Category Archives: IT

Looming Talent Crunch in Social CRM

Talk to senior or middle level executives in Marketing or IT about Social Media or Enterprise 2.0 and you will see their face light up immediately with excitement from perceived opportunity and with fear from perceived threat – all at once. Most executives will tell you that they want to leverage Social Media and Enterprise 2.0 tools and technology for engaging their customers and employees but don’t know what to do or how to go about it. There is real shortage of “talented” people who understand both – Social Media/Enterprise 2.0 AND existing marketing and IT systems/processes like CRM and ERP.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that there is a shortage of Social Media consultants or self proclaimed “experts”. They are dime a dozen (or should I say tweet a dozen). What I am saying is that we have a shortage of people who really understand the power and potential of Social Media/Enterprise 2.0 tools AND can relate these tools to existing marketing/IT processes.

Just ask any self-proclaimed Social Media “expert” or Social CRM “guru” how many years’ experience they have implementing CRM solutions and for which companies have they implemented CRM, ERP, BPM, MDM or similar solutions? How many CRM “As Is” and “To Be” process flows have they mapped or how many Use Cases have they written? For how many clients have they documented CRM business requirements (BRs), Functional Requirements (FRs) or have designed the CRM system? What are their thoughts on integrating CRM system with multiple other enterprise information systems like Billing, Finance, HR? Can they describe current best practices when it comes to Data Migration or MDM? (heck, ask them what MDM stands for?) You can judge expertise of self-proclaimed gurus based on response to these questions. It is easy to browse internet, collect few talking points, prepare a sleek presentation and lecture unsuspecting audience about Social CRM, but when it comes to real life Social CRM, these are the questions we need to ask and there is a shortage of people who are good at both, Social Media AND Enterprise Solutions.

In the past few months, we have seen a shift in attitude among senior marketing and IT executives in favor of using Social Media and Enterprise 2.0 tools for engaging customers/employees and resources are being budgeted for Social Media initiatives. Spending on Social CRM solutions is likely to rise exponentially during 2011-2013 time-frame and in just 24 months from now, Social CRM will account for a major chunk of CRM (and Enterprise Solutions) market.

Unfortunately, we don’t have supply of talented people in enough numbers to match this demand in Social CRM space. Real bottleneck to growth in Social CRM is lack of competent people to drive sCRM initiatives. Unless you have the right people guiding your Social CRM initiatives, you are likely to go wrong and as we know, failure is not an option when it comes to Social Media.

Given my experience implementing CRM Solutions for more than a decade, having successfully managed many large and complex CRM projects for Fortune 500 companies in the US, here’s my suggestion: Identify people in your organization who “get” Social Media and know about existing marketing/IT systems and processes. Empower them to drive your Social CRM initiatives.

And since there are so few good consultants available for recruitment when it comes to Social CRM, Management Consulting and IT Services companies should identify consultants in their organization who “get” Social Media, are active on Social Media channels and entrust them task of building Social Media/Social CRM competency with specific focus on industry verticals (like Banking, Insurance, Retail, Pharma and Health Care, Travel & Hospitality to name just a few).

Sooner they do this, better for them as only those consulting and IT services companies who can bring right thought leaders and talented teams to the table for addressing growing demand in Social CRM space are likely to emerge as winners and can expect to corner a lions share of the market. This is all the more important given importance of Social CRM to senior marketing and IT executives in client organizations. Although size of Social CRM projects (in terms of revenue or team size) may be small as compared to large ERP or CRM projects, given the criticality and visibility of Social CRM initiatives, a successful sCRM solution implementation can open doors for many large “transformational” projects involving Social Media and Enterprise 2.0. It is absolutely vital that Management Consulting and IT services companies have right talent in place for leveraging Social CRM opportunity.

What do you think? Do you agree that we are facing a talent crunch when it comes to Social CRM? What is your experience. Look forward to hearing your thoughts on the subject …..

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How IT Services Co.s can Thrive in the Age of Cloud | Dr. Harish Kotadia

After a disappointing 2009, a year in which global tech spending fell by 4.2 percent, IT Services companies are experiencing renewed demand for their services as global tech spending rebounds this year and is set to rise by 3.8 percent, and touch $1.5 trillion according to market researcher  IDC (for more, read this Businessweek article Tech Spending Is Back. And It May Even Last.

