July 27, 2001
I've finished a new article on the hot buzzword topic of Customer Relationship Management. There really is something to CRM, even though from a technology perspective CRM really is just a combination of a lot of stuff we've been doing for a while now (salesforce automation + database marketing + call center). CRM offers the potential of whole new levels of efficiency and effectiveness to an organization, but it requires looking at the way the organization works in a whole new way in order to make the investment in the technology actually pay off.
July 26, 2001
Product v. Service
I found two stories this week about the new Novell/Cambridge Technology Partners combination. One was an interview with the CEO, the other an interview with the CTO. Let's see what they had to say, shall we?:
Jack Messman, CEO: "I think we've got to integrate these two companies; that's the first agenda item, to make sure we put the two together in such a way that we achieve the savings that we anticipate as being over $40 million a year. Then, to get Novell solutions-oriented. We think that the major advantage of the Cambridge acquisition is to bring a solutions orientation to Novell."
Carl Ledbetter, CTO: "The Cambridge acquisition, which closed July 10, was designed to help Novell better sell its products to enterprise customers... We had to create a consulting division with 150 staff to show how to solve a problem with Novell products and other people's. The whole idea behind the Cambridge acquisition is to get 3,000 consultants in one fell swoop... Novell will focus consulting on providing the directory component to link enterprise applications."
So is Novell going to be shaping product around solutions or solutions around products? From these two interviews it looks like this organization needs to either clean up its mess or shake some of the lead out. It's a shame when two once great companies that helped change the world of business with visionary ideas about what technology could do and how it can be implemented end up becoming simply another irrelevant mediocrity.