As a nice follow up to Gerhard Gschwandtner’s comments yesterday on software platforms during his keynote presentation, Mike Mitchell, CTO of BDO Seidman’s Alliance Program provided a great example.
In a nutshell, the alliance program at BDO is responsible for managing the hundreds of smaller accounting firms that BDO collaborates with, and more specifically, managing the thousands of business referrals exchanged on a yearly basis.
Realizing they needed a solution to measure and analyze the value of each referral, Mitchell elected SugarCRM, not for its out-of-the-box functionality, but for its ability to serve as a software platform that BDO could build upon and collaborate with. Just like Web 2.0 is altering the manner in which companies interact with their customers, CRM 2.0 is altering the way businesses consume software.
The result? A CRM suite solution that now mirrors as much a PRM (partner relationship management) system as it does an application to manage sales, marketing, and customer service.