Customer Strategy Database Marketing Solutions CRM Implementation Services. Extraprise CRM Support Survey Report

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1 2008 Customer Strategy Database Marketing Solutions CRM Implementation Services E X T R A P R I S E Extraprise CRM Support Survey Report

2 INTRODUCTION The following CRM support services survey was conducted at the 2008 Oracle Applications User Group conference in Denver, Colorado. The survey was designed to identify the various types of CRM support services being used, to better understand the current level of satisfaction with CRM support services offerings, and to identify the challenges associated with meeting ongoing CRM production support expectations. It provides both a qualitative overview of various CRM support alternatives and a quantitative tabulation of the support services survey results. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Systems have become an integral component of the operating infrastructure of most companies marketing, sales and service organizations. The care and feeding of these complex, integrated systems requires a combination of business and technical expertise to meet the ever changing and always urgent, demands of two major constituencies; the internal users of the system (the Sales, Marketing and Customer Service organizations) and customers. Faced with an increasingly demanding user base and unrelenting pressure to manage or reduce costs, CIOs are challenged to meet quality of service standards with internal staff. While CIOs have normally turned to software vendors or independent professional services specialists to plan, develop and deploy their CRM systems, several factors combine to make the use of these third parties cost prohibitive when considering them as an option for ongoing care and feeding of the systems. First, their daily rates are typically in excess of $1000/ day. While such fees may be appropriate for system deployment engagements where methodology, project management expertise, industry best practices and other considerations come into play, they do not fit the economics of a support model. Secondly, lack of familiarity with the existing systems leads to tremendous inefficiencies in the third party s ability to efficiently deal with ad hoc problems and requests for enhancements without running up substantial learning curve costs. Many large organizations have turned to an offshoring model where the promise of significantly lower rates have led CFOs to mandate movement of support and development to India, China or some other location. While the per diem rates may be lower, many organizations have discovered quite painfully that after additional overhead costs are factored into the equation, the cost savings are not always as dramatic as advertised. Further, offshore contracts are typically multi-year, long-term service agreements that generally require support for several applications in order to build sufficient critical mass to make the effort worthwhile to the vendor and the customer. Finally, for those on CRM s front lines, quality of service, communication difficulties, lack of understanding of underlying business processes, slow response times, and management inefficiencies endemic with offshore support frequently lead to a high frustration level on the part of both IT staff and end users of the CRM system. 2

3 Impetus for Research and Key Findings Extraprise, a leading CRM integrator, has completed over 700 CRM projects over the full range of CRM system planning, development and deployment. Extraprise spends a significant amount of time analyzing potential points of failure and developing means to mitigate risks. As part of our research into better understanding failure points, Extraprise conducted a survey of CRM users and support providers. This white paper summarizes the results of the survey that was conducted at the Oracle Applications User Group s COLLABORATE 08 conference in April CIOs and those who are responsible for delivering quality, cost-effective CRM support can benefit from understanding general industry satisfaction levels with CRM and what contributes to dissatisfaction. In terms of CRM satisfaction the most prevalent response given was somewhat satisfied (45.5% of respondents) and CRM support satisfaction was rated slightly higher with 52.3% providing a rating of generally satisfied. Obviously, there is significant room for improvement for the motivated CIO. One of the most surprising findings to come out of the study was that the primary contributor to dissatisfaction with support was not lack of technical skills of support personnel (reported by 25.8% of respondents), but their lack of knowledge of the underlying business processes being supported (58.1% of respondents). This finding supports one of the frequently heard complaints about offshore resources: that they respond better to defect logs than business problems. What was not surprising was that in terms of challenges for the IT organization in providing CRM support, the overwhelming factor identified was insufficient resource levels. This factor was the only one identified by more than half (57.1%) of respondents. The other major factors included: Lack of access to specialists (38.1%), Meeting SLA targets (28.6%), and Dealing with excess turnover of staff (23.8%). CRM Support Options CRM support in the past typically was handed from the CRM integrator upon deployment to a variety of IT-managed support hybrids. The components of the support organization typically include some combination of internal resources (help desk, dedicated CRM support, and ancillary support and strategic resources), offshore resources, integrators, independent contractors, the CRM software vendor, and just recently added as an option, onshore production support offerings. Onshore production support offerings provide a new approach for providing support that addresses limitations with more traditional support approaches. One such onshore offering, Extraprise s Siebel Onshore Support (S.O.S.), provides annually renewable SLA-governed technical and production support for a flat monthly fee. The table on page 4 summarizes the primary support options, high-level pros and cons for each option, and additional insights that can be gleaned from the CRM Support Survey completed by Extraprise. For the purposes of the survey, support included Level 2 and Level 3 support (i.e., beyond an enterprise Help Desk), as well as system enhancements, and preventive and predictive maintenance. It does not include standard software maintenance, which is typically purchased from the software vendor on an annual fee basis. 3 Extraprise CRM Support Survey Report

