Deploying Resilient Customer Relationship Management Applications

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1 IBM Global Services June 2003 Deploying Resilient Customer Relationship s Anju Bhargava, Jackye Malloy Jones, Frank Rodegeb, Rob Bucci

2 Page 2 Contents 2 Introduction - CRM is a Corporate Strategy 3 CRM Solutions Often Fail to Deliver Value to the Business 4 Post-deployment Problems Reduce Value of Investment 7 Contributors to Post-deployment Failures 8 Resilient Systems Enhance Application Value 11 How IBM Global Services Supports CRM Success 14 IBM Relationship with Siebel and Mercury Interactive 15 The IBM Advantage 17 Summary Introduction - CRM is a Corporate Strategy Today s organizations realize that becoming a customer-driven enterprise, making it easier for customers to do business with the organization, is nonnegotiable; it is imperative to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage. Implementing a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution is one of the strategies businesses are using to stay competitive. The goal is to consistently deliver an exceptional customer experience and the importance of this experience in the CRM marketplace is validated through analysts observations. They see customers emphasizing a greater focus on service quality. Performance and availability are critical characteristics for delivering a quality service. The resiliency of the business to respond and adapt to the unexpected is of utmost concern to many enterprise business executives. The business must be capable of continuing to perform under all forms of changing business, economic, political, environmental, and technological conditions. In today s marketplace, business disruptions can lead to lost market opportunities, degraded brand image, lost customers and can be possibly fatal to an enterprise. To limit the potential financial impact of stresses to the business infrastructure, an enterprise must be resilient, that is, it must have the ability to respond rapidly to both disturbances and opportunities. A 2001 survey by Eagle Rock Alliance, Ltd. and Contingency Planning Research, Inc. 1 showed: 46% said each hour of downtime would cost their companies up to $50K 28% said each hour would cost between $51K and $250K 18% said each hour would cost between $251K and $1M 8% said each hour would cost more than $1M per hour

3 Page 3 Complexity, cost, and business risk are even more acute in CRM applications because of the inherent client visibility to your business. The increasing implementation complexity resulting from rapid vertical market expansion, greater presence of wireless and pervasive computing, increasing technical complexity, and piecemeal approach to development creates potential for more points of failure. It calls for a broader integration and a more open approach with more integration points and interfacing systems across applications. The purpose of this paper is to relate some challenges clients of IBM Global Services have overcome while deploying CRM solutions The purpose of this paper is to relate some challenges clients of IBM Global Services have overcome while deploying CRM solutions, in this case Siebel Systems. Additionally, it is to provide you with some deployment strategies that may have been overlooked but are nevertheless critical for the successful deployment and use of Siebel and other CRM solutions. Lastly, it will provide you with recommendations for obtaining expert help if you do not have the resources to implement the strategies needed for success. CRM Solutions Often Fail to Deliver Value to the Business Past failures shape future decisions, creating intense focus on Return On Investment (ROI) and risk reduction. Recent analyst reports show 70% of CRM initiatives fail (Cap Gemini Ernst & Young), 90% of enterprises cannot show a positive return (META Group), 80% of CRM projects fail to show a positive return (Peppers & Rogers), and 50% of CRM strategies will continue to fail (Gartner) 2. Considering the deployment phase to be the end of a project, successful or not, ignores the business objectives on which the project was predicated. Often, implementation of new application solutions end with the deployment phase, but the success of the implementation, based on the achievement of the business objectives, should be measured after the application has been put into production. CRM solutions, including Siebel, are no different in this respect.

4 Page 4 The underlying objective of implementing a CRM solution is to achieve specific business objectives. Post-deployment Problems Reduce Value of Investment CRM success is determined by more than just project completion on time and on budget. The underlying objective of implementing a CRM solution is to achieve specific business objectives. The business objective(s) might be to increase revenue, acquire new customers, enhance efficiency or improve customer satisfaction and loyalty. In order to achieve a business objective, the underlying IT infrastructure must be supportive. IT objectives must be aligned with business objectives to ensure a successful CRM application deployment. Oftentimes, success of a project is measured by whether it is completed on time and within budget. However, the success of a CRM implementation must also include post-deployment achievement of associated IT objectives. For example, can your CRM business objectives be met if your customer is negatively impacted by the performance or availability of your application? Many strategies for avoiding failed CRM projects have been outlined in the prevailing literature. The focus is primarily on organizational, business process and project management issues. The Alexander Group identifies 7 characteristics for successful deployment of a CRM solution 3 : 1. Drive the CRM process from the outside in (customer focus) 2. Realize that generic CRM application functionality will not drive growth objectives 3. Improve process nuts and bolts to enhance productivity 4. Drive to an incremental revenue growth ROI 5. Build a performance management dashboard and culture 6. Strike the right balance of carrot and stick when managing change 7. Conduct a focused pilot.

