Business System Integration and Consultancy

“Abstract Customer relationship direction ( CRM ) is a combination of people, procedures and engineering that seeks to understand a company ‘s customers.”

The faculty “Business System Integration and Consultancy” was one I had been looking frontward to of all time since I decided to fall in the class. The chance of holding existent clip experience of being a adviser and transporting out a undertaking was truly appealing. Over the class of the faculty, the assorted facets of consultancy and undertaking execution were introduced under the umbrella of a consultancy undertaking. My essay covers the assorted phases that I went through as a portion of my group, the alterations I would do if I were to travel through the procedure once more and the accomplishments I gained by undergoing the faculty.

The essay is loosely divided into two subdivisions. The first subdivision covers the procedure of system integrating I would follow. This covers the phases like Request for Information and Request for Proposal which covers the execution scheme. The 2nd subdivision high spots the personal acquisition.


The faculty took us through assorted phases of system integrating get downing from the client seting up petition for information. If the procedure was to be repeated, there is a series of alterations and betterments that could be incorporated into the same. These have been detailed below.

The Request for Information ( RFI )

S Daellenbach and Sally J Davenport suggest that organisations enter into confederation based on properties of organisation and its representatives instead than the property of the future confederation relationship ( Establishing Trust during the Formation of Technology Alliances ‘ , Journal of Technology Transfer, 29 ( 2 ) , 2004:187 ) . The RFI phase is the platform to demo the clients the credibleness and eligibility of the company in taking up the undertaking ( mention of where you got the info from ) . It is of import to affect the client ; demo them that you have the capableness and besides set up trust. For this it is indispensable to demo partnership by seting the logo of Aluxtel and ICG together. The presentation would cover the accomplishments, the strengths, the services offered and relevant experience of ICG in the country of client demand. It would besides showcase the of import old and current partnerships of the company ; for this I would utilize Son of the spouse companies. The presentation should non give so much information that the client misses the indispensable points. ICG ab initio had 19 slides which were cut down to 14 during the RFI phase. Another facet I would make otherwise, was sing an question by the client about employee turnover ratio. ICG had divulged that information to Aluxtel but I subsequently found out that such inside informations are seldom let out by a company and about ne’er during RFI phase. Meeting with the client is besides a really important facet. Survey by Katz and Kahn suggest that appraisal of trust is likely to be based ab initio on the interpersonal interactions ( 1978 ) . It is hence of import to subscribe the “psychological contracts” with the client.

The Request for Proposal ( RFP )

This phase required us to showcase the program to turn to the client ‘s demand. The important facet to this was to pull out the right information from the client through the series of meetings we had. The process adopted consisted of three stairss – analysing the organisation & A ; understanding demands, explicating execution scheme and measuring the undertaking execution.

Procedure and Technology

Measure 1: Analyzing organisation & A ; Understanding Requirements

The key to acquiring information from the clients as pointed by the faculty leaders is to inquire an unfastened ended inquiry which leaves the client to speak more than you. The effectual direction of information has a important function to play in CRM. Information is critical for merchandise tailoring, service invention, amalgamate positions of clients, and ciphering client life-time value ( Peppard, 2000 ) . The initial negotiations were non really fruitful, due to inexperience and nervousnesss. The attendant meetings yielded more information ; the last meeting had been more focussed in footings of the inquiries and yielded specific concerns of the client sing cost decrease and organisational restructuring. This helped ICG modify the program to run into the client ‘s specific involvements. The information was used to transport out analysis utilizing techniques like SWOT analysis, stakeholder analysis and plague analysis. I would follow this as it greatly helped in analysing the consequence of the undertaking on assorted facets of the organisation.

Measure 2: Execution Scheme

The scheme should provide to three chief facets viz. people, procedure and engineering.

The thought is that a new procedure is to be designed by integrating engineering to give the company the competitory advantage. The focal point nevertheless needs to be on the demands of the company and non engineering. Technology should ever be the facilitator. This fact is confirmed by Rigby and Ledingham who say that directors should non be distracted by the CRM package but should concentrate on what demands it should provide to ( 2004 ) . I steadfastly adhere to this school of idea and believe that doing engineering the chief drive force behind determinations can do concerns to lose focal point on their nucleus competences, unless the nucleus competence is engineering itself.

