CRM Adoption ‘Biggest Problem’ in 83 Percent of Cases, Wigan Gets CRM Treatment, CDC and Savills Asia Pacific, PacificNet Q3 Results, UltraSoft Wins UK CRM Award

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CRM Adoption ‘Biggest Problem’ in 83 Percent of Cases, Wigan Gets CRM Treatment, CDC and Savills Asia Pacific, PacificNet Q3 Results, UltraSoft Wins UK CRM Award

By David Sims
David at firstcoffee d*t biz
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Van Morrison’s hugely enjoyable album St. Dominic’s Preview:
Industry observer Niall Byrne has reported on a newly released survey from Really Simple Systems finding that “four fifths of senior executives cite employee resistance to using customer relationship management (CRM) software as the biggest hurdle they face when implementing the technology.”
Really Simple Systems, which sells hosted CRM software, surveyed 500 users of this technology in the United Kingdom, “encompassing SME owners, directors, and sales, marketing and IT managers.” Fully 83 percent said getting the staff to use the software was their biggest challenge, Byrne reports:

“The survey also found that 72 percent of the respondents said they would be prepared to trade functionality in their CRM systems for ease of use.”

“Too often companies make purchasing decisions for applications based on features, not ease of use, and then find that those extra features get in the way of usability,” he quotes John Paterson, CEO, Really Simple Systems as saying. “CRM adoption has always been an issue and the solution is to make the software easy to use, not more complex. Companies need to make sure that simplicity is as important a factor as functionality when choosing CRM systems.”

That nearly three quarters of the people surveyed are prepared to trade functionality in their CRM systems for ease of use is “indicative of an increasing desire for CRM products to provide core functionality in an easy-to-use package rather than products which in their attempts to tick all the boxes become unwieldy,” Paterson said.

The survey, Byrne reports, also found that “43 percent of respondents use less than half of their existing CRM system’s functionality, 51 percent said synchronizing data was a major issue and 67 percent said finding time to evaluate CRM systems was a major problem.”
CRM vendor CDC Software, a wholly owned subsidiary of CDC Corporation, has announced today that Savills Asia Pacific has adopted CDC Software’s Pivotal CRM suite of applications for customer relationship management, property management, valuation, and agency services needs.

Since implementing Pivotal CRM, Savills Asia Pacific has seen “a shortened development cycle, a decrease in development costs, an increase in the size of its client base and a decrease in sales and leasing cycles,” according to CDC officials.

With more than 80 offices in over 20 countries, Savills sells property services industry in the Asia Pacific region, operating in Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Macao, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.

Savills’ U.K. and Europe had already switched over to Pivotal CRM, so Savills Asia Pacific decided to adopt the system as well. Using Pivotal CRM as the foundation, Savills Asia Pacific created a joint CRM/ property management system and is now measuring benefits that include enabling agents to manage twice as many clients as before.

“Pivotal CRM has lowered our cost of development and accelerated our ability to bring new acquisitions onto the same system,” said Avi Raju, director of Asia Information Technology for Savills Asia Pacific.
Over 300,000 citizens under the wing of Wigan Metropolitan Borough Council could benefit from a new partnership designed to “transform council performance and reduce costs,” according to officials of Northgate.
In an agreement worth £400,000 over four years, Northgate’s citizen-relationship management service will be introduced at Wigan council, as the authority seeks to build upon its “excellent” CPA rating.

This service will encourage the council to deliver continuous improvement in public services for local citizens and businesses, Northgate officials say, including such benchmarks as resolving over 80 percent of customer queries at the first point of contact and equipping staff with the tools to provide service with access to information for answering multiple service enquiries.

These enhancements are taking place as part of a wider program to change the way the council and its partners deliver public services. A Joint Service Center is under development to enable a range of agencies including the council, the police, fire service and the voluntary sector to deliver citizen-centered services. It should commence service early in 2011.

The center is slated to provide an Information and Learning Zone with a library and One Stop Shop, a Healthy Living Zone incorporating a new pool and “dry” leisure facilities together with health and social care services.
PacificNet, a CRM vendor and seller of gambling technology in China, has reported un-audited results for the third quarter, ended September 30, 2007.
Quarterly revenue was $9,802,000, approximately 7 percent less than the same period last year (2006 Q3: $10,525,000) due to lower non-core (low margin) mobile telecom products distribution business in China. Revenues from its multiplayer electronic gambling machine product line to casino operators reached approximately $1 million for the third quarter, an increase of 99 percent as compared to Q2 2007.
The Quarterly gross profit was $2,374,000, of which 37 percent was gambling product related, representing an increase of 115 percent as compared to $1,107,000 for Q3 2006.
The Quarterly operating income was $137,000, a turnaround compared to Operating Loss of $618,000 for Q3 2006. Operating Income margin increased to 2 percent from 6 percent in Q3 2006, as the company continued to gain traction on the high margin gaming technology business.
The Quarterly net loss of ($220,000), or EPS of ($0.02) basic/diluted loss per share, represents a quarter-over-quarter increase of 80 percent as compared to a loss of ($1,115,000), or EPS of ($0.09) basic/diluted loss per share for the same quarter of 2006.
Total revenues for the first nine months of 2007 were $28,090,000, representing a decrease of 13 percent as compared to $32,332,000 for the same period of 2006. The gross profit for the first nine months of FY2007 was $7,274,000, an increase of 57 percent, as compared to $4,622,000 for the same period of 2006.
The net loss for the first nine months of this year was ($639,000) or EPS of ($0.06) per basic/diluted loss per share, as compared to net income of $604,000, or $0.02 per basic/diluted earnings per share for the same period of prior year.
“Due to the dynamic nature of the rapidly evolving gaming market in Macau and Asia,” PacificNet officials say, “the company will not be providing detailed revenue and profit projections at this time.”
A British supplier of integrated software products for CRM, licensing and billing, UltraSoft Technologies, has won the BCA Trade Supplier of the Year award, for “outstanding performance in the delivery of tangible operational and revenue benefits to operators of flexible managed space across the UK,” according to UltraSoft officials.

The award was presented to UltraSoft at the Business Centre Association’s 7th Annual Industry Awards ceremony held in London recently.

BCA chairman Tony Waldron said, “It’s the quality and efficiency of supplier service provision that is the key differentiator of our industry. With all trade suppliers striving to excel in delivering the highest level of service, value for money and operational benefits, the judges’ task was tough and complex.”
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