Socializing in the Clouds

Is there a connection between Social and Cloud-based CRM? [tweetmeme source=”Marcio_saito” only_single=false]

As several of the CRM tool vendors rush to enable their products to be more “Social” and position around Cloud Computing, a question emerges: Are Social CRM and Cloud-based CRM Softwaretrends related?

The short answer is no.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is the set of business processes and associated tools companies use to manage their relationship with customers. The “Social” in Social CRM is the layer that reflects the recent shift in control from companies to the customer.

That shift in control is happening because customers have access to information through the digital medium and are no longer captive listeners of traditional marketing channels. Companies have to listen and engage if they are to influence buyer’s decisions.

According to WikipediaCloud Computing is Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand, like a public utility.

That shift makes sense because if there is a large enough pool or providers and consumers, a shared pool of resources is a more efficient way of consuming computing compared to dedicated, user-owned infrastructure.

But the real answer is yes. Social and Cloud-based computing are related.

While they have different roots, both trends are about sharing more, controlling less, opening up. So there are parallels between them. And there is convergence, which is why this market space is so interesting right now.

In the case of CRM, it is about gathering information where customers are interacting rather than try to suck every piece of information into a proprietary database. The exchange is between controls over communication and richer access of public interactions.

In the case of Cloud computing, it is about better utilizing computing resources from a shared and scalable pool rather than building a dedicated (and underutilized) IT infrastructure. The exchange is between control over computing platforms and more efficient use of utility computing.

People and businesses don’t open up, become more social, or decide to share just because they want or because it is trendy. They do it be if there is a payoff.

Utility and Social Computing are not new concepts. What is happening now is that we are reaching the maturity level in technology that tips the value trade-off between closeness and openness, of controlling and sharing, of screaming and listening.

The world has changed.

Prepare to Socialize in the Clouds.

This article was originally written for and posted at

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