Think of it as “anything relationship management”.
Anything (“x”) Relationship Management (xRM) is the concept of leveraging a flexible and powerful platform, to replace the customizations, spreadsheets and access databases typically built to manage business information. This information often complements or drives your primary corporate and financial applications (ERP).
A platform, not an application
xRM is a Platform. Think of Microsoft Excel, which is thought of as a spreadsheet application, but it truly is a platform. Excel doesn’t do much until you start adding your labels, cells, formatting, business rules and logic to it. After careful planning and creating, you have a model or application that solves a business problem. Excel provides commonly used functions (like summing, sorting, filtering etc.) that make your work easier and faster. xRM’s building blocks are items like people (name, address, phone number), things (products, assets, etc.), events (date, time, place), workflows (steps, rules, conditions) and tasks (things to get done, by date, who is responsible), etc.
The xRM 80/20 rule
Achieve 80% of your business requirements by using and integrating preexisting functionality. Then, use 20% custom development to make the application, or collective applications do precisely what you need them to do. Create things faster than before and allow them to be built by business analysts rather than by programmers.
The evolution of xRM
As our customers began to understand the possibilities of CRM, they started thinking outside of the box and wanted the ability to manage other aspects of their business, such as:
… and much more. So now we think of CRM as xRM, where x can be anything you need to manage — hence, anything Relationship Management.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
… is at the core of xRM platform. The concept of CRM started with a Rolodex. Then someone created a software version of a Rolodex, which led to contacts targeted at automating sales (Sales Force Automation or SFA). As people and companies began to realize the value of these tools, they wanted more. This incessant appetite to want, track, do and report on more created the CRM industry, which has been going strong for a decade. About 2005, we started evangelizing the concept of doing much more than simply managing and tracking customer relationships.
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