If CRM has been a struggle or a passion for you then Infosys’ CRM blogs is the place to be in. Come join us as we discuss the latest trends, innovations and happenings which will have a bearing on CRM.

June 18, 2014

"Proof of Concept" - A key to Customer Relationship

A Proof of concept is used in order to demonstrate the feasibility of a certain idea or a method. It's a demonstration, the purpose of which is to verify that certain concepts or theories have the potential to transform or evolve into a real-world application. Hence, PoC is a prototype that is designed to determine feasibility, but not the deliverable. A Proof of concept is also known as proof of principle.

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June 11, 2014

Can Analytics add substance to marketing reports? - Part 2

Read Part 1 here.

In the previous blog, we have discussed about the common examples to show how use of advanced analytics help create marketing reports and provide better forecast and trends to customers. In this part, we will discuss in detail about the three key areas which we have identified as primary areas of innovation by use of analytics tools.

1. Industry trends and financials: An effective report must capture the industry trends and growth potentials. Analyst reports and predictions from Gartner, Forrester, IDC, and Reuters should be used to derive trend charts, analytics charts, visuals and dashboards. These can give a subject oriented dimensional model to the predictions, and can reflect a 360 degree-view of portfolio, performance and risk in business opportunities.

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Can Analytics add substance to marketing reports? - Part 1

We are in an age where social media captures humongous data about the probable customer base for any product or service. Look at Facebook for example. You post a photo and mention where it is taken, say "at Burj Khalifa, Dubai", the Facebook page for that place will immediately increase the count of visitors for that place (e.g. the "Burj Khalifa" place will show "200209 people have been here" instead of previous "200208 people have been here").

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May 29, 2014

Salesforce1 Service Cloud SOS

Last week I was preparing for my Service Cloud certification and came across a new feature which once again takes Salesforce suite, up and right on the Gartner's Magic Quadrant for the CRM Customer Engagement Center. It is called Salesforce1 Service Cloud SOS or Service SOS in short.

Some of us would know what a rage, a similar offering from Amazon called Mayday had created when it was launched for Kindle Fire. Imagine a service which is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for free. Throughout the session, you are be able to see your Amazon Technical support agent live on your screen, but they won't be able to see you. They can guide you through any feature on your Kindle Fire by drawing on your screen, walking you through how to do something for yourself, or doing it for you. That's service at its best.

Reading further on it, I realized a few other applications have a similar feature. Like Showkit on iOS device which has the same functionality of contacting the service agents but by scheduling a call and not available all the time. The biggest challenge however, for any company is not the use of this technology but the operational setup required. Availability of such a feature in today's highly responsive business environment is definitely a plus but evaluating the need and justifying the cost involved would be the key criteria. Response time to connect, peak/non-peak hours, holiday season, training, workforce management etc. are a just a few amongst the many aspects which needs to be considered.

Salesforce names several companies that were already using its Service Cloud products, such as Cars.com, Inspirato with American Express, Philips and Stanley Black & Decker, who are testing out the SOS button now. Pricing for SOS has not been finalized. A beta is planned for June with a general availability launch early next year.

Although this topic was not covered in the CertificationJ, with every release Salesforce comes up with new features and add-ons and hence we as consultants need to constantly read and update ourselves for offering the best solution to the customer.

May 1, 2014

Spear Phishing - BYOD at Risk

 By Alpesh Chauhan, CRM Lead Consultant, Oracle Practice, Manufacturing Unit, Infosys


I received an email on my official id from a colleague's id, asking me to check details in the attachment to find useful information related to the solution that I have been working recently. I was bit surprised as my colleague was no longer working on that solution. Email appeared to be from company's official id but something was wrong. I called him and was surprised to find that he didn't send that email. I have been target of Spear Phishing attack!!!


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April 21, 2014

Impact of MPOS on CRM

Last month group of my friends visited a rain forest themed store. They were greeted by a store rep who was apparently well equipped to answer all their queries - merchandise pricing, recommending best buy, invoicing, well almost everything! My friends purchased goods while enjoying experience of a life time - not being forced to stand in long queues, wait for the cashier or carry goods back and forth for price checks, comparisons etc. The question which perplexed everyone was how could the store rep quickly respond with pricing updates, recommend add-ons which suited the group and suggest customer centric promotions and offers?