4 SUPPORT OPTION In-house support Vendor support Offshore support Integrator support Contractor support PROS AND CONS Pros: On-site, responsive, knowledge of business processes Cons: Expensive, subject to turnover, rarely have all skill areas covered, and lack of access to best practices vs. vendors with multiple clients Pros: Unsurpassed knowledge of software, access to a team of experts and all skill sets Cons: Very expensive, lack of knowledge of business processes. Difficult to predict costs. Availability of resources knowledgeable about account may not be immediately available. Pros: Inexpensive, depending on vendor may have center of excellence, can provide global coverage Cons: Lack of knowledge of process, cultural and communications issues, difficult to get resources onsite, multi-year commitment often times part of bigger deal where CRM is secondary, missing specialized skill sets, high resource turnover, slow response times, onerous management overhead Pros: Knowledgeable about implementation and underlying business processes. Usually have a deep resource well and access to special skill sets. Cons: Expensive. Oftentimes staffed with junior personnel. Inconsistent with overall project-based consulting model. Incentive to switch out best implementation consultants. Support infrastructure may be lacking, as support is often client versus application centric. Pros: Only pay when needed, can hire for special needs, under favorable scenarios can be inexpensive Cons: High start-up costs, non-continuity of resources, no center of excellence from which to draw, limited scope, difficult to meet SLAs, high overhead INSIGHTS FROM RESEARCH Even with in-house support, time must be dedicated to ensuring support personnel understand processes. Lack of complete range of technical skills is balanced against high cost for staffing all positions. Staff turnover can be disruptive. Night, week end, and holiday coverage can be problematic. 63% of companies have a help desk that provides CRM support. 50% have additional or other internal resources supporting CRM support. Vendors excel at solving technical problems, but often do not understand company s business processes. Expensive solution where time spent getting up to speed and turning over project are costly, constraining the level of resources available for future fixes and enhancements. Meeting SLAs may be difficult. Approximately 10% of companies utilize this option for CRM support. Lack of knowledge of business processes may be due to distance and cultural issues. Communication ability was also rated as a major issue regarding support satisfaction. Time zone differences may impact ability to immediately turnaround issues. Ten percent of respondents utilized offshore support. Involvement in implementation provides familiarity with underlying business process. May lack the ability to provide after-hour and weekend support. Expensive unit costs, constrains resource levels Access to specific skill sets is typically available, but timeliness may be affected by other client priorities. Ten percent of respondents utilize integrator provided CRM support. Turnover can be a major issue ascontractors that are not fully booked by a company risk not having knowledgeable resources familiar with the installation available. Oftentimes contractors are not familiar with the underlying business processes and take significant time to get up to speed. Contractors lack access to full range of skill sets. Onshore production support (e.g., Extraprise S.O.S.) Pros: Inexpensive, understand business processes, near shore allows on-site support when high touch needed, SLA-governed, access to all required skill sets, center of excellence/best practices, experienced and certified support consultants, access to additional staffing for flex requests, may have been involved with original implementation. Cons: Requires discipline and structure to outsource function, and some time to onboard and adapt to the new service model Onboarding process documents underlying business processes that then become institutional knowledge. Access to full range of skill sets is important as is stretching resources as much as possible. SLA responsibility is addressed, and along with turnover and attrition, become vendor issues as does night, weekend, and holiday support. This option addresses the full range of support issues. 4

