One of the biggest shifts in the CRM minefield is unified communications. Social CRM and BI (Business Intelligence) integration are other aspects that is driving the shift in today’s cultural and economic change.
There is a increased demand for cloud computing-based customer service solutions in the SMB market. Luckily, there is no need for expensive telephony and customer service or service desk type of software.
The slogan is, “all you need is a handset and a browser” and you’re in business.
We are seeing more network-to-desktop computer telephony integration applications out there. Thus, more and more mergers and collaborations are making the news, from mega-giants Salesforce.com and Cisco, to FreeCRM.com and VoiceCRM.com.
VentureVoip.com is working on a new Open Source CRM type package which integrates with Asterisk.
If you are familiar with Asterisk, its packages are based via modules. Asterisk uses the dual license model under the GNU General Public License (GPL).
If you are not familiar with Asterisk, it is similar to a PBX where intra-office users can connect to one another, as well as the public switched telephone network (PSTN) and VoIP (Voice over IP).
Other PBX features include conference calling, voice mail attendants, ACD (automatic call distribution) and IVR (interactive voice response).
While you are at it, inbound and outbound calling needs to be addressed.
Web collaboration such as WebEx are becoming more mainstream as travel budgets are getting slashed. To view some low cost (or free) solutions, see my previous article on Toll-free, Cheap or Free Conference Calls and Web Presentations.
Based on the above, you can see there are plenty of opportunities in the CRM minefield that goes well beyond CRM.
It is limited by your imagination.