Making a CRM solution fit your business processes, and not visa versa, has been a cornerstone of CRM implementations for nearly 10 years. That said, I took note of Dave Rosenberg’s recent blog about the evolving nature of platform-as-a-service (PaaS) products and what business leaders should consider when shopping for a SaaS solution.
The concept of leveraging an application’s base functionality as a platform into other capabilities is now well established across a multitude of vendors and offerings, but there’s still a lot of market confusion over what capabilities each vendor offers in terms of customization and integration.
There’s a strong difference between a SaaS vendor providing customization capabilities and functionality extensions and another vendor that provides honest-to-God access to the underlining architecture to allow for true deep-dive alterations. The first allows for what I like to call “topographical customizations,” the latter the ability to get down and dirty, so to speak, and truly alter the foundational code to completely modify an application’s abilities.
And this isn’t simply a sales pitch for open source. I’ve come across a number of proprietary vendors that offer capabilities along these lines. Microsoft has really taken leaps and bounds in this direction, first with its Azure platform and with Visual Studio, among other products. In my years as a journalist with CRM magazine, I saw RightNow as another.
Understanding a vendor’s individual abilities around this is critical when considering a hosted solution that will grow as your company does.