The Future of Stand-Alone CRM
Companies must combine project management with CRM to extend and deepen client relationships.
by Scott DeFusco find a voice. Companies are seeking inte- meets both the ERP and CRM require-
Tuesday, January 18, 2005 grated systems that link core management ments of their clients in an integrated fash-
functions, such as planning, monitoring, ion. When these solutions are built and
The future of CRM software is not a rosy accounting, and reporting, to maximize designed to work together, the vendor can
one for CRM-only vendors. Despite well- business performance. Once these compo- best help ensure that the solution is meet-
developed solutions adapted to meet the nents are integrated, all critical client ing these specific needs. Whether the
specific needs of differing business envi- information is then housed in one central- client is in professional services like gov-
ronments, companies will soon find that ized system, allowing a company to ernment contracting, IT/information ser-
they cannot have CRM as their sole focus streamline its business processes. Many vices, or construction, a vendor offering a
to the exclusion of other business solu- CRM vendors have been espousing the tightly integrated solution knows exactly
tions. Companies that focus on a single fact that they can integrate into any ERP or what goes into each module of the client's
CRM solution will struggle as more holis- business management system, but that's product and can provide market-oriented
tic solutions offer clients a more integrated only true up to a point. solutions for these increasingly segmented,
and tailored approach to streamlining their Although many companies are very specialized businesses.
business processes. good at CRM, they are not successfully
Many companies today could achieve integrating that functionality with other The future of CRM
greater project performance and better business systems like accounting, human The standalone CRM company will not be
client relationships if their CRM and pro- resources, and project management. If a a factor in business planning in the next five
ject management systems and processes CRM solution is not integrated with pro- years. Companies will either be acquired by
were integrated. When project management ject management, people in the firm may ERP or other companies, or will reemerge
is not integrated with CRM, firms are miss- be unaware of issues the client is having looking very different than they do now.
ing many of the critical client interactions with an ongoing project. Calling the client CRM vendors are under pressure from all
that occur during the course of executing a to push additional services with no markets. To survive they will become much
project. Project managers need access to all acknowledgement of existing problems more niche-oriented. On the other hand,
interactions — past and present — with a can be very frustrating to the client, and ERP vendors with no CRM solution will
client to effectively leverage the relation- very costly to the company. The back- and also begin to look different. They will need
ship during the project delivery phase. front-end systems must work closely to offer functionality that allows them to
Similarly, other stakeholders in the firm together to achieve success. partner with other vendors, or will have to
need to be aware of the critical interactions Technology vendors today are focus- build their own integrated solutions to be a
that project managers have with clients dur- ing on two main ways to meet the need for factor in business planning.
ing the delivery of projects. truly integrated systems. Some have
For these reasons, companies today — acquired a CRM system and are selling it in About the Author
especially those in project management — concert with their ERP solution. They do Scott DeFusco is vice president of design
know that CRM alone cannot run their busi- this because it allows them to control the and product management, professional ser-
ness. In fact, companies that combine pro- destiny of their solutions and offer a truly vices automation for Deltek Systems Inc.
ject management with CRM are able to integrated product. Other ERP vendors With more than 8,000 customers, Deltek is
extend and deepen their client relationships. have partnered with CRM vendors, but the the leading provider of enterprise resource
resulting CRM component tends to be planning solutions for project-based busi-
CRM vendors struggling generic and must be customized for each nesses and professional services firms.
Those CRM vendors that are not tied to specific application. Deltek enables companies to maximize
specific back-office or enterprise resource To succeed in this space, vendors profitability and productivity by integrating
planning (ERP) systems are struggling to must have a strong, vertical solution that all aspects of their businesses.
Reprinted from CRM Magazine, January 18, 2005, Phone 310-443-4226, Web, www.destinationcrm.com/cr/dcrm_cr_index.asp. 500332
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