Oil Prices and the Increasing Importance of Virtualization

Dennis Pombriant, founder of Boston-based Beagle Research and a long-time CRM industry pundit, had an article featured today on ecommercetimes.com. In it, he spoke to the fallout that rising fuel prices and tough economic times is having on the CRM industry, and not merely the fact that when businesses make less money customer service typically gets short-changed and IT departments suffer budget cuts.

Pombriant spoke to the importance that Web 2.0…or CRM 2.0 if you’d like…will have on the ability of businesses to drive customer interactions via the Web, thus avoiding skyrocketing travel costs in the process. Some of these points he outlined at our SugarCRM Acceleration Boston event, which he keynoted.

But to those points I’d also add open source, because as my blogger-in-crime Martin pointed out yesterday in his blog, “The Power of Open Integration in Action,” why bother paying for the licensing and customization fees associated with integrating Siebel with Business Objects when one can simply do it for virtually free with open source alternatives.

Oil prices just aren’t driving the cost of driving and airline travel up, they’re forcing software vendors to change the way in which they operate, develop, and sell software. Virtualization means that customers are expecting more flexibility in their software solutions and in pricing, and that can only be a good thing when it come to the bottom line, whether it’s conducting a conference call as opposed to flying to see the client, or selecting a different CRM vendor based on the aforementioned benefits.