CRM for Google?
The times they are a changing. For years the only name in CRM that mattered was Siebel. It was complex, often difficult to integrate (Siebel grew by acquisition so many of its apps didn’t play well together) but thanks to strong integration partners like Accenture it took over the CRM world.
Don’t count Siebel out since it is now part of Oracle, but Salesforce.com (an online CRM solution) has taken the world by storm growing at a much faster rate than its competition. About a year ago Microsoft beefed up its CRM offer considerably and became a contender in the marketplace.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 3.0 provided the robust sales and marketing tools and tightly coupled the application to Microsoft Office including Outlook (the Microsoft email and contact management solution). Microsoft CRM users get tight integration to Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet software and Microsoft Office Word word processing software. The product has taken off like wild fire with large companies adopting it as well as smaller firms.
But the CRM world is about to change yet again — or perhaps I should say it HAS changed. Enter Google. Google Apps is the company’s first foray to try and topple Microsoft’s dominance in the office. There is a free version which includes a spreadsheet, word processor, calendar (sound familiar, Microsoft?) and for a mere $50 a year one can purchase the Premier edition which includes more online storage and support.
Just when everyone thought the CRM market was maturing and only a few major players would survive it looks like a whole new ballgame. Let the moral of the story be that any CRM vendor wishing to survive and thrive needs to offer a wide variety of products that are easy to use, easy to find and ready when they are. Stay tuned.