Friday, October 26, 2007

Why the Flight from On Premise to On Demand CRM Software?

Right now small, medium and large sized businesses all over the world are swiftly outgrowing their On-premise software solutions with hopes of finding a platform that meets their evolving needs. What are companies switching to? Hosted web-based CRM Software Solutions. This is the choice of so many companies today because of its vast features and ability to streamline workflow processes while maintaining a single database repository allowing for real-time information updates.

From the point the market place started becoming more global and less local there have been needs for advanced business software, something that can keep up with the fast passed market and also continually advance as-well. This is where hosted On-demand Customer Relationship Management Software, also known as CRM Software, comes in to play. CRM Software offers businesses exactly what they need; something they once went to traditional on premise software for now can be achieved with hosted CRM software. People may wonder why change to hosted CRM Software when on premise software is working fine. There are many reasons to make this change an easy decision and this is illustrated in the large number businesses now electing for hosted CRM Software.

According to Forrester study, CRM Software and services experienced growth of 7% from 2005 to 2006 to reach roughly $8.4 billion, growth of this market is believed to remain steady reaching an estimated $10.9 billion by 2010. Meanwhile other researchers estimate CRM Software and services to grow to $18 billion by 2010.

With on premise software comes many draw backs; extensive customization needs, high cost of start up, slow return on investment (ROI), upgrades, infrastructure of servers and maintenance of them. These are the reasons so many people are making the move towards hosted CRM Software, with cost said to be the biggest factor.

From the point a company decides it needs some form of business management software, or needs to upgrade its platform, one of the first things thought of is the great cost to get their new software in place. Hosted CRM Software breaks the traditional ways by offering Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS, which means a business only pays for what they need. Opposed to traditional boxed software, hosted CRM Software offers a variety of options allowing a company to have their platform up and running just how they want it, with no unused options. Being a SaaS also means there is no large upfront cost, it is paid for on a monthly basis determined by the number of users. For example offers its CRM Software solutions starting at $40/user/month, while Salesforce offers its CRM Software solutions starting at $65/user/month. This is pleasing to companies because the cost of this software doesn't come from their capital budget, rather they can use operational expenses.

Once a company has decided to make the commitment to hosted CRM Software solutions they quickly see why it was a smart decision. Customization of your platform is easy and can often be done within days or weeks instead of months and years with on premise software. There is no need to spend a large amount of money on a box of software upfront or for onsite servers or the maintenance of them. Hosted CRM Software is sold as Software-as-a-Service, meaning you only pay for what you need and it's typically a pay as you go monthly fee. Since there is a low cost of start up, a company's ROI is much faster then traditional software. With this form, upgrades typically happen 4 to 5 times a year and are automatic, also being web based means soon as the upgrade is out, your automatically working with it.

While you work with your CRM Software different vendors are constantly working on upgrading and streamlining their platforms workflow, for example Microsoft, Salesforce and are due to release their new platforms in the near future. According to a release by their new platform V9 is said to streamline workflow to a new level, "Highlights include AJAX drag-and-drop layout and workflow Studios, Order and Inventory Management, Web 2.0 mash-ups, and upgrades to the Web Services API" are to be included.

Before a company is running smoothly with any new CRM Software it typically needs to be tailored to best suit their workflow processes. With traditional on premise software this was a big undertaking and could require months or years to complete. Hosted on demand CRM Software makes this process quick and easy often being completed in days or weeks. This means a company is spending less time trying to make their software work for them and more time working with their software, allowing them to get back to what's important.

The user interface developed by many hosted CRM Software vendors, such as, makes it possible for administrators to easily customize the platform themselves with options like custom tabs.

Traditionally, businesses required large IT departments to set in place and maintain servers and worry about security of their data. These tasks are no longer in the hands of individual businesses; CRM Software vendors handle all these issues at no extra cost. This comes as a relief and ensures that your company is always working on the most up to date system without worrying about their own infrastructure becoming out of date.

When a company purchases traditional on premise software they spend a lot of time working on an out of date platform and often must pay for upgrades. In today's fast growing market, receiving software once a year does not provide companies with the most efficient platform. With hosted CRM Software updates are typically released 4 to 5 times a year and are seamlessly incorporated in the existing platform in real time. Being web hosted online, once an update is released everyone is now working with the most up to date software platform, usually at no extra cost.

The ability to pay for hosted CRM Software per month allows for a much faster ROI, especially since the platform can be up and running so quickly. This feature is excellent for small to medium sized businesses who don't work with the budget of their larger competitors, giving them a chance to level the playing field and enjoy the same great benefits of a unified database and streamlined workflow processes. A fast ROI is also made possible because there is no need to have infrastructure on site like servers to store information; this is left up to the CRM Software vendors. Since the use of this infrastructure comes with your purchase of hosted CRM Software, it relieves a company from having to deal with the costs of maintenance and security, freeing up a companies own IT department.

These are a few of the key reasons why hosted on-demand CRM Software solutions are an excellent choice for today's businesses, who want to achieve the best workflow with a custom business management solution. The largest reason so many companies have made the move towards hosted CRM Software is the low price of operating it and the ability to pass off the worry about up keeping their technology, since all they need is an internet connection.

by : Josh W

about the author:
I am a graduate of Cape Breton University with a B.A. double major in communication and political science. Always having an interest in business management lead me to becoming a freelance writer for various Customer Relationship Management sites as-well as keeping up regular blogs. I encourage feedback on articles and blogs written, I'm always trying to increase my knowledge of this rapidly growing CRM Software market.

No comments: