CIOs should note that although Salesforce.com, NetSuite CRM, and SugarCRM use the CRM label, their functionality focuses on the sales-force automation capabilities such as contact management and sales tracking, a subset of CRM functions. Other applications hosted in-house tend to do the heavy lifting of transaction management.
For many CIOs, that's a good thing.
For example, E-LOAN realised that its mortgage loan transaction management system was highly efficient, tracking all the details of each customer. But the roughly 150 mortgage loan officers needed a framework for providing proactive loan status updates to customers, recalls CIO Jay Shah.
So Shah deployed Salesforce.com as the online lender's "communications system of record," using straightforward data feeds from the transaction system to Salesforce.com to keep all customer contact records updated. No programming was required in Salesforce.com, just configuration to pipe data updates from the loan transaction system to Salesforce.com.
Loan agents could now have a customer's current loan status available in the same application they used to get the customer's contact information and display their calendars. E-LOAN could now create business rules within Salesforce.com to alert loan agents when deadlines were nearing. Even better for Shah, those rules could be written by business analysts so IT staff could work on other projects.