Florian Krueger

Posts Tagged ‘innovation’

Buzz Alarm – Hype Notice – Social CRM – Truth or Fiction?

In 2.0, CRM, Management on October 30, 2009 at 9:21 pm

First of all THANKS. Thanks to the SugarCRM guys and Larry Augustin, for hosting an open-source-community event and for inviting people with real nice catering and the lot, at a time where many old-school companies wouldn’t even want to pay for a cup of coffee.

Larry Augustin & Florian Krueger

Well, hang on – maybe it is not despite the fact that SugarCRM has an open-source community -that they can afford things like that- but because of it? Maybe open-source is simply the model of the future?
I’m convinced that this is the case. IP is no property any longer, but a commodity, same as information and air. Restrictions on IP are ridiculous. Innovation combined with flexibility and the ability to implement changes will be the differentiators between failure and success in the future.
Well now the chief concern officers will say, how can you innovate, if you are lacking the funding which was formerly generated by selling your IP?

Obviously you can’t. At least you can’t in the traditional way. You need to rethink and reinvent your business model.

Why? Because you are already making less profit and profits will go down furthermore. Funding is not always clear, but as innovation is more and more outsourced to the customers, or the communities which you operate, manage or contribute to, the entire business model is shifting. A company which has earned money before through, say subscriptions might find itself managing communities of people that share some interests. Obviously this will again not only change the revenue stream, or the value chain, this will force the company to reinvent itself.

All right now Florian, all this and not one word on social CRM? Wroooong…. All this was on social CRM, or whatever you want to call it. Social CRM, CRM2.0, or Social Media Management in the context with customer relations is all about the dear old Trinity of People, Processes and Technology – with one slight difference: People are now really in the beginning and everywhere until the end. Processes don’t need to be described only, or automated. Processes need to be so sophisticated that they can self adjust through the right measure of real-time web applications or other sophisticated BI tools. Without -as SugarCRM calls them- “Cloudconnectors” a CRM is not worth the energy required for switching the server on. Other than that, Technology can do what you can dream. Therefore the only question is: can you still dream?

…and the reality is, Processes need to support people in a holistic, immediate, proactive and such a wonderful way that your customers will stick with you. Then it’s not about what you are charging anymore, but about what kind of feeling and emotions your company is able to transport and to co-create.
This is something you can only influence when you see the full picture. People long for business friendships, they long for someone who knows them and with whom they can share their thoughts. Without the ability to dig into the networks and to establish that social competence, a CRM looses any right to exist. It can support your old school model for a couple of years, but due to its misconception, it will lead you down a road without return. When you wake up, you will look around and notice that you have slept one year too long.

I can’t tell you how curious I am, how this thinking will be adopted by the average CEO, who either is a lawyer, chemist, mathematician or has a degree in engineering. This has nothing to do with clear, well defined processes anymore. It must be comparable to the experience one has when he steps out of his Maybach and now has to win a bull-riding competition. SocialCRM IMHO is just the dawning of a new set of integrated tools forming Mash-Ups in the Cloud and helping us, as customers to manage ourselves. We will find the products we are interested in and we as customers will judge and decide whom we want to deal with. It is the ultimate democracy and Graham Hill was right comparing it in its importance with the era of enlightenment itself.

So to conclude, this is a first glimpse at the future therefore it is fiction, but it is so close to becoming reality that you can call it truth.
To be continued…

New Ideas for old Problems

In 2.0, Common Sense, Management on September 18, 2009 at 2:00 pm

As time goes by…

Companies and moreover people wait to see what is happening. Well nothing will happen when everyone waits. We have to shape our own future and our future will be what we envision. Therefore we need to understand the tasks and challenges which are evolving and more importantly take immediate action.

According to Analysts, markets are shifting, or floating. There are global markets, dealing with specific ideas, requirements, or opportunities, which are not bound to any limitations as they once were. E-Lancing is harnessing the power of Outsourcing and combines it with the Power of Crowdsourcing. Clickworking – as a modern form of Slavery – currently is the last chance for many unemployed people to earn any money at all.

Professionals which are not adapting at the speed of light will be left behind. Creating an own brand through Blogging and Microblogging and the constant usage of all existing tools, such as Social Media and Professional Networks are the prerequisites to the creation of any noteworthy opportunity to develop oneself or any brand for that matter. What used to be Alumni networks, is becoming interest groups, so highly individualized that only a handful of people might be in the same one at one time. More interesting are the overlaps between different interest groups and synergies resulting out of these. People with a bigger, or multiple presence can be found easier and get more credibility when promoting services, or themselves.

On top of all that market conditions, as they are associated with these global ‘Floating Markets’ are moving east. Europe becomes more and more like the US, the US more and more like Asia and Asia becomes what Europe once was. This is driven by basic survival instincts and supported by information now readily available all over the globe. Why should an Indian outsourcer with the same qualifications earn less than his Siberian counterpart? Why should a Malaysian programmer earn less than his Chinese colleague? As costs of living will equalize the last excuse will be removed and things will level out to an extend where geography will matter less and less.

As a European myself, I see our only chance to develop a sustainable business model in Innovation. Innovation is a valuable good which we can only afford when we have to things: time and high quality education – and this requires some level of commitment, if not dedication. Dedication needs to come from the Governments, but also from our students. They need to understand that their only chance to maintain their standard of living will be to work harder and learn more than their global competitors.

Long story short, as time goes by, we need to lay the foundation for our future wellbeing now. We need to act on what we feel is necessary and dare to take risks, despite the economic challenges. If we hunker down and try to wait it out, the only thing that will happen is that we will lose our slight advantage on innovational capacity and while we do act on this understanding we will need to make it clear to everyone that this is the one chance we’ve got.