Michael Maoz

A member of the Gartner Blog Network

Michael Maoz
VP Distinguished Analyst
13 years at Gartner
26 years IT industry

Michael Maoz is a research vice president and distinguished analyst in Gartner Research. His research focuses on CRM and customer-centric Web strategies. Mr. Maoz is the research leader for both the customer service and support strategies area and customer-centric Web… Read Full Bio

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Look above the Cloud at Dreamforce.

by Michael Maoz  |  September 19, 2012  |  Comments Off

 Dreamforce isn’t Woodstock, nor is it CBGB, the old Bleeker Street joint where, if you were lucky a long time ago you were introduced to Talking Heads. Nor is it exactly Billy Graham-style enthusiasm. But it is a bit of all of these experiences wrapped around a technology theme. If you are attending Dreamforce, or if a colleague is, look closely at the success stories. Very closely.

Back in the late ’90s there was a similar near-intoxication with another CRM system. There is only one point to this: Depending on to whom you spoke – the person who purchased the system, or deployed the system, or used the system every day – you got a different story (sometimes a radically different story) about the level of success and satisfaction achieved.

Beauty and success are in the eye of the beholder, and it can happen that the person responsible for a ‘buy decision’ of a software system has too much at stake to be objective. The end user of the system is in the best position to serve as a fair and objective evaluator, but most often they are not the ones quoted in the Press or on vendor websites.

So here is the simple request: ask to speak to end users of the system that you hope to deploy. Not the vendor, nor the vendor partner, nor the video of the project manager or the consulting team or the CEO/CIO – leave that to the marketing teams. You want the name and telephone and email of someone using the system every day in the same context, industry, and integration set that you need – in your geography.

Enough about that! I see that about 200 of you plan to show up to my speaking session at Dreamforce this Thursday at 3PM – come on up before I get on stage, or hang out after and we can talk about things you are working on. If you forget where I am, there is a link: http://bit.ly/Pw7iFX , “Service Cloud: Service, Sales & Marketing the New BFFs.” I’m over in Moscone West, Room 3024. See you there!!!

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