5 Page 5 While the recommendations identify very significant issues which, if ignored, may block the achievement of the business objectives, very little focus is given to the underlying infrastructure which is so critical to the ultimate success of the deployment. We believe there is an inherent assumption that a highly available, well performing IT infrastructure is in place and that customization of the CRM software will have no appreciable effect on its performance and availability. In many cases, this is a dangerous assumption. Customization of CRM applications increases the complexity which impacts the infrastructure significantly. IBM has seen CRM implementations fail because they do not meet basic business expectations after deployment. In many cases, the performance of the application and the underlying infrastructure, led to unsuccessful business results after deployment of Siebel or other CRM/ERP applications. Two key areas which influence postdeployment success and which can affect the value of the investment are availability and performance. Two key areas which influence post-deployment success and which can affect the value of the investment are availability and performance. Availability can be defined as the amount of time the service or application is up and ready for use. It is impacted by many factors including the application, the IT technology, the environment, the data and the support structure. Performance is a combination of the performance of front-end business solutions and the performance of back-end infrastructure that supports them. Performance Engineering is the application of performance principles to production environments and new application development to satisfy your customer and business demands.

6 Page 6 Performance and availability problems tend to increase with increased application customization. Performance testing is one of the best ways to predict the performance of a CRM application prior to deployment. Although it requires significant investment in resources and time, the magnitude of risk of implementation failure is usually significantly higher than the relative cost of performance testing. Designing, verifying, monitoring and maintaining the quality of service of one s CRM business solutions is the best recipe to protect an enterprise from unacceptable levels of downtime and degradation after deployment. Designing, verifying, monitoring and maintaining the quality of service of one s CRM business solutions is the best recipe to protect an enterprise from unacceptable levels of downtime and degradation after deployment. Any significant change to the infrastructure or application suite requires careful analysis of capacity, performance, and availability issues. Typically clients approach IBM for two types of assistance: Proactive and Reactive. The IT Enterprise executives who have had prior experience in implementing large, complex applications, tend to recognize the magnitude of business risks associated with less than optimal performance and availability. They also recognize that the incremental costs to resolve problems early on are relatively small compared to the risks they avoid. These experienced executives take a proactive approach in addressing potential post-deployment problems. Clients who have deployed a CRM solution and are experiencing performance or availability problems find that the problems are more expensive to resolve after project implementation. These post-deployment issues have an incremental negative impact on the successful implementation of the project. At this point, the IT organization follows a reactive approach and may request assistance from external experts for help in the resolution of the problems.

7 Page 7 Contributors to Post-deployment Failures Why do these deployment issues arise so often when deploying CRM solutions? Similar issues arise when deploying other applications, but CRM issues are more visible to customers and, therefore, to business executives. IBM has identified some key infrastructure related areas which can cause significant post-deployment problems. The ultimate success and payback of any new application initiative will be determined by the service levels achieved following deployment. Focus on function without consideration for nonfunctional requirements Nonfunctional requirements, such as service level agreements, need to be defined early in the planning phase and included in the definition of what makes the project successful. The ultimate success and payback of any new application initiative will be determined by the service levels achieved following deployment. Even when all other project objectives and functional requirements are met, if the application does not meet its service level objectives, the anticipated return on investment may not be achieved. Lack of validation (testing) The key measure of performance is, of course, end-user response time. Performance testing should be done to reduce the risk associated with unacceptable response times due to end-to-end system performance, database size increases and high workload conditions. The application plays just as important a role in the availability achievements as the technical infrastructure, support infrastructure and operations organizations. The applications must be designed for reliability, simplicity of changes, and fast recovery. Database structures must also be designed to support required availability and performance.