5 As the table illustrates, there are a number of alternatives, each with their pros and cons. The right-most column provides additional insights about each of the support alternatives utilizing perspective gained from the Extraprise CRM Support Survey. Specific conditions within an organization may dictate a particular approach; e.g., in the instance where a company has contractually committed to an offshore vendor to support all functions. However, as the analysis makes clear, in most cases there are options. In particular, as a response to limitations with traditional support alternatives, a new breed of retainerbased onshore support offerings (such as Extraprise s S.O.S.) is now available. This alternative offers the CIO a cost-effective option that brings the full C-level suite closer together by delivering high support levels, more efficiently, at a lower total cost. The remainder of this white paper details the results of the CRM Support Survey conducted by Extraprise. Extraprise CRM Support Survey Detailed Results CRM Satisfaction and CRM Support Satisfaction The detailed CRM Support Survey results that follow are intended to provide detailed information to CRM support decision-makers to facilitate comparison and review of their own internal CRM support approaches. This section of the white paper provides general information about the survey, the scope and methodology of the survey, and detailed survey responses on a question-by-question basis. General Survey Information The survey covers general satisfaction with CRM systems and CRM support, what level of strategic importance is assigned to the CRM application, types of systems implemented, reasons for dissatisfaction with CRM support, specific challenges regarding provision of operational CRM support. Scope The survey was administered to 61 people attending the Oracle Application Users Group sponsored COLLABORATE 08: Technology and Applications Forum for the Oracle Community held April th through 17th. Of the 61 responses, over 85% indicated that they had some sort of CRM solution in place. Those respondents that indicated they did not have CRM in place were not counted in the analysis of usability and satisfaction. The results from the 52 respondents indicating their organization utilized CRM were compiled and analyzed in detail. Of the respondents, 39.6% had some level of CRM support responsibility. The remaining respondents were users, business managers, executives, or identified themselves as other. Respondents were asked to rate their satisfaction levels on a scale from 1-5, as follows: extremely unsatisfied (1), unsatisfied (2), somewhat satisfied (3), generally satisfied (4), and extremely satisfied (5). Overall satisfaction Although CRM has been widely adopted, the overall satisfaction level with existing implementations is lukewarm with 45.5% of respondents to this question indicating a rating of somewhat satisfied, 36.4% were generally satisfied, 11.4% were satisfied, and only 6.8% provided an extremely satisfied rating. No one indicated that he/she was highly unsatisfied with his/her implementation. When asked to rate support for their CRM implementation, 52.3% of respondents rated their satisfaction level with support as generally satisfied. The next highest rating was 5 Extraprise CRM Support Survey Report

6 that of somewhat satisfied which garnered 38.6% of ratings, followed by extremely satisfied with 6.8%, and unsatisfied with 2.3%. Chart 1 shows the overall satisfaction with CRM implementation compared to satisfaction with implementation support. CHART 1: Overall satisfaction with CRM implementation and satisfaction with CRM support. PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% extremely generally somewhat unsatisfied SATISFACTION LEVEL Overall CRM satisfaction Satisfaction with CRM support Importance of CRM usage In terms of CRM usage, 49% of respondents considered CRM as a mission critical or strategic application within their organization. 28% considered it a standard function, 12.8% considered it tactical, and 10.6% deemed CRM usage as sporadic. Chart 2 shows the importance and usage of CRM application as parts of the whole. CHART 2: CRM usage based on importance to organization. Mission critical or strategic Standard function Tactical Sporadic Types of CRM systems implemented In terms of types of CRM systems implemented, the distribution of the respondents was as follows: 56% Oracle (19% Siebel, 10% PeopleSoft, 27% other Oracle CRM); 8% homegrown CRM applications; 7% Microsoft; 5% SAP; and 23% open source, unknown, or other. Table 1 illustrates the breakdown of the CRM system types. 6

7 TABLE 1: CRM system types implemented. SYSTEMS IMPLEMENTED Oracle family of systems 56% Siebel: 19% PeopleSoft: 10% Other Oracle: 27% Home-grown application 8% Microsoft 7% SAP 5% Open source/unknown/other 23% RESPONSE RATE Reasons for dissatisfaction When asked to select the primary reasons for dissatisfaction with support, the most frequently cited reason (58.1%) was related to support s knowledge and understanding of organization business processes. of respondents to this question indicated this to be an issue. This factor was followed by technical knowledge of support personnel (25.8%.) About 1 in 5 respondents indicated communications ability of support personnel (22.6%), critical system functionality missing (22.6%), excess time to resolve problems (19.4%), and outdated software versions (19.4%) contributed to their dissatisfaction with support. Other contributing factors included delays in reaching support (12.9%) and unavailability of support after hours (9.7%). Chart 3 shows the various reasons for dissatisfaction with CRM implementation. CHART 3: Top 8 reasons for dissatisfaction with CRM implementation. 70% 60% PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Business process knowledge Technical knowledge Communications ability Functionality missing REASON Slow problem-solving Outdated software Delays in reaching support No after-hours support CRM Support Satisfaction with CRM Support When asked to rate support for their CRM implementation, 52.3% of respondents rated their satisfaction level with support as generally satisfied. The next highest rating was that of somewhat satisfied which garnered 38.6% of ratings, followed by extremely satisfied with 6.8%, and unsatisfied with 2.3%. Chart 1 compares overall satisfaction and satisfaction with support for implementation. 7 Extraprise CRM Support Survey Report

