIVE online event in an impressive manner. I wouldn’t proclaim it ‘cineastic’, which is the current mot du jour, but still, it felt very much like a trade show, just virtual. And the week before, SAP president of CX Bob Stutz shook the players during an executive roundtable (very good discussion, intense 2:40 hrs) with representatives of the big 5 held by the CRMPlayaz Brent Leary and Paul Greenberg. He openly questioned the enterprise software vendors pricing policies by asking why the industry does not go for a utility bases billing approach – or should I say utilization based billing approach. Maybe it was just a challenge, as SAP applies usage based pricing with the indirect pricing model for its ERP software and intends to offer it for (at least parts of) its CX software. Pre event some pundits, e.g. Bob Evans of Cloudwars and myself, dared a look into the glass ball, interpreting the SAP world differently. What can be said is that any allegations of SAP withdrawing from the CX market, succumbing to the 800-pound gorilla that Salesforce is, should have been wiped out latest after the first few words of SAP CEO Christian Klein’s keynote of SAPCXLIVE. The...

CRMKonvos – SugarCRM and its cool future beyondCXM

CRMKonvos Nr.18 – KI, #beyondCXM perspectives and opportunities with more dynamics are coming up. This time in our focus: The SugarCRM Story and the node.io integration. In this CRMKonvos Ralf Korb and Thomas Wieberneit talked with SugarCRM CEO Craig Charlton and CTO Rich Green about the past, present and future of SugarCRM. Of course, we covered the progress of the integration of node.io, and the reasons for choosing it. But then there are also topics as mundane as why there are still reasons to choose an on premise installation vs. going cloud. What is a platform? Rich Green has a very good definition with a very own Sugar twist to it – and which makes a lot of sense. What is the real reason for appointing James Norwood into the board? Apart from him being an extremely kind, knowledgeable and connected person? What are the top five gaps in Sugar’s footprint? We covered a lot of ground. Enjoy this very enlightening English episode of our...
Salesreps still hate their CRM – Here’s what to do about it!

Salesreps still hate their CRM – Here’s what to do about it!

Salesreps really love to feed data into their CRM system after a long day, or even during the week-end. They are truly looking forward to their weekly sales call with numbers that every single one of their colleague massaged themselves. They are obsessed with typing all sorts of entries into a quotation and know their product catalogue by heart, so that they can provide their customer with the best of all possible quotes to solve their business issue. Salespeople really appreciate all the high quality leads that are funnelled to them by the system. And, of course, they are truly altruistic and thrive on helping their customers for good. Sounds like you? No? Well, then you are probably like most of us. In brief: Salespeople hate their CRM! This didn’t change almost 40 years after the first electronic CRM tools have been introduced. Users of CRM systems still often do not have the feeling that the systems are serving them, but that it is rather the opposite. That is especially true for salespeople. But I repeat myself. Salespeople face a two-pronged challenge. On one side, in an environment that is more and more data driven, they face an increasing reporting demand, which in turns requires an increasing amount of quality data being fed into the system. They feel that all these administrative tasks keep them away what they are doing best and what they want to do most: Be with their customers, understand them, and offer – sell – them the right solutions for their challenges. Thereby making them happy. On the other hand, salespeople feel that they become...
CRMKonvos #17 – Entering The Dark Side of the Cloud

CRMKonvos #17 – Entering The Dark Side of the Cloud

#CRMKonvos #17 – The dark side of the Cloud – danger, hope, liability, subscription, privacy … are they all gone? Quo vadis on premise and managed services? We are looking at the dark side of the cloud, its effects, chances and possibilities. We are also analysing the acquisition of Emarsys by SAP, do a little breakdown of the Microsoft cloud services that got announced last week (MS Teams anyone?) and general perspectives. Is the coveted 360 degree on the customer an illusion? And there is some harsh reality facing some suboptimal corporate structures. Fair play, as lived by Zoho, is another topic to be covered … Expectations towards SAP and its Customer Data Platform CDP++ are going towards the next level. Is SAP planning to destroy the silos to create more transparency? Is CDP really some BS (hint: not really) or can it be used in a valuable (for the customer) way)? A CX platform or at least a #COTP (Customer oriented Transaction Platform) are possible ways. Lots of ground to be covered. This episode is in...