8 Page 8 Disruptions caused by unacceptable performance have economic consequences also, but are harder to measure. Can your enterprise determine the cost of poor response time in terms of additional call center personnel, for example? Many people abandon commercial Web sites if response time is unacceptable to them. Can your enterprise afford diminished customer loyalty due to application unavailability? Prior to deploying any new application or system, it is critical to determine how it will be supported once it goes into production. Lack of support plan for resiliency Prior to deploying any new application or system, it is critical to determine how it will be supported once it goes into production. The earlier this support plan is developed the more successful the deployment of the CRM application. The support plan is necessary to determine and communicate how the new application will be maintained and at what level of currency. It must also indicate the skills necessary within operations, technical support and vendors. Operating and recovery procedures must be written, documented and practiced by all who will be monitoring and supporting the new application. The support plan must also describe how problems will be tracked and how changes will be packaged, tested and introduced into the production systems. To summarize, lack of focus on the resiliency of the IT solution is often responsible for significant post-deployment issues which hamper the achievement of the desired business objectives. CRM applications, coupled with a resilient infrastructure, can contribute to the ROI of the solution. Resilient Systems Enhance Application Value CRM applications, coupled with a resilient infrastructure, can contribute to the ROI of the solution. The environment must be responsive, scalable and available. Nonfunctional requirements must be met and an effective support plan must be put into place.

9 Page 9 The infrastructure needs to be architected to meet service level requirements as well as functional requirements. Nonfunctional business requirements must be defined early in the planning phase to help ensure needed levels of service, including availability and performance can be met. Availability objectives must be expressed, not only as a percentage of scheduled time, but must also be expressed in terms of service windows, reliability, recovery times and scope (number of users impacted), to allow specification of design objectives that meet the business needs. It is critical that the CRM application and its supporting infrastructure are architected to support the availability and performance requirements of the business. The acceptance of any new application and, therefore, the ultimate success of the project in meeting the needs of the business will be dependent upon the availability and performance characteristics perceived by the users following deployment. To help ensure acceptance, it is critical that the CRM application and its supporting infrastructure are architected to support the availability and performance requirements of the business. A standard architecture will need to be defined and governed for compliance to reduce complexity and promote optimum use of performance and availability design techniques such as redundancy, fast restart, scalability, and proactive monitoring, and enhanced security features. Systems without a standard architecture, or with an architecture that is uncontrolled, will be or grow to be complex, unmanageable and prone to errors during changes. During the planning phase, one needs to develop and justify a plan to validate that committed performance and availability service levels can be achieved and maintained. This plan must then be executed prior to deployment. An investment in testing capabilities (internal or external), including a testing platform, test scripts, and testing skills is essential to support a stable environment. Understanding the problems that can be avoided through a robust testing methodology, and the cost of the disruptions from those problems, will help to quantify the value of the testing investment. You will also need to develop and execute a robust support plan. Often software implementation plans end with the deployment of the software. Since the real success of any application is determined during the Run phase, IBM has added it as an explicit phase to a typical implementation plan used to deploy Siebel.

10 Page 10 Implementation IBM Approach Phase Define objectives. Discover Design Configure Validate Deploy Run Assess the feasibility of supporting business Identify capacity, performance, and availability requirements based on defined targets. Can the existing infrastructure support the new implementation? Develop a strategy to meet performance and availability objectives. Can the planned technology meet performance expectations? Model the proposed solution architecture to verify performance and availability against expected changes in demand. How does user access and transaction load affect performance? Develop a scalable infrastructure solution that accommodates change. How are changes to the design impacting performance expectations? Implement and validate functional, performance, and availability objectives through unit and system testing. What resource adjustments are needed prior to deployment? Implement a performance monitoring and availability management strategy. Are key infrastructure system and network components overutilized? Execute performance and availability management strategy. What factors are keeping us from meeting our service level objectives?

11 Page 11 A successful strategy for managing performance and availability requires a comprehensive support plan. A successful strategy for managing performance and availability requires a comprehensive support plan including skills, maintenance, operational monitoring, vendor management, documentation, problem resolution, and change implementation. It is clear that attempting to eliminate all risk is not possible. The objective is to mitigate performance-related and availabilityrelated risks to an appropriate level. Once the level of acceptable risk is determined, realistic service level objectives can be set. The following are key steps in verifying that the service level objectives are met: 1. Early in development cycle a. Understand business objectives and the risk tolerance b. Establish service level objectives aligned with business objectives 2. Validate that the objectives can be met (pre-deployment testing) 3. Deploy the application 4. Measure and resolve deviations from the objectives. (support plan) IBM Global Services has the skills, resources, methodologies, experience and partnerships with leading CRM and independent software vendors to help you address the issues identified in this paper. How IBM Global Services Supports CRM Success IBM Global Services has the skills, resources, methodologies, experience and partnerships with leading CRM and independent software vendors to help you address the issues identified in this paper. Our services range from helping you determine the readiness of your infrastructure to support a CRM implementation through helping you plan for and execute full lifecycle, end-toend testing to assisting you in developing and deploying a robust support plan.

