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Social CRM Tech Trends -- Facebook Integration

For the past decade and a half, I have been involved with CRM implementations in various capacities. In that time, I have participated in the evolution of CRM from the days of in-house overly customized implementations to today's cloud based hosted CRM applications and ever evolving social media landscape. After mulling over the idea of sharing my experiences and thoughts through blog posts, I have finally decided to throw my hat in the ring.

For the past decade and a half, I have been involved with CRM implementations in various capacities. In that time, I have participated in the evolution of CRM from the days of in-house overly customized implementations to today's cloud based hosted CRM applications and ever evolving social media landscape. After mulling over the idea of sharing my experiences and thoughts through blog posts for a few months, I have finally decided to throw my hat in the ring.

I wish to present through my blog posts, my perceptions / opinions on the management, business and technical facets of CRM applications. I look forward to your  comments  and ideas.  The point of blogging, after all is to engage with people of like interests in a community atmosphere.  In that way, we can all benefit, regardless of whether you are a CRM consultant, a user or just someone interested in CRM and related technologies.

Let's begin with an interesting development in the 'Social for CRM' space. In a Q&A article posted on the Oracle website recently, Aaron Shidler, Oracle's Vice President of CRM Product Strategy and Management, mentioned that they are enabling the creation of service requests and leads from their Social Listening solutions. This implies that users of Oracle's Siebel CRM application will have greater flexibility in tracking customer complaints as well as generating leads from competitors' sites.

While such features are already available by integrating Siebel with tools like Buzzient Enterprise, this adds to an important question in the ongoing "CRM Wars" among the major technology vendors: How simple will this feature be for organizations with CRM software installations to enable and use?

For an example of what Oracle's competition in this space already offers, don the hat of a 'non-technical administrator' and log into the Developer Edition of  With the help of a 'how-to' document, set up a connection between an Account/Contact in with a specific account in Facebook and you'll see how powerful this feature really is.

Say, for example, you are a dissatisfied customer and you've posted your comments on your Facebook Fan Page.  The Salesforce application will automatically generate a case for the attention of a customer service representative without you having to call the customer support line or send an email or letter. The key points here are the simplicity and ease of use.

I look forward to getting my hands on the aforementioned Siebel features and see how they compare to the ease and convenience of the features. I'll be posting my findings in a future blog. 

In the meantime, I look forward to your comments and suggestions.  Is there a CRM solution you are interested in or features and functions that you'd like to see?


Good article. In the current internet world the Customers can post their concerns/issues to the company without even calling their Service reps. Being social media is more popular it shows that companies are extending the usage of internet social to help them identify operational and product issues, to sell products, services, and for a variety of customer service–related activities and also they need to be proactive and engaging in order to address customers’ expectations. Social media is predominantly changing the customer service domain.

Excellent article Dwarakesh. As you mentioned the social landscape is fast becoming an integral part of all major CRMs. It is noteworthy that it is no longer a differentiator. Will be interesting to see what the next differentiator would be.

Good article Dwarakesh.

I air my product concern over social media if I am completely dissatisfied with the product or the manufacturer. Typically I would not expect to hear back from the manufacturer. But as a consumer, I would be delighted if my grievance gets resolved. Finally, consumers are not at the mercy of a call center reps...

A good blog on Social CRM put forth in a simple language understandable by everyone.

Reading the introduction of your blog has excited me to understand the complete evolution of CRM to Social CRM (from your experience) in your simple words.

Also, if my understanding is right, I feel that you have intentionally left the blog open - ended and therefore, I eagerly expect your future blogs.

Great blog post, Dwarakesh. Thanks also for mentioning Buzzient, especially the fact that we ALREADY integrate social media with Oracle (SaaS and Siebel), not to mention Zendesk, NetSuite, Salesforce and other apps.

A key issue I'd love your opinion on is the need for heterogeneity; large companies often have multiple different vendor apps in CRM and social might need to address them all. I wonder what your thoughts are on how large organizations tackle social when they're working with more than 1 CRM app vendor?

Thanks again for a very thoughtful post.


Tim Jones

Thanks Tim for your interest in my blog post and for your kind words of appreciation and encouragement.

The need to address CRM application heterogeneity that you mentioned is indeed an important topic. This is especially true for companies seeking to align their customer data and 'social CRM' strategies as part of their overall roadmap. The challenge, of course, is that responsibility for the two tends to rest with different organizations. For example, if a company’s the customer service function uses multiple apps to update interactions, the question is how to aggregate the resulting data to create a 360 degree customer view. By coming up with the right answer answering this question, the company can manage its social media customer interactions within its CRM data structures. How to take aggregation to an even higher level (i.e. big data), one that takes into account data from social media, for example, also warrants careful though and planning. Taking this topic to that level, however, warrants its own blog based on additional research and discussion. Watch this space.

Hi Dwarakesh, I did not understand the part where you mention “This implies that users of Oracle's Siebel CRM application will have greater flexibility in tracking customer complaints as well as generating leads from competitors' sites.” Say If I am telco A and a customer has visited the site of telco B, how do I bring that customer to the fold of telco A? Can you please elaborate it with an example?

