Posts Tagged ‘Beagle Research’

About Beagle Research

Posted: February 14, 2011 in CRM
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In keeping with our belief that video will be an increasingly important content medium, we have published our first, a short piece about Beagle.

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Using emerging technologies to foster more sustainable front office business processes.

Sustainability might be the next big thing in CRM.  I’m betting it is and Beagle Research is initiating an award for sustainability in CRM.  Today.  Now.

Everywhere we look we see not just an industry but also a civilization straining under the demands of growth.  Now, growth is generally a good thing for an economy but one of its hidden characteristics is that it periodically forces us to change the way we do things.  What is affordable and practical one day can become expensive and cumbersome overnight.  We’re living in one of those times.  The solution to such challenges is to find ways to make what we do more sustainable, to substitute, change and innovate new and better ways of doing things.  In business that means our processes and then some.

The things we take for granted in our business dealings are becoming less constant.  Customers are tapped out, the new product engine has stalled and travel is becoming so expensive that it may soon squeeze margins and affect our ability to meet with people.  Some of this is blowback from the recession but other aspects may be a long-term trend forming.  Regardless of the causes, as business people we need to discover and develop solutions that mitigate these influences so that we can continue doing business.

We’ve given these issues considerable thought and in response, today, Beagle Research introduces a new award and report focusing on sustainability and the things that CRM can do to help every business to become more sustainable.

The award and report are called ThinkForwardä.  We borrowed the idea of “think” from Thomas Watson, Sr. of IBM fame and from Steve Jobs each of whom asked us to think and then think differently at critical points in the evolution of our industry.

We believe it’s time to think again but this time we need to think ahead about a world that will be resource constrained in many dimensions.  The conditions we watch and write about in the report show slower growth and rising transportation costs coupled with a customer-base that is growing less interested in absorbing more goods.

Just in time, we also see a market brimming with front office technologies that help vendors and customers to identify opportunities and satisfy them with maximum efficiency, using resources wisely.  We think sustainability provides the organizing principle for the next phase of CRM, a phase filled with opportunity if we focus on crowdsourcing, social media and strategies for substituting intelligent technologies for travel.

We see numerous front office software companies bringing products to market that by themselves may not garner a great deal of attention from the mainstream market but we also see these solutions as keys to a more sustainable business environment.

The ThinkForward report identifies seven companies whose solutions typify the kinds of solutions that, in some cases, may not be core to CRM today but which will be essential in the future.  In one way or another these companies evidence solutions that help vendors better understand and target opportunities, marshal resources and engage customers in new and more sustainable ways.

The award winners include Brainshark, Cloud9 Analytics, Communispace, iCentera, Kadient, Salesforce.com, Unisfair and Zuora.  As our report documents, each of these vendors offers solutions that help their customers to do business in more sustainable ways either by treating customers more like renewable resources, reducing the travel and energy requirements of many front office processes, or by capturing and leveraging crowd wisdom to enable companies to better hone products and messages.

We salute these pioneers and encourage you to consider how making your businesses more sustainable can help drive new revenues and profits as the world continues to change around us.

I wrote a book

Posted: May 13, 2010 in CRM
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I was planning on waiting to announce my new book until I could distribute a few copies to friends but it looks like the news is already out.

I wrote a book.  Have you ever tried it?  It’s a lot of typing for sure.  Actually, if you read this space regularly you have probably read most of it since it’s an anthology of these columns and others arranged by subject rather than date.  That means I didn’t really write a book and you don’t have to rush out to buy it (did I ever mention that I have two kids in college?).  Seriously.

The arrangement by subject is what makes it interesting, at least to me.  Writing a column or a blog on subjects that interest you, like CRM for example, means plowing the same fields from time to time.  And arranging your work by subject matter lets the reader see how consistent your thinking is, or is not.  Fortunately for me, it is and I am.

Oops!  Almost forgot, the title is “Hello, Ladies! Dispatches from the Social CRM Frontier” based on the title piece which looked at some research that said most social media users are women.  There’s more research in there, too, that shows most people on Twitter just watch — only ten percent post things; about once every 74 days, that is.  My point in compiling these pieces was to show the other side of many CRM phenomena and that what’s new and cool might need to come with a small warning label.  Hey, I’m an analyst and that’s what we do.

I tried to select my writings about the subjects I know best and that have been most timely in the last two years and I came up with some you’d expect and others you might not.  So there are sections on CRM, customer experience, social media and cloud computing.  But there are also — among my favorites — sections on economics and sustainability, two areas that are increasingly important.

It was also interesting to see that, at least on my blog, I could be a bit of a potty mouth with titles like “Google grows a pair,” about the dust up between Google and China and “Evil thieving bastards” about the credit card industry’s approach to crM (heavy accent on the “M”).  I’m sure I’ll end up hearing about this from mom.

In a marketplace that no longer takes breaks and where the news cycle is seamless, it was surprising to me that the pieces in this book, arranged by subject, could hang together and possibly even illuminate their subjects.  The book format offers a small amount of perspective compared to the instant idea transmission offered by social media.  That allows for some circumspection even if it’s only about choosing what goes in and what doesn’t.

By way of analogy, they say that the news is the first draft of history.  If that’s so then this book might represent a kind of second draft.  So far, I like what it says about our industry and I am grateful to have the chance to write some of it.

I already mentioned the two kinds in college, right?  Just checking.