12 Page 12 IBM provides a focused performance, and availability management approach to the Siebel market space: Focused and Specialized Team End-to-End Performance Solutions Comprehensive Methodology An Industry Focus Understanding of Integration Challenges Specialized Test Facilities End-to-end Availability Management. Availability management services from IBM provide a number of different alternatives for assisting a client with improving the availability of their IT systems. Availability management services from IBM provide a number of different alternatives for assisting a client with improving the availability of their IT systems. Depending on the client s need or desire, IBM availability consulting services can provide a high level Availability Strategy, a detailed assessment of their entire IT environment, or many possibilities in between. Definition of a high level Availability Improvement Strategy to identify, prioritize, and justify availability initiatives and focus areas aligned with business requirements A Post Incident Review of a high-impact incident to identify improvement opportunities A System Outage Analysis (SOA) of several outages over a defined period of time to identify failure patterns and improvement opportunities An Availability Readiness Review for a new application being rolled out or transition to a new environment A comprehensive, end-to-end Availability Management Improvement project to develop platform technology, network, application, data, management process, and staff action items and assist in building a tactical availability improvement plan.

13 Page 13 Performance services from IBM can help clients who are implementing a Siebel solution to identify and resolve problems in the initial phases so that in the latter phases there are fewer problems to solve. Performance services from IBM can help clients who are implementing a Siebel solution to identify and resolve problems in the initial phases so that in the latter phases there are fewer problems to solve. The earlier identification also helps meet the targeted date to go live with the new application. Our approach, coupled with alliances with Siebel Software and Mercury Interactive, is a comprehensive, end-to-end perspective with many points of entry to the performance roadmap. IBM offers custom-designed engagements to: 1. Quantify the effect of various design choices as early as the conceptual design phase 2. Apply good performance and availability design principles at each lifecycle phase 3. Catch bad design choices early in the lifecycle and reduce later application rework 4. Provide an end-to-end view of the application. Relate business process, growth and activities to application 5. Perform sensitivity analysis on applications 6. Identify scalability issues 7. Identify IT process principles needed to manage performance and availability of systems and applications. IBM Global Services performance management, capacity planning, testing, and availability management capabilities are implemented through a combination of experienced IT consultants and specialists, proven methods and best-inclass tools combined to reduce the risk of project failure attributable to the IT infrastructure. In addition to consulting, performance and availability services professionals lead and perform engagements designed to assist our clients in identifying and resolving performance and availability issues, plan for dramatic changes in transaction volumes, and understand the reaction of their IT infrastructure to unanticipated increases in transaction volumes.

14 Page 14 Solutions from IBM supplement and complement the strong Siebel Mercury bilateral relationship. IBM Relationship with Siebel and Mercury Interactive Benefits Our Clients The relationships between IBM, Siebel and Mercury Interactive exemplify the importance of prepackaged standards-based integration in implementing best-practice-based business processes, while leveraging the IBM standardsbased approach to performance management, testing, capacity planning, and availability management services. Together, they allow CIOs to implement a scalable platform that embraces new integration initiatives such as Web services, while helping to lower the costs and risks associated with integration. Solutions from IBM supplement and complement the strong Siebel Mercury bilateral relationship. Performance management and stress testing are an integral part of Siebel solutions from IBM. Increased customization creates the need for increased testing. Stress testing Siebel solutions, using appropriate tools, helps reduce implementation risks and enhance the potential for incremental revenue for your business. Stress testing is a key part of the quality assurance process. Stress testing is a key part of the quality assurance process; it lowers the risk of degrading project profitability by not meeting client s performance and quality expectations. Testing services can help to lower the overall infrastructure costs and can help your business meet service level objectives. Additionally, performance and availability testing reduces the risk of application outages due to overloaded transactions after deployment. The cost of performance testing should be weighed against the negative impacts of: Loss of confidence in the application Loss of reputation caused by unfavorable customer experiences Loss of revenue due to lack of access to the application.

