HansaWorld has announced new functionality within its customer relationship management (CRM) module, demonstrating its concept of the Integrated Business Platform, which it says supersedes that of enterprise resource planning (ERP).
In addition to performing the expected tasks of such a software module, HansaWorld Enterprise CRM also integrates with communication systems to provide the complete view of customers required by competitive organisations.
That’s according to Andre Wiid, HansaWorld sales and channel manager, who says the CRM system functions either as an integrated module within an enterprise, or integrates with other ERPs.
“The Integrated Business Platform goes beyond ERP in that it is built with the converged world in mind,” says Wiid.
“It is explicitly built on the premise that communications, including telephones, faxes, e-mail, SMS, should be included in enterprise information in order to make more informed decisions and to provide a fuller picture of what is happening within any given company.”
Already the value of such an approach in a CRM system should be apparent.
“Since CRM is the module of the Integrated Business Platform which is expressly concerned with gathering customer interactions, it becomes even more important that every aspect of contact is recorded. This is particularly important in terms of marketing communication, to ensure consistency of messaging and a clear view of where that messaging is targeted,” Wiid says.
When this is achieved, it becomes possible to provide the complete view of the customer which is necessary to deliver an exceptional customer experience – and that, Wiid notes, can be a competitive differentiator.
“By integrating business processes into the CRM system, greater efficiencies are also achieved, especially in terms of managing customer engagements from initial, presales work, through to placement of orders and on to billing and collections,” says Wiid.
As an example, he says quotations are entered in the same manner as sales orders; all details that can be stored for a sales order can also be stored for a quotation.
Once created, new sales orders are created from quotations, singly or in bulk. If required, a proforma invoice can be printed directly from a quotation. Original quotations are retained even after conversion to a sales order for analysis and lookup.
“This is just one demonstration of how business processes are intimately tied into the CRM system to provide the smooth flow between ‘customer relationship’ activities and transactions,” says Wiid.
“Furthermore, human resources management activities are also integrated – records of tasks performed and time spent are collected, supporting more efficient billing.”
Noting that mobility is emerging as a key tool to enhance personal and professional productivity, Wiid says HansaWorld offers almost all CRM functionality natively on popular mobile platforms.
“Notebook users can access the software from anywhere in the world, with no additional hardware or software required. They also have real-time access from Windows Mobile and Nokia smartphones, while the latest release sees three iOS roles released through Apple's AppStore,” he says.
These are barcode-based point-of-sales and stocktaking applications, and a re-release of the reporting engine. The applications run on iPod Touch, iPhone and iPad.
As a completely integrated solution within the HansaWorld Enterprise Integrated Business Platform, he says the true power of CRM is released.
“It is our position that CRM has to be integrated with sales, accounting, human resource management and e-business if it is to deliver full value. That’s what is achieved when this module operates within enterprise, although it is equally useful when it integrates with third party software,” Wiid concludes.