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Online CRM Systems

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The habit was always to purchase CRM systems and install them within your own IT infrastructure. In recent years, renting customer relationship management software has been booming. The application is then available to you online and instead of high costs in one go, you pay a fixed monthly amount for its use.

Buy CRM or online?

In addition to the option to purchase the system, you can also investigate the possibility of online software. The CRM system is then available for you through the internet. You periodically pay an amount for this rental of both software and hardware. This amount - can vary - per user per month. Many CRM suppliers now offer their software in an online version. The advantage is that you no longer have to invest in software, hardware and management. The only thing you need is a laptop, tablet or telephone with internet access.

Benefits of online CRM

The online use of CRM systems offers various advantages. You can read the most important ones below.

- Maintenance. The management of CRM systems requires regular maintenance. With online software you no longer have to worry about it. You don't burden your own organization, you don't have to have the knowledge for it, you no longer have to incur costs for regular updates and you always work with the most recent version of the software.

- Clear data. With customer relationship management software on your own computers, your own subsystems quickly arise within your company network with its own storage of relationship information that's valuable to others. In practice, this can lead to data or synchronization problems being inaccessible. With online solutions, storage is by definition central and therefore the chance of problems is small.

- Access everywhere. Online CRM and the data that you use no longer bind you to a fixed workplace near the computers on which the software is installed. All over the world you have access through internet to the system that you use online. This makes working from home and working on location easier, which can increase employee productivity.

- No investment. For more and more assets, it's more pleasant to rent them and not to purchase them. The disadvantage of buying yourself is that money has to be available (extra expensive if you have to borrow it), that the purchased assets are on the balance sheet and that there are fewer financial resources available for other expenses. Renting online CRM software costs you a fixed amount per period, usually you pay per month. It's not possible to make a general statement as to whether relationship management renting software is on balance cheaper or more expensive than buying software. This will have to be viewed separately for each application.

- Flexibility. If you're not satisfied with the software solution or the service offered by the supplier, you can cancel your contract and switch to another supplier of online CRM. This is easier and results in less financial damage than if you had purchased the software and installed it on your own systems. This gives you more flexibility.

- Easy commissioning. Installing and deploying new CRM software on your own computer systems usually takes a lot of time and rarely goes smoothly. If you use an online CRM, making the software ready for use and transferring the data usually takes considerably less time.

Disadvantages of online CRM

There may also be disadvantages to using online CRM systems.

- Data security. If the CRM software and the data are installed on your own computers, you may give it a greater sense of security than in the situation in which you use software through an online CRM provider and your own data runs continuously through the internet between your workplace and the supplier is sent back and forth. Nevertheless, there is now no reason to doubt the security of your data at the supplier. Get informed about how the supplier has arranged its security.

- Data loss. All information about your relationships is stored with the supplier of the online solution. For example, if access to your data isn't possible due to technical malfunctions, you can theoretically lose customer data. Ask the supplier how backups are arranged, how to deal with computer failures and whether there is another source of your data so that you're not without current data if something should go wrong.

- Limited adjustment options. The supplier of online CRM usually offers his services based on standard customer relationship management software. Adapting this software to your organization is often only possible to a limited extent.

- Integration. Online CRM systems can be based on software platforms and techniques that differ from the ones you use. This can cause problems with integration with software applications that run on your own corporate network.

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