But before settling down to Business As Usual model of pre-recession days, IT services companies should look at changing tech landscape and “Clouds” on tech horizon – Cloud Computing that is! In the words of Irving Wladawsky-Berger, “IT is undergoing its biggest changes since the advent of client/server computing in the 1980s.  These changes are being driven by many factors, chief amongst them the emergence of a different model of computing – cloud computing.  We are entering the Age of the Cloud.” (for more, read his excellent blog post titled IT in the Age of the Cloud)

In his post, Irving Wladawsky-Berger has quoted findings of study on The Future of Corporate IT by The Corporate Executive BoardAfter interviewing and surveying hundreds of IT and business leaders, this study concluded that “The IT function of 2015 will bear little resemblance to its current state. Many activities will devolve to business units, be consolidated with other central functions such as HR and Finance, or be externally sourced. Fewer than 25% of employees currently within IT will remain, while CIOs face the choice of expanding to lead a business shared service group, or seeing their position shrink to managing technology delivery.

The Corporate Executive Board study has further identified five emerging shifts in IT value and role. These are:

  • Shift 1: Information Over Process
  • Shift 2: IT Embedded in Business Services
  • Shift 3: Externalized Service Delivery
  • Shift 4: Greater Business Partner Responsibility
  • Shift 5: Diminished Standalone IT Role

IT Services companies need to prepare for these emerging shifts and incredible opportunity they present by expanding their “Cloud” service offerings.

Unlike product companies, one of the issues many IT service providers (and especially those that operate in the lower end of price spectrum) face is that their revenue is directly linked to “billable” headcount. And to grow their revenue beyond certain point, these companies need to have a “product” or “license” based revenue model rather than “headcount” based model. Cloud computing offers an excellent opportunity for IT services companies to develop service offerings that can be offered to client under  Software as a Service(SaaS) model.

Talking specifically about CRM and Social CRM, IT Services companies should extend their CRM and BPO service offering to cloud based services in following areas:

  • Development of Engagement Platforms and Communities
  • Integration of “On-premise” CRM apps with “Cloud based” Social CRM apps for 360 degree “view of customer”
  • Cloud based Social Media Monitoring, Reporting and Analytics
  • Cloud based Social Media and Network Analytics solution

Affiliated Computer Services, a leading service provider recently launched “Community as a Strategy” – a suite of social CRM services that captures customer insights from social media sites to improve service and responsiveness of organizations. Other IT and BPO Service Providers should take notice of this development and follow ACS’ lead in this direction.

What do you think? How IT and BPO Service Providers can can Thrive in the Age of Cloud? Please do share your thoughts and opinion:

This is a repost from blog of Dr. Harish Kotadia, originally posted at: http://hkotadia.com/archives/2962

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How IT Services Companies can Thrive in the Age of Cloud

After a disappointing 2009, a year in which global tech spending fell by 4.2 percent, IT Services companies are experiencing renewed demand for their services as global tech spending rebounds this year and is set to rise by 3.8 percent, and touch $1.5 trillion according to market researcher IDC (for more, read this Businessweek article Tech Spending Is Back. And It May Even Last.) [pullquote] IT is undergoing its biggest changes since the advent of client/server computing in the 1980s.  These changes are being driven by many factors, chief amongst them the emergence of a different model of computing – cloud computing.  We are entering the Age of the Cloud. [/pullquote]

But before settling down to Business As Usual model of pre-recession days, IT services companies should look at changing tech landscape and “Clouds” on tech horizon – Cloud Computing that is! In the words of Irving Wladawsky-Berger, “IT is undergoing its biggest changes since the advent of client/server computing in the 1980s.  These changes are being driven by many factors, chief amongst them the emergence of a different model of computingcloud computing.  We are entering the Age of the Cloud.” (for more, read his excellent blog post titled IT in the Age of the Cloud)

In his post, Irving Wladawsky-Berger has quoted findings of study on The Future of Corporate IT by The Corporate Executive Board. After interviewing and surveying hundreds of IT and business leaders, this study concluded that “The IT function of 2015 will bear little resemblance to its current state. Many activities will devolve to business units, be consolidated with other central functions such as HR and Finance, or be externally sourced. Fewer than 25% of employees currently within IT will remain, while CIOs face the choice of expanding to lead a business shared service group, or seeing their position shrink to managing technology delivery.

The Corporate Executive Board study has further identified five emerging shifts in IT value and role. These are:

  • Shift 1: Information Over Process
  • Shift 2: IT Embedded in Business Services
  • Shift 3: Externalized Service Delivery
  • Shift 4: Greater Business Partner Responsibility
  • Shift 5: Diminished Standalone IT Role

IT Services companies need to prepare for these emerging shifts and incredible opportunity they present by expanding their “Cloud” service offerings. [pullquote] The IT function of 2015 will bear little resemblance to its current state. Many activities will devolve to business units, be consolidated with other central functions such as HR and Finance, or be externally sourced. Fewer than 25% of employees currently within IT will remain [/pullquote]

Unlike product companies, one of the issues many IT service providers (and especially those that operate in the lower end of price spectrum) face is that their revenue is directly linked to “billable” headcount. And to grow their revenue beyond certain point, these companies need to have a “product” or “license” based revenue model rather than “headcount” based model. Cloud computing offers an excellent opportunity for IT services companies to develop service offerings that can be offered to client under Software as a Service (SaaS) model.

Talking specifically about CRM and Social CRM, IT Services companies should extend their CRM and BPO service offering to cloud based services in following areas:

  • Development of Engagement Platforms and Communities
  • Integration of “On-premise” CRM apps with “Cloud based” Social CRM apps for 360 degree “view of customer”
  • Cloud based Social Media Monitoring, Reporting and Analytics
  • Cloud based Social Media and Network Analytics solution

Affiliated Computer Services, a leading service provider recently launched “Community as a Strategy” – a suite of social CRM services that captures customer insights from social media sites to improve service and responsiveness of organizations. Other IT and BPO Service Providers should take notice of this development and follow ACS’ lead in this direction.

What do you think? How IT and BPO Service Providers can can Thrive in the Age of Cloud? Please do share your thoughts and opinion:

Right time for IT Co.s to offer Social CRM services | Dr. Harish Kotadia

In one of my earlier post, I highlighted the Social CRM opportunity for IT Services Companies. In this post, I want to elaborate further on it by explaining HOW they can leverage this opportunity.

First step is to understand how customers of clients are using various Social Media channels (like Facebook or Twitter). And since this varies by the industry, IT services companies will need to come up with industry specific Social CRM approach and solution. Domain experts in each industry segment (called Verticals) need to evaluate ways their clients can:

  • integrate social media channels into websites
  • integrate the new channels into their Sales, Marketing & Support processes and systems
  • include social media metrics in performance dashboards and SLAs

Next step for IT services companies is to develop delivery capability to address Social CRM requirements of their clients. They should partner with leading vendors in key areas of Social CRM, namely:

  • Social Media Measurement & Monitoring
  • Customer Community Platforms
  • Social Media and Network Analytics

And finally, once the team has good understanding of the requirements (step 1) and tools (step 2), they should execute prototype or pilot projects with reference to each industry segment (or Vertical) that will demonstrate their capability in the area.

Given the buzz about Social CRM in the industry, I expect demand for “Social CRM” tools and services to pick up substantially in the near future. Those IT services companies who demonstrate thought leadership and build their delivery capability in this area “pro-actively” will emerge as winners. 

Moreover, Social CRM offers a great opportunity for smaller IT services companies to “leap-frog” their larger rivals in this area who might be slow in responding to this opportunity.

What do you think? How should IT Services Companies prepare for Social CRM opportunity?

 

Right time for IT Co.s to offer Social CRM services | Dr. Harish Kotadia

In one of my earlier post, I highlighted the Social CRM opportunity for IT Services Companies. In this post, I want to elaborate further on it by explaining HOW they can leverage this opportunity.