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Advantages of a Catalog driven architecture for Telcos

The acquisitions and consolidation in the Telecom industry have left the CSP's with fragmented systems resulting in lower enterprise agility, poor operational efficiency and customer experience. One of the impacts of the consolidation is the number of variations of products that the Telco ends up with. These product definitions are normally static, siloed and duplicated in various systems. As a result, the sales, marketing and service processes that consume these products end up being confusing and inefficient resulting in overall competitive disadvantage. In this blog, I will talk about how a 'Catalog driven' approach to product management can help address this issue.

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April 12, 2014

"AIM" for successful Cloud CRM implementations...

The CRM space has been undergoing major transformation through more and more customers moving towards cloud based CRM. Some of the cloud CRM players like Salesforce.com are constantly innovating and improving their features through three releases in one year. We should be open to explore and build a robust delivery methodology which should be Scrum based (agile), iterative and focus on speed of delivery without compromising the quality. This is not only an operational change, but should be a cultural change in how we would be executing projects going forward. AIM can be used for Salesforce.com, MSCRM and other CRM packages where the customer experience and time to market is the key for the success of the engagement.





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March 26, 2014

Musings of a victim of irrelevant and over-done marketing campaigns

Of late I've been deeply troubled by the increasing number of calls, emails and SMSes from umpteen number of service providers about offers which are absolutely of no relevance for me. Mind you, some of these are from service providers of whom I'm already an existing customer!

There are 3 variants of this problem -

  1. A barrage of offers / updates from service providers whose services you already avail.
    This is acceptable if it's related to regular purchases (e.g. groceries, restaurants) but why would I need such offers from a courier service provider when I only use their services about 3-4 times in a year?!
  2. Lack of 360 degree information with the service provider about their own customers.
    I received a call recently from my mobile service provider, or possibly their affiliate, asking what mobile connection (pre-paid / post-paid) I had so that they can suggest the best suited offers for me. Now, isn't that the most basic information they need to maintain about me?!
  3. Zero visibility on who all (affiliates / partners) your contact details are shared by your service provider
    This is the most irritating of them all! There are so many calls, emails from service providers who I have never approached nor was planning to avail services from, leaving me in utter confusion as to how they have access to my contact details. Typical culprits - emails about full-time B.Tech / MBA programs that make no sense to me after 10 years of work experience (after a B.Tech and an MBA degree!)

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March 24, 2014

Say Hello to Salesforce 1


Salesforce.com CEO and Chairman during his 2014 Salesforce1 World Tour, Benioff illustrated the new theme IOT: Internet of Customers. IOT is the concept of the plethora of ways a company has to engross their customers, be it mobile, social channels or connected devices. There has been huge demand observed around these various channels and engaging customers through them is an invaluable offering.

If figures from Gartner report are any indication than there would be about 1.9 billion smartphones and tablets shipped across the globe in 2014. Also concurrently more than 4 million apps are built on Salesforce.com. This clearly spectacles that there is a significant buzz profound along the mobile device space and Salesforce.com has taken momentous efforts in order to cater and tap this huge potential demand with Salesforce1.

Salesforce1 has been appreciated as the most revolutionary take away from Dreamforce-13. Salesforce1 App is a mobile application built on top of Salesforce1 platform and offers real time accessibility on the Salesforce data. Currently this mobile app is available on Apple mobile devices with IOS 7 or later and Android phones with Android 4.2 Jelly Beans onwards. It allows any Salesforce user to experience interactive environment around business processes, custom apps, chatter and other CRM functionalities offered by Salesforce. Just within few taps we can achieve an optimized and simple navigation to review details, update and create new records.

Salesforce1 has unified and consolidated SFDC platform and mobile application into a single robust offering that encapsulates core Salesforce functionality, customizations and Appexchange products into a single fused interface. It's a write once deploy anywhere offering and is compatible with all the customizations that have been done by the user in their Salesforce organization instance. Salesforce1 enables sales, service and marketing features of Salesforce in one platform.With Salesforce1 all the key stakeholders have been touched and benefitted ,it has opened myriad opportunities and value offering for Admin, Developer, Independent Software provider and of course the customers.

The era of engaging with the customers has overridden the concept of merely selling the products to the customers, one must be aware of where is your customer, what is he looking for and how conveniently they can be connected to provide required information to them. Salesforce1 could be seen as the product that has emerged out of this very basic and impertinent value offering to the customer.

Though still a long way to go but it can be rightly said that Salesforce is much more than a CRM system now, it has taken a giant stride towards bolstering its identity as pioneer of public cloud development platforms.

Welcome to Salesforce1!