Wednesday, September 16, 2009

More on CRM v SCRM

where i stand on this is pretty obvious, but still to reinforce my point, here are my comments on Esteban's blog

i dont see SCRM as anything new but an evolution of CRM and not a revolution. at the end of the day the adoption of social technologies isn't radically going to change the face of business.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


was following this debate,, and felt the need to respond there and post in more detail here.

i do not see any great difference between CRM and SCRM except a label change. in fact i think the need to rebrand is more a reflection of the young age of the industry than anything else.

my views are not too dissimilar from Graham's comments (2nd response in

SCRM uses social technology to enable businesses reach out to customers. so what exactly has changed?

customers were still talking to one another and influencing one another's purchasing decisions (through user groups or otherwise) and/or business behaviour before the advent of social technology. the arrival of social technology has lubricated this process and has had a multiplier effect on consumers' ability to change business behaviour. all that social technology has done is to aggregate consumer behaviour and empowered consumers to have a two way dialogue with businesses (if said businesses engaged in it).

that doesnt mean i think SCRM is irrelevant ( i think the label is, but its here to stay). businesses (some of them) now have to be more responsive towards aggregate behaviour. business has also got yet another tool from which to extract behavioural data and then strategize and deliver.

there seems to be an underlying message in most blogs/posts on SCRM, that with the advent of social technology, the consumer is king and has extraordinary power over business. I disagree with such notions. If anything, social technology has made irrelevant the individual consumer because of its aggregating nature

some random thoughts on CRM and SCRM

· CRM by itself is meaningless. It is a term created to describe how businesses interact with customers through several and often disparate functions/processes such as sales, accounts, support etc. CRM has become synonymous with the underlying technology platform to collate consumer data/behaviour through these functions/processes.

  • SCRM is not a revolutionary change over CRM but a mutation. CRM implementations were driven by large technology vendors and early adopters. SCRM implementations (if one may call them that), will be driven because of the advent of social technology, so SCRM exists not because of one or many LARGE vendors but because of step change in the usage of social technology in the environment
  • I find Paul's take on SCRM /( woolly or pretty obvious from point 5 or so onwards. SCRM is not going to make THAT big a change to the way a business does business in the same way Web 2.0 hasnt revolutionised daily life ( it hasnt).
  • There will be a surge in consulting spend on SCRM but like the CRM spend of previous years, I bet this spend too will be questioned for returns a decade down the line
  • SCRM is less relevant for B2B and even in the B2C space, most relevant for those businesses where transaction values are low,sales cycles are short, impulse buying is prominent, and/or there is a social cachet to the purchase

and lastly for me atleast, SCRM = old wine but in a user friendly bottle.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Roger Federer - Roland Garros 2009 Champion

I was hoping that the adrenaline would die down today and saner minds would prevail, but when you have the tennis equivalent of an Obama moment, the high will continue for quite some time.

So... this might be interpreted as a drool jerker and those of a delicate composition should look away.

All along I have maintained that Roger Federer's best years are past and sometime earlier this year I had also predicted that no one beyond the age of 26 will win anything noteworthy this year. I have been properly humbled by a master who himself has experienced what humbling means.

The last two weeks we saw the incredible runs of Robin Soderling and Juan Martin Del Potro and despite my being a Federer appreciator, I firmly believed that one of the two would be his nemesis this year.

Neither happened.

Federer called upon his survival skills against Juan Martin Del Potro (who surely is a top 3 contender now) but if my hopes started rising that Federer had a chance against Robin Soderling, they were quickly dashed when I re-watched Soderling oust Gonzalez and pit the clay of Roland Garros with craters caused by his forehands.

So came the final and I was expecting Soderling come out with his bazookas blazing, bring to court his ferocity of attitude and make Federer wilt.

Federer forgot to read that script when he left the hotel.

All we could see was the maestro was back with quick, short points and drop dead shots that left Soderling gasping at the base line.

And the aces! Federer has never been in the Pete Sampras class of ace mongering, but yesterday we saw a new ace merchant in play and that too on clay. Some of those aces defied physics and followed the unwritten rules that only genius is privy too. We have excellent statisticians on this board and it will be interesting to see how many aces Federer served and how they compare historically to past RG finals.

However, all along we were expecting Soderling to burst through, to unshackle his weapons and torch Federer’s dreams.

Didn't happen. A full day later the abiding memory of the final is that of control. Federer had that match in control, in his palm the moment the players stepped on court. Federer smothered Soderling's brilliance with his serves, his movement, and his drop shots. In Soderling’s own words, " But it's always -- you know, every time I played Roger, after the match I always said, I played so bad today. Now I learned that it's not that I played bad, he makes me play bad. So that's what's so difficult playing against him"

For me, this achievement of Federer’s is less about statistics and numbers and more to do with the human psyche. Very few of us can comprehend what he has achieved because we haven’t been there and done it. All champions are equally insecure too and Federer has had to battle his insecurities, demons, the continual media barrage, the weight of the fans, the loneliness of the tour, the records; day in and day out, and he came through all that yesterday as not just last man standing but deserved man standing.

