Staci Emery

CRM adoption is plaguing many businesses

Customer relationship management solutions are effective tools for connecting businesses with clients. Companies that achieve successful implementations can gain insight into customer information such as sales histories, current contracts and year-to-date earnings to offer more personalized assistance to help their firms improve even more.

Getting to this point, however, is the real challenge. Organizations are struggling mightily to maximize their investments in CRM suites. Destination CRM recently reported surveys have discovered nearly 75 percent of firms are facing problems with their product launches. Almost two-thirds of sales representatives at these companies often spend their days focused on less important tasks than actually selling goods and services to clients.

A Sales Benchmark Index report found just 42 percent of sales teams follow documented processes when selling. What’s more troubling is that less than 12 percent of these departments actually follow these protocols, according to the news provider.

All of these challenges with CRM result in a solution that fails to deliver on its promise of improving relationships with clients and providing a valuable tool to the sales team. Ultimately, these problems turn a firm’s CRM “investment into a boat anchor,” Destination CRM emphasized.

Go with someone you can trust
Due to the complexity of a CRM integration, you will want to be selective with who you partner with for the project. Implementations may take up to several months during which you will be working closely with your CRM provider, so it is important to select a company you trust and who has experience to ensure a smooth transition.

Not all CRM applications are created equal. A Gartner report named Microsoft as one of the best CRM vendors in its Magic Quadrant study for its CRM and CRM Online suites.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, users can select an on-site deployment or one hosted in the cloud. Businesses with mobile task force or multiple locations may want to consider going with the cloud solution that allows employees to connect with their departments on an organizational-wide basis.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online system has come a long way since 2012, gaining significant traction in the CRM market.

“Large sales organizations with more than 500 users have begun to consider and select the product. The offering is functionally equivalent to Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premises, but there will be variances because the online version is on a different release cycle than on-premises (twice a year for online versus once a year for on-premises),” Gartner explained.

Gartner said Microsoft’s on-premise solutions offer integration with SQL Server, Lync, Visual Studio, SharePoint and Outlook, as well as better total cost of ownership than its cloud counterpart.

Make the most of your CRM selection with Pinnacle
As Destination CRM highlighted, successful CRM implementations are not always easy. Selecting a tool such as Microsoft Dynamics is a great step toward minimizing any complications. Partnering with a leading IT managed services provider such as Pinnacle, an Advanced Imaging Solutions company, is another way to overcome implementation challenges and maximize investments in this powerful software.

At Pinnacle, we don’t just help clients adopt new IT products and send them on their way. We believe in continued support long after a solution is launched. Click here to learn more.

Staci Emery

Disasters happen: Be ready for any situation

Transcript

Mother Nature can unleash the most unexpected weather at the most inopportune moments, wreaking havoc on IT infrastructures and sensitive data. Businesses without proper disaster recovery protocols in place may be unable to restore operations quickly following a disruption.

Pinnacle, an Advanced Imaging Solutions company, is a leading managed IT services provider that assists clients with all of their business continuity and disaster recovery needs. We will ensure your company has the tools and strategy in place to be proactive following a disruption, not reactive.

Stay tuned to learn more about how Pinnacle can get your business back on track when disaster strikes!

Staci Emery

Don’t become another security breach victim [VIDEO]

Transcript

IT security has received plenty of attention in recent years. Businesses of all sizes and industries have experienced breaches that have resulted in consumer distrust and lost sales.

If your company has experienced a breach before or wants to avoid becoming another victim, you have come to the right place.

At Pinnacle, an Advanced Imaging Solutions company, we are a leading IT managed services provider that helps clients shore up system vulnerabilities to protect corporate assets and their consumer data.

We will be your business’s eyes and ears when it comes to safeguarding your most valuable content around the clock.

Stay tuned for more videos from Pinnacle about the importance of IT security!

Staci Emery

What does IT’s future hold? Execs believe it involves the cloud

The IT industry is known for changing on a dime, positioning forward-thinking businesses to succeed over competitors that wait too long to adopt the latest solutions the market has to offer. In recent years, cloud computing has emerged as a service that is necessary to facilitate long-term growth and will likely be a big part of the tech field’s future.

