a reply to: WilliG
I have had IT business analyst roles and occasionally get asked to evaluate CRM tools.
So far, I really have issues with differentiating between them.
They all seem to have the same basic functionality and deficiencies and are usually way
overpriced for what they are.
Where one may have features that are not in other packages, they are usually complicated and un-intuative, which makes things more of a 'use' problem
than a feature.
There are also issues of scale. Some suites are fully multi-user, client-server and enterprise scale, with financials, e-mail, unified messaging,
multi-platform clients, SQL database, scheduling, data-mining and reporting with a HTML dashboard and all sorts of weird perks.
Others are simple apps designed for single user, single device, to track a small number of customers and where everything is mostly manual.
As a business analyst, I'd suggest that you look at the problem first and then choose the tool that fits best.
There will be ones that are too much, there will be ones that are too little.
Once you have narrowed down the field, then look at demo's of each prospective solution. Look and feel is important if you are going to work with the
Also consider online solutions where someone else does the hack work (the idea is to make your job easier, not to add more work). Platform shouldn't
have to be a consideration. If you do go 'online' consider the responsiveness and price of the support, because they can gouge and be slow/inept which
has business impact.
I'd then compare overall price but as a last and least step. It's no good getting cheap crap that you hate using.
I'd be interested in what other contributors might recommend and why, 'cause it is an exercise in frustration for me each time it comes up, mainly
because the users have no idea of what they want and I then feel that I am choosing what I like rather than my clients.