Late at night when he was asleep, his subconscious must have kept on asking him especially these last few years, "Who am I? Can I do this? Am I worthy? Am I fake?” Yesterday he answered his subconscious.

And what does this say of us, us Federer appreciators?

Vicarious living is partly why champions in any field have a fan base. But there is more to fandom and appreciation than just vicarious living.

When you watch a Roger Federer, or for that matter a Raphael Nadal, a Tiger Woods or a Pete Sampras, you realise this is what Charles Darwin and Gregor Mendel set out to discover when they did their research, on the Beagle in one case and over peas in the other.

The coalescence of inherited traits, environment, and ability to evolve results in one Roger Federer out of a billion. Such benign freaks are worthy of following because they reaffirm why we no longer live in caves half naked. They provide a reference point for achievement and drag humanity forward just by being that reference point.

Till yesterday Robert Frost's lines must have resonated with Roger Federer.

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Today it is Roger Federer unshackled.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Champions League and the IPL

I dont follow football, in fact detest club football. the exceptions i make are for international football.

champions league 2009 was a matchup between two giants in european football and had the potential to be a humdinger of a match with two of the world's best players going at each other.

one team lived upto its billing and the other didnt. one man lived upto his billing as the greatest footballer on the planet currently and the other came close.

football is a stupid game if you think about it and is designed for failure. what can be more awkward than 22 men chasing a small ball around a park? yet when barcelona play as they did yesterday with messi, iniesta and xavi dominating the show, one can only marvel at the fluidity and ease with which 11 players can mesh together. then one realises why this is the most followed sport on earth.

a last point. yesterday's final was played between two clubs with contrasting ownership. one, owned by hardnosed american businessmen and arguably the most successful football club in the world. the other owned by the supporter members of the club who elect a management team every few years.

guess who won? righteous football or what!

for whatever reason i imagined that ipl 2009 would not be as successful as ipl 2008. i have been proven wrong.

ipl2008 astonished me with its vision. given that i dont associate indian businesses with vision (ipl is a business and most indian businesses are short termist), and that ipl 2008 was conceived, planned and executed in less than a year, the foresight in its structure (mandatory number of players under a certain age for example) amazed me.

ipl 2009 has gone one step further in its ability to be creative/innovative/make its own rules. i cant think of a single national sporting event that was transported lock, stock and barrel to a different country and run successfully there. not just innovation at its best, but also outsourcing! in stark contrast, the dinosaurs that run english cricket would prefer to choke on their prawn sandwiches than to contemplate minor change let alone execute major change.

ipl is also showing the world the australian legacy to world cricket. shane warne and adam gilchrist might not be single handedly responsible for their teams vicotories in the two ipls, but no one can deny their ability to bring together good teams on small budgets.

and lastly, i dont know if eddy grant's song, "give me hope jo'anna" was preplanned for the closing ceremony but it certainly was fitting for a nascent rule breaking sporting event.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Indian Elections

Every few years, a circus is laid on for the whole world by India, free of charge. That circus, the general elections, comes accompanied with sound, violence, unbelievable twists in the plot; pretty much what a typical Bollywood masala offering is about.

For a Westerner the Indian general elections are a thing of bemusement. The very fact that 1 billion people in a third world country vote every few years is astonishing. To top that, by and large the results are accepted gracefully (Dubya take note), and the democracy does work (so long as you dont raise the bonnet).

I have always trumpeted that for third world countries to break the shackles of the third world tag, mere annual growth rates arent enough. Those growth rates have to be backed by lessening of the wealth divide and a development of a mature society.

General Elections 2009 have been a revelation not because of the mandate given to the Congress but because the voters had the courage (inertia?) to vote for a government that will deliver political stability at the very least.

Maybe this is a false dawn, but still the emergence of social maturity is one to celebrate.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Obama again

as i write this the first quarter of the year is past and economic gloom has set in well. job insecurity is rampant and i keep saying to friends and family alike that this year the standard form of greeting has been changed from the conventional hi/hello to 'how's your job'.

obama has sprinkled some of his stardust on the uk during the g20 visit as a result of which the ftse rose a hundred odd points. nice. can we petition that we get him to visit the uk every quarter? being a staunch republican i am annoyed at the media coverage of michelle obama breaching royal protocol by hugging the queen. i was intrigued to hear obama use his full name, barach hussein obama, at a nato event last week. i expected him to shy away from using his middle name, but looks like the man has reserves of self confidence.

i have discovered that even in these times relationships are not that easily swayed. i had to make a good friend redundant in february and our relationship has withstood that.

a friend of mine runs a mcdonalds franchisee and he is naturally ebullient. he wants a recession to happen every year.

and on that upbeat note, au revoir.