Most business owners recognize the importance of a good Customer Relations Management (CRM) program for their organization. CRM tools enable them to manage their customer database more efficiently, to increase sales potential of their products through lead generation, and to produce accurate and timely data for business analysis or reports. As such, a lot of business organizations today turn to software solutions companies for the latest CRM tools around.
Small to medium sized companies with limited budgets can look into Cloud-based applications for more affordable Customer Relation Management solutions. The Cloud technology allows users to access applications and store data on remote servers without the burden of hardware and software maintenance. Cloud-based CRM applications that make use of the SaaS (software-as-a-service) model are preferred options for small and medium size businesses because of its practical cost. These programs are usually paid on a subscription basis or on a pay-per-use basis which can also result to savings on IT costs. Some of the latest Customer Relation Management products can be used for Social CRM strategies. Social CRM enables businesses to run and manage their customer relationship campaigns using the social media channels. These strategies utilize a more direct approach in relationship management and data gathering by engaging their customers in public forums or conversations.
Customer Relation Management software providers are continuously upgrading their products to address the changing needs of the market. One can choose from CRM products that range from Installable Systems, Web-Based, Open Source, Cloud-based, and Open Source Hosted CRM Solution. Business owners simply have to choose the ones that best fit their needs.
Recent surveys show that business continuity and disaster recovery are the top priorities facing IT organizations today. Despite this fact, less than 30% of businesses have implemented plans that have actually been successfully tested. While there is significant time and cost involved to fully test your BC/DR plans, it is far cheaper than the cost of downtime from catastrophic loss of key systems or applications. BC/DR is considered much more than simply an insurance policy, though the analogy holds true: while no one likes to pay for it, you cannot afford to do without it.
Unlike insurance, BC/DR is not something you put on the shelf or file away. It’s something that we must continually improve and refine to help ensure we are prepared when the worst happens. We hope that we never have to use it, but we are happy that we have a working plan in place if we do. History shows that businesses that are not prepared, are more likely to suffer significant loss or complete disaster. A solid BC/DR program prepares your organization and its people not only for major events, like a hurricane or flood, but also for the unexpected, like a pipe bursting or a falling tree crashing onto a power line.
Just having a disaster recovery plan is not enough. It must be tested thoroughly and reviewed regularly to ensure it is up to date your environment. While the majority of businesses create their plans based on best practices, most who begin testing their plans find they are only about 60% successful initially, which is typically not sufficient to keep business operating. Performing testing of BC/DR plans provides the opportunity to make changes, so that the plan will be ready if an event does arise. It also allows you to see why some aspects of the plan succeeded and why failures occurred, so you can utilize this information as you go forward in future planning. No single plan works forever; adjustments will need to be made at some point. Testing provides the information to make these changes.
The importance of good and thorough BC/DR planning and testing cannot be understated. It not only protects from outages, it also demonstrates an organization’s BC/DR readiness to regulating bodies and customers that expect compliance. However, given the costs associated with BC/DR, many companies will look to a third party provider that specializes in planning, testing and executing successful plans. SunGard Availability Service is one such provider that understands BC/DR. Through their BC/DR solutions and testing with their Living Disaster Recovery Planning System (LDRPS), which helps customers develop their own plans, SunGard can help ensure that your operations remain intact.
For more information about how SunGard’s recovery systems and practices are synonymous with good BC/DR, please review this white paper here.
Image credit: FreeDigitalPhotos.net
In today’s fast paced business environment, entrepreneurs should be ready to make quick and smart business decisions all the time. The stiff competition, emerging trends, and changing needs of the consumers can easily affect product movements in the market. Monitoring and analyzing factors that may affect the performance of one’s product or service is essential in order for business owners to determine their next move and come-up with effective strategies. In this aspect, business software tools make the job faster, easier and more accurate.
Business software tools provide a cost-effective means to accomplish tedious tasks that require the use of a large volume of data. This usually includes accounting and finance records, logistics, pricing analytics, CRM, campaign analysis, and others. There are some software packages that offer complete solutions for business needs along with those that are designed to address specific needs. Small businesses can start their operations with basic software that often come for free. This includes separate software for communications, contact management, data management, document management and project collaboration. As the business grows, one should be ready to upgrade these tools into a more efficient and more integrated business solution. Software products that offer Customer Relationship Management Solutions, Human Capital Management, Enterprise Applications, Project-based Solutions and Pricing Solutions are some of the most sought after programs today.
The type of software to be purchased will depend upon the operational requirements of the business. It is important for business owners and executives to be actively involved in choosing the software and directing their people on how to use it efficiently. Business Intelligence Solutions are often great partners in making sound business decisions.
Image credit: Salvatore Vuono/FreeDigitalPhotos.net