15 Page 15 The IBM Advantage Our services are designed to reduce post-deployment problems and improve our client s ability to meet their business and customer requirements. IBM s services and relationship with Siebel and Mercury help clients to effectively support business growth and to be better prepared to respond to market dynamics. Our performance and availability consulting team offers: Teamwork with relationship and leading industry business partners Siebel and Mercury Thought leadership codified in IBM Global Services methodology Extensive systems performance and testing experience Extensive availability management experience Proven track record of delivering real business results World-class testing facilities Global presence and reach. We strive to provide a positive return on investment while delivering highperformance solutions for business productivity. We can demonstrate our results: We strive to provide a positive return on investment while delivering highperformance solutions for business productivity, as well as planning for scalability and interoperability to support changing business demands during CRM Siebel integration. We provide comprehensive and worldclass expertise. We have a proven track record in performance engineering and availability management: We provide comprehensive and world-class expertise that helps clients identify performance inhibitors, as well as develop the best solution to meet their current and future business needs. For each stage, we can provide skilled practitioners to assess your performance and availability management capabilities and to create the appropriate service management strategy.

16 Page 16 Our team members are certified by Siebel Systems and Mercury Interactive. We employ innovative, certified professionals: We explicitly build teams with the right balance of industry and core capabilities at each stage of development to analyze the problem and resolve it from multiple perspectives. Our team members are certified by Siebel Systems and Mercury Interactive; trained to deliver solutions that work. Our flexibility accommodates your needs: We support those who want an end-to-end approach, as well as those who want us to address a piece of the overall answer. We have the capabilities to do both. We are committed to research and have a world-class facility able to simulate the client environment: IBM leverages years of research and experience. IBM leverages years of research and experience in IT to integrate solutions into the CRM/Siebel integration marketplace. IBM Global Services has the experience, capabilities and facilities to greatly reduce the risks associated with the deployment of enterprise application integration. The IBM Interoperability Lab in Gaithersburg, Maryland is equipped to address systems performance and functionality in an integrated and comprehensive manner. At this facility, we are able to model your environment and replicate system and user loads to prove solution designs prior to installation in your production environment.

17 Page 17 Summary IBM Global Services provides testing, capacity planning, performance management, and availability management services to help achieve successful preproduction testing, production rollout and ongoing operation of mission-critical CRM applications. These services may be purchased at any time throughout the lifecycle of the solution: during the design phase, the implementation phase, or during the ongoing management of the business solution (be it internally or externally managed). However, the earlier these activities are performed, the more value they provide. To achieve the highest levels of availability and performance, the design of the infrastructure platforms, applications, and data structures must be considered from the beginning. Regardless of the robustness of the design, however, availability and performance can be severely diminished without careful management of the environment. These services help customers ensure they have robust, reliable, securityrich, and responsive systems and achieve anticipated business results. These services help customers ensure they have robust, reliable, security-rich, and responsive systems and achieve anticipated business results. Services cover simple or complex IT environments, single server or multi-platform and networked configurations, consisting of IBM and non-ibm products. The services can be applied to any type of application - packaged or custom, Webbased or client server across virtually any platform. They are particularly focused on e-business systems, but also validate and optimize traditional applications when business needs require new or changed applications. Our consultants can help improve your business by supporting the performance and responsiveness of your IT solutions. Using IBM Global Services performance and availability consultants and practitioners, many of whom are Siebel or Mercury certified, can help improve your business by supporting the performance and responsiveness of your IT solutions. We use the IBM IT Process Model, the worldwide accepted IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) model, the IBM Global Services Method, and world-class intellectual capital assets, to help organizations - regardless of their size - capitalize on business opportunities by sizing the business-enabling resilient infrastructure, supporting operational efficiencies, improving endto-end solution performance, and monitoring the customer experience to help ensure acceptance and satisfaction.

18 Page 18 For more information To access more information on availability and performance services from IBM Global Services, please contact your IBM representative or visit the Integrated Technology Services section at: ibm.com/services/its ibm.com/services/its/us/systemavailability.html ibm.com/services/its/us/sysmanage.html

19 Copyright IBM Corporation 2002 IBM Global Services Route 100 Somers, NY U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo and the e-business logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. References in this publication to IBM products and services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates. 1. Eagle Rock Alliance, Ltd. and Contingency Planning and Management Online Survey Results: 2001 Cost of Downtime, May h.com/2001%20survey.pdf 2.Akiko Sherman InfoTech, 2002, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), 3. Jim Stifler, CRM Practice Leader, What Others Have Learned While Implementing CRM, June 28, 2001, The Alexander Group, jstifler.html G

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