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The Future of CRM: Cloud Computing

Today CRM is the de-facto tool for companies to track:

  • Leads
  • Sales meetings and sales opportunities for pipeline forecasting
  • The ability to get service calls resolved while capturing the history of those calls for problem resolution
  • Data to design better products and marketing campaigns.

The big move came when Tom Siebel left Oracle and built the first single point customer relationship management system. Though other CRM tools were on the market, Siebel’s system provided a way of protecting the database while at the same time offering a platform for a development of functions and a user-interface that could be modified and designed to meet various usage needs.

At this time Larry Ellison Oracle responded to the market’s need for a network computing platform that would allow the functionality of the web while catering to the stability of the mainframe environment. Cloud computing came from the concept of having a PC with only a desktop browser and office automation applications on the web that were monitored, managed and controlled by centralized vendors.  The solution was paid for on a rental “service” basis or “SAAS” (Software as a Service) model.

As companies began to trust the internet as a place they could depend on for applications, the required next phase was a need to store corporate data on the web. It is one thing to get access to a word processor application through a browser but when you are storing your documents on vendor’s server, you require a higher degree of security and trust. Cloud Computing offers a middle ground where you can create a secured data storage environment that is available through the internet and secured in its access and controls.

Cloud computing is now going through a new review with the costs of hardware at an all time low. Cloud storage is still considered a premium priced solution. Many companies are seeing that though they want the benefits of their applications and their security to be off loaded to a web solution, it is still too expensive to store data online. The future of cloud will be focusing on storage as its top priority next to security. Once storage and security concerns have been addressed, companies will be able to turn to cloud computing to handle additional functions such as subscription billing management and business process management to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of business operations even more.