Yesterday I wrote about the beginning of the end of the Social Media vendors and, just like that, like The Band in San Francisco for The Last Waltz, Salesforce.com announces that they intend to acquire Jigsaw. It is just one small addition – crowdsourcing of business contacts, but you can still hear Levon Helm and Robbie Robertson belting out the lyrics that this wheel’s on fire.
I won’t write about the acquisition or its meaning, as that is not the point. The point is that in social networking, a business needs to move beyond silos into fitting Social processes into an overall CRM strategy. There will be many approaches. Maybe SOA and WOA techniques will make best of breed a viable approach for some businesses. Yet, however it unfolds, the goal is to insure that process consistency is achieved.
Right now I am less concerned with the vendor landscape and more concerned with how you achieve your ends of getting closer to the customer. I am concerned that the large enterprise vendors are going to make the argument that only a ‘complete’ solution is tenable. That is rubbish, and you know it, but your CIO and CFO may be swayed by that Siren call.
Leave the argument of vendor long term viability aside and focus on the value of the product in achieving better engagement with the customer – whether for selling, marketing, servicing, or just insight on their experience.
The road ahead will not be smooth while waves of acquisition hit, so keep your head cool and your procurement pen (and knife) sharp.
Ah, and apologies for leaving out Garth Hudson, Rick Danko and Richard Manuel!
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