IBM's services subsidiary IBM GSA is backing analytic functionality as the next phase of customer relationship management (CRM) releasing a branded services-based offering.
IBM GSA's Enterprise Customer Analytics (ECA) solution is designed to leverage IBM's database and data mining software to provide an organisation's staff with a comprehensive real-time view of a customer regardless of where the information is residing on the company's network. The services company is also claiming the ECA offering can push the information across any device from the call centre, over the Internet or to sales staff out in the field.
According to Russell Ives, category executive Sell & Support at IBM Global Services Australia and New Zealand, ECA moves analytics and data mining out of the back office and uses it as a layer across the entire CRM application. IBM currently has a number of software patents pending on the technology to facilitate this added Ives.
Additionaly, IBM GSA will draw on existing partnerships with a number of independent software vendors as well as parent company IBM's own hardware and software. However, Ives claims IBM GSA will not be tied too tightly to IBM's products and will be looking to use a customer's existing investment in CRM and systems infrastructure.
IBM GSA has targeted CRM as a high growth area and Ives recognises two main cost drivers of CRM solutions including the total number of customers a company has on its books and, secondly, how fragmented that customer information is across the network.
The top 100-500 companies in Australia have been earmarked as potential customers for IBM GSA's ECA CRM solution, with the option for smaller companies to purchase components of the overall offering.Photograph: Russell Ives