8 Support systems in place In terms of CRM support, nearly two-thirds (63.6%) of respondents who mentioned specific structures indicated they had an internal help desk for basic issues, and 50% indicated that they had an in-house CRM support team that either worked alone or in conjunction with their help desk or other support providers. The other providers used include software vendors (10%), offshore support (10%), and integrator support (10%). Table 2 outlines the support systems and their respective percentage of respondents. TABLE 2: CRM support structures. SUPPORT STRUCTURE RESPONSE RATE Internal help desk 63.6% In-house CRM support team 50% Software vendors 10% Offshore support 10% Integrator support 10% Major challenges in providing support IT managers and CRM support personnel were asked to identify the major challenges with regard to providing CRM support. The number one issue identified was insufficient resources, which over half (57.1%) of all respondents selected. This challenge was followed by gaining access to specialists (38.1%); meeting SLA requirements (28.6%); turnover and attrition of resources (23.8%); ensuring night, weekend, and holiday coverage (19%); too expensive (9.5%); and contractor inefficiency (5%), offshore relationship issues (5%), and other reasons (5%). Chart 4 shows these top 9 reasons and their response rates. CHART 4: Top 9 major challenges with providing support. PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Insufficient resources Access to specialists Meeting SLA requirements Turnover and attrition After-hours coverage REASON Too expensive Contractor inefficiency Offshore relationship issues Other 8

9 Survey Conclusions Additional Information About COLLABORATE About Extraprise Perhaps the most intriguing finding from the survey was the importance of understanding the underlying business processes that are being supported by CRM Systems. For humaninterfacing systems, though technology is essential, the process is paramount. CRM support decision-makers would do well to ensure that they select a support approach that addresses process as well as technology. Because ramp-up time can be considerable (and costly if borne by the enterprise), the approach should have efficient knowledge capture and knowledge transfer elements. The other major finding, which is more a confirmation than a revelation, is that the major challenge facing IT in supporting CRM is lack of resources. CIOs can stretch their resources by finding more efficient support approaches utilizing a combination of internal and external, offshore and onshore resources that optimize the delicate balance between quality of service and cost. For more information about this Survey, Extraprise s S.O.S. offering which supports Siebel CRM applications, or Extraprise s complementary Marketing Operations Support (MOS) offering, contact Eric Robbins, VP of Marketing and Business Development via at or via phone at (312) or view our S.O.S. microsite at or COLLABORATE is an annual forum for Oracle users hosted by the Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG), the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG) and Quest International Users Group. For the third year (2008), these three organizations have come together to ensure that Oracle power users have the knowledge and expertise needed to successfully implement Oracle s programs and systems at their companies. Attendance includes Oracle users, solution providers, consultants, developers and representatives from Oracle Corporation. Extraprise provides CRM integration and database marketing services for companies with extensive and complex product lines, customer data, and distribution channels. We combine the strategy, business process, implementation, and technical support skills of a CRM systems integrator with the data management, analytic and marketing skills of a database marketing service provider to deliver and operate closed-loop marketing and sales environments for our clients. We have successfully completed over 700 engagements for more than 200 companies since Our experience, proven Extraprise Way methodology, best practices database, partner certifications, and i2i technology platform reduce the cost, complexity, and risk for our clients to achieve their CRM objectives. Extraprise Reports may not be duplicated, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or retransmitted without the express permission of Extraprise. The information contained in this publication is believed to be reliable, but not necessarily complete and its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. This Report originated in Boston. All content Copyright 2008, Extraprise Group, Inc. All trademarks are property of their respective holders. Boston tel

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