A recent survey of more than 1,250 decision-makers by Evolve IP discovered a vast majority (88 percent) said the IT industry’s future is in the cloud. Of the C-level executives, vice presidents and directors included in the study, 70 percent classified themselves as “cloud believers,” compared to 58 percent of IT managers who answered similarly. Continue reading

Staci Emery

Cloud computing is no longer just ‘hyped’ technology

Businesses that don’t want to lose any ground in their respective industry should make sure they have the most flexible and capable IT solutions in their corner. Sure, on-site equipment still plays a key role in daily operations, but the time, energy and resources needed to maintain these systems are not for every company.

Now is the perfect opportunity for firms, regardless of size, to replace antiquated infrastructure with more agile environments. Cloud computing is a dominant topic throughout the IT industry, with research highlighting that more organizations are leveraging the service than ever. A survey of 527 companies conducted by The Harvard Business Review on behalf of Verizon found 70 percent are using the technology, with 74 percent of those respondents stating it has helped them achieve a competitive advantage and 71 percent have managed to reduce operational complexities. Continue reading

Staci Emery

Recent California earthquake highlights disaster recovery needs

Mother Nature often strikes at a moment’s notice, emphasizing the importance of disaster recovery efforts to safeguard corporate resources during disruptions. The state of California recently experienced an earthquake – just another example of how events can occur when businesses least expect them to.

Not all companies have to worry about earthquakes like firms do in California. But organizations may be more susceptible to other events such as floods, fires, tornadoes, hurricanes and blizzards depending on the season and region. Simply put: Businesses, regardless of location, must be ready for the unexpected. If corporate data is not protected during the next Mother Nature-related event, companies will be unable to restore operations, losing revenue as a result. Continue reading

Staci Emery

Big data analytics will drive next generation of revenue

Achieving a competitive advantage in this day and age is not the easiest task. Companies must possess the right vision and have the available resources to set themselves apart from their rivals. In recent years, the focus on business intelligence has grown by leaps and bounds, especially in the wake of the big data phenomenon.

Firms with the right analytics solutions can gain insight into this information to make more sound decisions pertaining to their targeted markets like never before. A recent IDC report suggested this capability will be a driving force behind future revenue generation, especially among retailers. Continue reading

Staci Emery

ERP software experiencing rapid changes

Enterprise resource planning software will look a bit different in the coming years, thanks to the influence of various trends sweeping the IT industry. Although some of these new developments will benefit how companies leverage ERP systems, it may be challenging for businesses to incorporate the tools if they lack the resources or knowledge to do so.

A New Straits Time Online report detailed the most significant changes sweeping the ERP market. The Internet of Things is one trend that will drive data collection, allowing organizations to view performance details to determine if operational assets go unused. Continue reading

Staci Emery

IT investments point toward the cloud

Cloud computing dominates the IT industry, in terms of both headlines and adoption rates. Businesses worldwide are investing in this flexible technology more than ever to satisfy a broad range of functions, especially disaster preparedness. Disruptions strike at any time, damaging infrastructures and mission-critical data that are essential to operations. Firms without access to these resources cannot compete during such periods of downtime.

A Kable report recently suggested cloud computing will account for 17 percent of IT procurements in the next year. The highest percentage of investments will be allocated toward data backup and software application hosting during this time. Continue reading

Staci Emery

Confidence in IT industry strong for 2014

The IT industry is in good standing at the present time, a great sign that businesses are investing in the most innovative technologies available to promote long-term growth. CompTIA’s latest Business Confidence Index is at a 60.1 on a 100-point scale, down slightly from the second quarter’s 61.3. The IT nonprofit organization asserted, however, that the overall outlook for 2014 looks optimistic and is expected to gain two points in the next six months.

Of the companies included in the study, 75 percent said they are on target or have exceeded initial revenue goals for 2014 at the halfway mark. In 2013, 68 percent of businesses answered similarly, so there is clearly improvement to this year’s use of IT solutions. Continue reading