Recently we’ve moved our sales and services group to the cloud. In fact a few clouds! Yes, we’ve got a complete souffle of clouds. As our clients know, we’re a solution provider. Being a true solution provider means you need to understand a wide array of products and techniques. Really, a solution provider needs to know first hand how it feels to make that transition. Software is available in many types and can be molded if necessary but the services must be right on the spot. So, we felt that it was necessary, to experience it from many angles and to be in at least a few of our cloud based offerings, not just one as we had done in the past.
But, what an undertaking that is. We’ve determined that our long term production system will be SugarCRM backing that up with a Zoho CRM instance and finally, for Social CRM (sCRM) our founder will utilize Nimble. These systems will be integrated at our point of reference. Be advised though, we would not recommend so many at once for any organization.
So some might ask, WHY? Why are you doing what sounds so silly then?
Let me clarify. It’s to your benefit that we would do this silly project. We felt that our recommendations needed to be the ultimate in flexibility and configurability to meet your demands. So, we knew that we would need only the highest quality products to work with and recommend. Our journey continued and we had many considerations to evaluate. Given that our clients might need to be able to keep their data internal on in-house servers for compliance requirements, we felt we should experience a cloud to on-premise project. We chose SugarCRM as our obvious choice. We ran SugarCRM on-demand (meaning cloud), we then moved it to our local servers and ran for a while. Then we chose to put it back to the cloud for our business. We’ve done many on-premise to cloud conversions but going in reverse can certainly be a challenge. SugarCRM is one of the few CRM products available on the market that allows this flexibility. If you are looking to have an in-house CRM system on your own servers, for your comfort or compliance needs, SugarCRM is an excellent choice. With SugarCRM there are no additional product costs to bringing the software to your server.
Next we felt that a number of clients may just want an “out of the box” cloud based system. One that has some customizing flexibility but doesn’t require it. Visual appeal can play heavily with some clients moving from the older CRM systems to cloud based systems. To meet the flexibility, user friendliness and visual appeal, we chose Zoho CRM. Zoho provides a complete suite of products from CRM to remote support and bookkeeping modules. Our services focus on the CRM as you might imagine (we’ve been CRM for 23 years).
Finally but certainly not least, our most successful clients will require, in fact, demand strong real-time social media tools and abilities. If your business development person is spending more than 30-60 minutes a day monitoring and participating in the social conversations, you’ll really appreciate the Nimble product. Many of our customers used older CRM systems that we also utilized for many years; back in the mining days (ha) and before riding the range, you get the product name right? The founder of Nimble sCRM is Jon Ferarra, the founder of GoldMine Software Inc – a market leader in CRM 10 years ago. Jon’s team at Nimble has done a great job of integrating social with CRM. As was mentioned earlier, our founder spends most of his day in Nimble, the social media customer relationship manager tool for the new business developer.
Many prospects and clients ask, “Is my data safe in the cloud? I don’t want my data in the cloud, there’s all the security contacts….” Our answer to that is, “you do banking online right?” , “you purchase goods over the wire, right?” Well if you are willing to make deposits and transfers of your life funds, then why would you not feel comfortable allowing your contacts and business associates to access data in the cloud?
As you can see, there are reasons for each tool in business. We are here to assist should you need guidance with your journey to the cloud based business system.
Let us know how we might help.