First step is to understand how customers of clients are using various Social Media channels (like Facebook or Twitter). And since this varies by the industry, IT services companies will need to come up with industry specific Social CRM approach and solution. Domain experts in each industry segment (called Verticals) need to evaluate ways their clients can:

  • integrate social media channels into websites
  • integrate the new channels into their Sales, Marketing & Support processes and systems
  • include social media metrics in performance dashboards and SLAs

Next step for IT services companies is to develop delivery capability to address Social CRM requirements of their clients. They should partner with leading vendors in key areas of Social CRM, namely:

  • Social Media Measurement & Monitoring
  • Customer Community Platforms
  • Social Media and Network Analytics

And finally, once the team has good understanding of the requirements (step 1) and tools (step 2), they should execute prototype or pilot projects with reference to each industry segment (or Vertical) that will demonstrate their capability in the area.

Given the buzz about Social CRM in the industry, I expect demand for “Social CRM” tools and services to pick up substantially in the near future. Those IT services companies who demonstrate thought leadership and build their delivery capability in this area “pro-actively” will emerge as winners. 

Moreover, Social CRM offers a great opportunity for smaller IT services companies to “leap-frog” their larger rivals in this area who might be slow in responding to this opportunity.

What do you think? How should IT Services Companies prepare for Social CRM opportunity?

 

Right time for IT Co.s to offer Social CRM services | Dr. Harish Kotadia

In one of my earlier post, I highlighted the Social CRM opportunity for IT Services Companies. In this post, I want to elaborate further on it by explaining HOW they can leverage this opportunity.

First step is to understand how customers of clients are using various Social Media channels (like Facebook or Twitter). And since this varies by the industry, IT services companies will need to come up with industry specific Social CRM approach and solution. Domain experts in each industry segment (called Verticals) need to evaluate ways their clients can:

  • integrate social media channels into websites
  • integrate the new channels into their Sales, Marketing & Support processes and systems
  • include social media metrics in performance dashboards and SLAs

Next step for IT services companies is to develop delivery capability to address Social CRM requirements of their clients. They should partner with leading vendors in key areas of Social CRM, namely:

  • Social Media Measurement & Monitoring
  • Customer Community Platforms
  • Social Media and Network Analytics

And finally, once the team has good understanding of the requirements (step 1) and tools (step 2), they should execute prototype or pilot projects with reference to each industry segment (or Vertical) that will demonstrate their capability in the area.

Given the buzz about Social CRM in the industry, I expect demand for “Social CRM” tools and services to pick up substantially in the near future. Those IT services companies who demonstrate thought leadership and build their delivery capability in this area “pro-actively” will emerge as winners. 

Moreover, Social CRM offers a great opportunity for smaller IT services companies to “leap-frog” their larger rivals in this area who might be slow in responding to this opportunity.

What do you think? How should IT Services Companies prepare for Social CRM opportunity?

 

How IT Services Companies can prepare for Social CRM opportunity

In one of my earlier post, I highlighted the Social CRM opportunity for IT Services Companies. In this post, I want to elaborate further on it by explaining HOW they can leverage this opportunity.

First step is to understand how customers of clients are using various Social Media channels (like Facebook or Twitter). And since this varies by the industry, IT services companies will need to come up with industry specific Social CRM approach and solution. Domain experts in each industry segment (called Verticals) need to evaluate ways their clients can:

  • integrate social media channels into websites
  • integrate the new channels into their Sales, Marketing & Support processes and systems
  • include social media metrics in performance dashboards and SLAs

Next step for IT services companies is to develop delivery capability to address Social CRM requirements of their clients. They should partner with leading vendors in key areas of Social CRM, namely:

  • Social Media Measurement & Monitoring
  • Customer Community Platforms
  • Social Media and Network Analytics

And finally, once the team has good understanding of the requirements (step 1) and tools (step 2), they should execute prototype or pilot projects with reference to each industry segment (or Vertical) that will demonstrate their capability in the area. [pullquote] Those IT services companies who demonstrate thought leadership and build their delivery capability in this area “Proactively” will emerge as winners. [/pullquote]

Given the buzz about Social CRM in the industry, I expect demand for “Social CRM” tools and services to pick up substantially in the near future. Those IT services companies who demonstrate thought leadership and build their delivery capability in this area “Proactively” will emerge as winners. Moreover, Social CRM offers a great opportunity for smaller IT services companies to “leap-frog” their larger rivals in this area who might be slow in responding to this opportunity.

What do you think? How should IT Services Companies prepare for Social CRM opportunity?