Customer Relationship Management or CRM is a strategy used to learn more about customers' needs and behaviors in order to develop
stronger relationships with them. CRM software systems automate many customer-related business tasks. CRM applications are traditionally
developed as client-server software which incurs higher initial cost of ownership. The proliferation of the Internet and the Web has
fueled the rapid growth of Web-based CRM or online CRM applications. Web CRM systems are widely deployed for web based call center, contact management,
trouble ticket, sales force automation (SFA), personal information manager and scheduling among other electronic commerce applications.
Characteristics of Web Based CRM
The major difference between online CRM and enterprise CRM is the user interface of the systems. Enterprise CRM employees software
as client typically developed in VB, C++ or Java. Web based CRM systems uses web browser as client. Both of them use relational
database as backend for storing customer information.
Benefits of Web Based CRM
- Low Total Cost of Ownership - the cost of Webbased CRM systems may not be cheaper than their enterprise software counterparts.
The total cost of ownership for web based CRM, however, is much cheaper because of lower cost of implementation and deployment.
- Rapid deployment - Online CRM uses web browser as think client for accessing CRM backend. It saves the cost of deploying CRM clients.
Deployment of CRM clients is a major burden for enterprise CRM application especially for organizations which have hundreds of thousands of
- Accessibility - users can access web based CRM from anywhere as long as they have Internet access.
- Instant information sharing - information entered remotely on the web can be transmitted
back to CRM backend for instant information sharing across organizational lines and locations.
Vendors of Web Based CRM Systems
All major CRM vendors (Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, PeopleSoft) offer their CRM products in Enterprise Version and Web Based CRM or Online CRM
version. Many small CRM vendors focus exclusively on providing Webbased or online CRM.
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