Over the course of several conversations with Gartner analysts today, here at the firm’s CRM Summit in Washington D.C., an interesting topic was brought up more than once: the use of 2nd generation CRM solutions as a “Band-Aid” for older, outdated solutions. In other words, using applications like SugarCRM as a desktop, metadata management solution that the Siebel’s and SAP’s of the world feed into so end users get the benefit of a fresh interface.
It’s an interesting problem companies are facing. Tough economic times mean businesses can ill afford to spend the money and time ripping out and replacing these systems altogether. So rather than replacing these dinosaurs outright, they’re turning to companies like ourselves to act as the desktop interface for the end users, with data being feed into them in real-time.
Fortunately, open and transparent APIs and the open source model have acted as the vehicle by which businesses are starting to accomplish quick fixes such as these. Then again, as one Gartner analyst mentioned, are quick fixes such as these simply delaying the inevitable? I’d have to say yes.