By my account, the origins of CRM date back to 1910, if we accept that CRM was an outgrowth of Personal Organizers, a popular example of which was, and still is, Filofax.
Filofax was an excellent upgrade from shoe-boxes/recipe cards for tracking customer and prospective customer interaction.
CRMs became popular with the advent of, at first, mainframes/minicompters, then desktops, and now smartphones.
The problem is businesses finally came to realize that customers are important to all functions across an organization, not just marketing/sales and customer support and that building, maintaining and increasing customer satisfaction is key to the ongoing success of a business.
While all of this was going on, organizations had been quietly working on Business Process Management (BPM) and software equivalents of this methodology, commonly called BPMs.
BPM allows organizations to develop and implement best practices that guide the processing of work. Some BPM enthusiasts hold the view that it’s all about automation and cost reduction, others maintain that the use of best practice workflow templates leads to greater consistency in terms of outcomes.
The train wreck happened when BPM realized customers wanted to “be in the loop” at various stages along the road to the production of customer deliverables.
If could have gone either way, but my take is BPM decided to widen its area of interest to include CRM with the result that, today, if you need enterprise software to manage your business, a BPMs will let you do that nicely as well as let you plan and track customer and prospective customer activity.
Next on the horizon is ACM which has the potential to manage both structured and unstructured work. It may absorb BPM or the two may co-exist happily, or we may end up with ACM/BPM.
Now, anyone who thinks cell phones are secure, take a look at the highly innovative ASUS Eee Pad Transformer (a tablet you can insert into a keyboard docking station). I remember thinking when this came out how cool it would be if you could make a phone call with this and guess what?, only a few weeks later I saw an announcement about the Padfone. I think ASUS is on the right path.
Actually, I am in no rush to get either. I continue to lug around my 17” ASUS G73J “laptop” which has 8GB of RAM plus twin 500 GB drives which are full, along with my three external drives. This machine is supposed to be for gamers but several of my developer friends like the G73J for performance reasons.
I am pleased to report that my year-long search for a proper video camera terminated this month with the acquisition of a Panasonic AG-AC160. This device has, count them, one-hundred and twenty parameters that can be set and I have been busy reading the 107 page manual. One of my partners called today and commented that he has not heard from me for a while.
Busy.. Busy.. Busy.. was my response.