Yes, without some level of system consolidation in CRM, you’re going to have chaos. However, you don’t want to go from chaos to vendor bondage by rationalizing too much. This would mean putting up with the tyranny of product mediocrity and going through the bait and switch roller coaster, where you were offered a mediocre product at low cost, only to be hit with sticker shock when the contract is up for renewal.
History has showed time and again that general-purpose CRM vendors have mediocre (more commonly, bare bone) product features in specific CRM areas like customer engagement, and have not been successful in sustaining product innovation when they acquire new technologies. Often, they jettison acquired technologies to eliminate redundancy or for other reasons. Meanwhile, clients of acquired companies wait nervously, wondering what lies ahead. On the other end are point-product vendors, some of who innovate, but the point approach leads to disjointed silos and nightmarish system fragmentation. How do you balance the need to consolidate with the need to innovate in CRM?
I think that CRM falls into two broad categories: Transactional CRM (e.g. sales force automation, eCommerce engines), and engagement CRM (e.g. proactive offers, cobrowse, web self-service). One could also make a case for analytics as another area, although it is covered by technologies in the two groups. There’s a sweet middle ground for consolidation, and I believe these two broad groups—transactional CRM and engagement CRM—is where it’s at. What is unique about eGain is that it not only offers a single platform for all your engagement CRM needs but also allows you to consolidate engagement CRM without compromising functionality in any interaction channel—email, chat, cobrowse, phone, self-service, social, mobile etc. Year after year, our individual apps have been vying with our overall suite for analyst recognition and industry awards. Moreover, eGain not only offers multichannel interaction analytics but can also integrate with transactional CRM data for true 360-degree analytics and insight. So, with eGain, you can consolidate like President Bush (Senior) would – prudently – and not worry about innovation! Why not get started now?