"With Service Cloud, we are realizing efficiencies that drive revenue and are making more cost-effective decisions. In addition, we are getting a greater visibility into our pipeline and a deeper understanding of our customers," says Matt Brady, Director of Sales Automation for TransUnion.
TransUnion is an information products provider that offers a range of financial services. The company wanted to make its call centers more efficient and allow agents to up-sell or cross-sell customers. A reasonable enough goal.
The organization "sought a way to identify and address bottlenecks in customer call handling, and it wanted to implement state-of-the-art call centers, using best practices such as case closure notifications and case confirmation e-mails," company officials say.
So the company decided to expand its use of Salesforce CRM Enterprise Edition, deploying Service Cloud to its Client Services and Resellers groups and to call centers in Pennsylvania and California.
According to a recent case study presented by Salesforce.com, "it took one person less than a week to customize, brand, and fully deploy the Salesforce CRM customer portal in production."
Salesforce CRM "gives us the ability to react quickly to changes driven by the business and to revise the app in minutes -- not days or weeks -- using point-and-click capabilities," said officials of Qualcomm about the deployment. "With our previous CRM systems, changes were difficult to make and typically deployed in an eight to 12 week release cycle."
Qualcomm wanted a CRM it could roll out for greater user adoption and data unity, finding that the time and energy expended managing its existing on-premise CRM systems "failed to produce equivalent value."
So in 23 days, Salesforce.com officials say, a Qualcomm analyst with only basic online training "rolled out Salesforce CRM Unlimited Edition to 55 initial users in Qualcomm's Enterprise Services group; word of the successful implementation quickly spread, resulting in a replacement of two of the existing large on-premise CRM systems with Salesforce CRM to over 600 users."
Used in operational B2B instances, the Salesforce CRM call center case assignment, escalation, and auto response e-mail capabilities are used by customer service representatives to fuel call center operations across multiple groups.
IT managers at large companies with multiple branch offices or locations "increasingly are relying on WAN optimization to address slow application performance over sagging, slow and overused networks."
Or should be, because if they're not, boy, can you ever tell.
Yet, industry observer John Brandon says, because these same companies are so distributed, "implementing a comprehensive strategy to resolve network congestion issues isn't easy."
Not to mention, Brandon says, that upgrading switches and carrier lines can be "prohibitively expensive." The alternative? Managed WAN-optimization services.
As Brandon says, "a host of providers including AT&T, BT Global Services and Verizon Business have beefed up their managed-services portfolios with options for boosting application performance over their networks."
A managed WAN-optimization service can help a company avoid bandwidth upgrades, Brandon notes.
Many of the most popular databases run on different hardware platforms and a significant number of different versions of Linux and Windows operating environments.
In such a case, the database needs to support as many different configurations as possible without compromising quality. The number of test and development environments required as a result is "substantial," according to the paper, "IBM Software Uses VMware Virtualization For DB2 Development," issued by VMware.
There is another point to consider - the number one concern among DB2 customers - reliability.
Keeping up to date with ever-changing operating systems and service packs is also a challenge. And one crucial finding of the development team for the database studied in the paper, was that they required dedicated server environments for each version of Windows on which it wanted to run tests.
When it came to requiring a dedicated server, the paper's authors noted rather drily, "this was impractical, from both a cost and scheduling point of view."