Himanshu, that's an excellent question - thanks for posting the same. This requirement can be fulfilled by intelligently deploying social listening tools in conjunction with CRM software. For example, Oracle has a Social Engagement and Monitoring Cloud Service that allows companies to listen to what customers are saying on social channels and also monitor competitors. When that service is integrated with the CRM application, it should be feasible for the sales person in telco A to seek out a customer of telco B by enabling the appropriate features of the service. For more information, you may like to review the data sheet for this service available on Oracle's website.

Hey Dwarkesh,

Interesting post on explaining some aspects of Social CRM to a layman. We have done some great work in this regard probably at a time when the clients were still treating social media and crm as separate silos. It actually feels good to see technology vendors finally adopting to this.

I believe Social CRM is the next big trend in the market to invest on.Unsatisfied clients can be tracked through social chatter.If they belong to competitors,they can be approached for a better solution.Social media campaigns can be managed too.So as all big players are making their moves,so what matters is who adopts it faster and better.

Thanks for your post Nishith. Yes, currently the major CRM vendors are actively seeking to out-do each other with respect to their social for CRM offerings. As you correctly pointed out, system integrators like Infosys have done good work in the past in this area and I believe should be well poised to benefit from the current direction in which the CRM vendors are headed.

By the way, I liked your post on CRM Essentials for Group-Buying Sites and have included its URL here for the benefit of others that visit my blog:

Thanks for your post Premraj. Social for CRM is getting a lot of attention recently even though it has been around for a while. Salesforce has been active in this area and the others are not far behind. As you have correctly pointed out, quicker adopters will certainly gain the advantage.

@Himanshu: Without going into detail, that's exactly what we're doing at Buzzient with our integration of Siebel. We've recently signed up a new carrier, and have a pipeline of others interested in social crm. They universally want to not only monitor their own service feedback on social channels, but that of their customers. I call this "Gold, Silver Bronze" analysis. Every company wants to be "Gold", but they also want to monitor Silver and Bronze to see how well they are doing, as well as peel off disgruntled customers.

I made a blog post about what we're seeing in Social for Telco here:

Best Regards,


Tim - thanks for sharing your blog post about Social for Telco. I like the 'vendor-agnostic insurance policy' that your product offers with respect to migrating between CRM vendors. When companies revisit their CRM strategies / roadmaps in this ever changing landscape, it at least simplifies the 'social listening' part of the decision making process.

Hey Dwarkesh,

Apologies for commenting late as I didn't receive any notification on the blog comments :). Guess, we need to reach out to marketing team to enable this critical feature :).

And, also am grateful that you have mentioned my blog post in the comments. Thanks for it. In my client interactions, one common trend I have noticed is that not many companies are willing to blend enterprise and social view as they feel it might pose a legal risk. Though there are multiple options by which it can be avoided, the excitement has to come from clients. Though I am very optimistic about the future of Social CRM.


Hi Mr.K.S.Dwarakesh Iyengar,

At the outset,I appreciate your style of writing which is very clearly interactive - nice.

Now,To me:: No doubt social media paves way for fine tuning product / service deliveries of the business entities,inline with the "User's" expectation,whereby Business objective is met,way before the visible competition.

I have a query::Does all the customers/Users interact in social media with the same identity of their purchase of product/service ? Okay,let us assume that concern expressed about a product/service,irrespective of the identity,can be addressed for betterment of future delivery - Now it lands up into another query :: Does "ALL" the opinion expressed in social media ( Be it Good/Bad about a product/service,reflects the exact truth of the product/service ?

So,subjecting the data collected to analysis,then addressing / accepting the concern,may place the facts nearer to acquisition,which brings success.

Having said this,a query may rise "Is Social Media is a interactive tool for enhancing product / service delivery ?" I will "YES" very much. - Then What & How? the query will float in mind - By creating a tag on "comment / concern" of a specific data,then socially interacting with the source of the "comment / concern" to draw a actual essence of it - which then can be subjected to big data analysis,for betterment of product/service.

Tools that tag the comments in social media,should have the provision to socially interact with "comment / concern" source( even if not in live ),will pave way for narrowing to the actual fact.

With all due respect,if the tools that you were mentioning might already would have addressed these essentials in a specific way / pattern ,if so please ignore the above opinion of mine.

So,by and large Social Media is really a Boon for both the "Users & Producers / Providers " - In such way the "Time" had ever seen in the past.

Thanks Venkatesapalani, for your kind words of appreciation. You have raised valid points about the extent to which comments on Social Media are factual. Nonetheless, the narrow purview of my blog post is that of known customers of a company being tracked in Facebook via the Salesforce application. This integration is typically such that the identity of the person on Facebook is the same as the one in the Salesforce system. So, this is genuine 'voice-of-the-customer' that can be treated as factual and acted upon earnestly.

I really like your views on social media integration with siebel which is a very broad subject..
I have written this post on Linkedin integration, may be it will help someone..

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