Enterprise computing is undergoing a revolution, but it’s not the first.  It has undergone a number of phases, or waves, throughout its history, each looking to introduce efficiencies in how we work.

The first two waves of computing were centered on the back-office. The first wave was focused on accounting (general ledger and Accounts Payable) and the second on computerizing logistics (enterprise resource planning and supply chain management). The third wave of enterprise computing was the first to focus on the front-office and strategic revenue generation. This phase saw the birth of CRM, which guided user interactions with customers toward an overall goal of driving transactions and revenues. NexJ’s first enterprise customer management solutions fit into this wave.  But, unlike other CRM vendors, we had a defining principle of integrating all enterprise back-office systems and data sources and marrying that information seamlessly with front-office interaction management so firms could attribute customer-facing activities with revenue generation and refine accordingly.  In essence we viewed CRM as a strategic investment to boost both customer service and revenues and never intended it to be used in a silo for simple sales force automation.

Data and cloud computing with flexible storage and computing power are driving the fourth wave.  NexJ’s focus on integration positions our Intelligent Customer Management solutions well for this new revolution in computing, in which front-office users are guided through proven best practices to deliver intelligence at point of service. This wave relies heavily on artificial intelligence and machine learning to analyze inputs and outputs and create continuously evolving decision models. We believe siloed CRM implementations are unable to deliver the company- and customer-specific information required for continuous learning, and will therefore become just one more point of integration. In this current wave of CRM, firms need to share a single view of the customer, including all interactions and transactions across all channels and lines of business, and be able to quickly provision data to artificial intelligence and machine learning projects. Integration is therefore vitally important for the fourth wave.

Which wave are you riding with your CRM?