Do Something Today

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2002-04-29 Print this article Print

Do Something Today

By studying customer behavior in a larger context, and not just tabulating data on its own sales, the enterprise can identify important opportunities for partnership.

Zarghamee offers the example of a casino, which should not be satisfied merely knowing what games people play within its own walls; casinos track all places where their customers spend money. "They can offer frequent-flyer promotions," said Zarghamee, "and tie in where people stay and offer hotel discounts."

Revenues from casino gaming may look like a zero-sum game, in which no casino can increase its profits except at the expense of its competitors. But strategic packaging can combine the interests of complementary businesses to create a more attractive overall package—once the product has been properly defined, not as gaming, but as a form of travel and entertainment. The more complete the package, the more its value to the customer exceeds the sum of the costs of the parts—and the more profit flows from that difference.

CRM success also depends on a re-alistic timeline. "Theres a direct cor-relation between project failure and senior management turnover," said Horne. Horne added that, in his expe-rience, projects that take several years to deploy fail for two reasons: "The person who signs off on the project isnt there for its completion, and the rules for evaluation change in midstream."

Its better, Horne advised, to "eat the elephant in small bites. Implement a series of projects that demonstrate how CRM will work within the company after analyzing the data to learn where you will get the biggest bang for the buck."

Most modern enterprises already have more data about internal and external interactions than they effectively use. Whats missing are the connections between that data and top-line strategies and bottom-line results.

It takes managers, not monolithic CRM suite vendors, to define the enterprise mission and identify useful measures of success and value-adding strategies. When management performs that function, IT can do its job.

Technology Editor Peter Coffee can be reached at

Links to other stories in this package:
  • CRM: Spreadsheet of the New Millennium?
  • CRM: Best Practices
  • CRM: Heads Up
  • CRM: Web Resources
  • CRM: The Next Generation

    Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developersÔÇÖ technical requirements on the companyÔÇÖs evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter companyÔÇÖs first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.

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