The chief facet to be considered in the instance of Aluxtel is the presence of silo systems. Migrating the information into a individual database would greatly cut down call clip and better client satisfaction. However this should non impact the normal concern operations. Bearing these factors in head a information migration program has to be devised. The information migration would besides function as an chance to transport out informations cleansing. In 2001, Gartner analysts Scott Nelson and Jennifer Kirkby reported that disregarding informations quality is the figure one ground for CRM undertaking failures ( Power, 2009:40 ) . The information of Aluxtel could be largely cleansed by automatic methods but required manual cleaning every bit good. The challenge with manual cleaning is the clip it consumes and the human resource required from an already overladen Aluxtel staff. From the interactions with the faculty leaders, it was concluded that cent per centum clean information is a rareness. Therefore I believe that automatic cleaning would do as an immediate demand. The information from silo systems could be integrated into a separate individual database and it can undergo the manual cleaning. This method has its pros and cons. Since the undertaking will be implemented in a phased mode, the above scheme would intend keeping bequest and new database till the undertaking goes unrecorded in all the offices. However it besides provides a autumn back mechanism to the bequest database in instance of any issue. The new system can take a few months to settle, where the staff and the clients become familiar with the system. The Information and Technology ( IT ) staff on which the burden is lesser than sales/marketing staff can transport out the manual cleaning. [ Refer appendix for informations migration diagram ]

The client today takes certain services for granted, chief being an online service. It enormously adds to the convenience factor of the client. Bearing this in head, a web portal is a necessity. Peppers and Rogers depict how web sites help in retaining clients by offering services in traditionally impossible ways [ 2000 ] . The presence of a amalgamate database would intend that investing required for this would be minimum. Besides, presenting an IVR system with an machine-controlled confirmation service would greatly cut down call clip and the incommodiousness caused to clients by perennial confirmation questions.

The following facet of the scheme is to look at cost decrease and organisational restructuring. For a apparatus that involves client naming in for questions, it is instead unneeded to hold four different offices for call centres. Integrating them would greatly cut down disposal and care costs. I would lodge to the recommendation made to unify Milton Keynes office with Birmingham office. There have been instances of companies Virgin, Bata etc switching central offices without impacting their concern. The cost decrease it would convey greatly justifies this move.

An facet I would wish to convey about if I do this undertaking once more is affecting clients in make up one’s minding other alterations to be brought about since CRM is a client centric undertaking. Random calls could be made to the clients asking about the alterations they would wish to see in the procedure. Optimizing client relationships requires a complete apprehension of all clients ; profitable every bit good as non-profitable, and so to form concern procedures to handle clients separately based on their demands and their values ( Renner, 2000 ) . This reinforces the advantages to be gained by utilizing the client profiling.

One point that was missed out, as pointed out by Mr. Gary was the hazard analysis. Possible hazards such as undertaking failure, unequal return on investing, unplanned undertaking budget alterations, unhappy clients, loss of employee assurance, and recreation of cardinal direction clip and resources must be good thought out ( Schweigert, 2000 ) . Identifying the hazards involved and accordingly mapping the ways to extenuate these hazards would be a great confidence to the client and will besides guarantee better opportunities of forestalling a undertaking failure.

Measure 3: Appraisal and Control

Argyris and Schon describe the spread between ‘intent ‘ and realisation as the major challenge in strategic direction theory ( 1996 ) . It is of import that the undertaking is invariably reviewed and assessed to do certain its on the right class and it adheres to the program set out. The steps taken by ICG were really good in run intoing this demand. A steering commission and a follow up commission would guarantee that undertaking stuck to its program. The undertaking had a stage “controlling” every bit good for the intent.


Execution of endeavor engineering, such as CRM and ERP, requires alterations to organisational civilization ( Al-Mashari & A ; Zairi, 2000 ) . It is hence of import to fix the people involved for the alteration and do certain they are motivated to encompass the alteration. Most jobs in CRM execution are non proficient.

[ Schwartz et Al, 2002 ] identifies organisational alteration as a major challenge for CRM executions. Analyzing the execution scheme, it is clear that the alteration is huge and there is a really valid demand to look into the people aspect.

The first thing to make would be to affect the senior direction in the procedure of fixing the staff for the alteration. Cap Gemini and IDC found that top direction and selling and gross revenues direction are by and large the instigators of a corporate CRM undertaking ( 1999 ) . Besides developing Sessionss will be conducted to do them recognize the benefits of the new system and to besides guarantee their credence. Their feedbacks at assorted phases can guarantee that the undertaking is on path and these stairss would besides guarantee their ownership in the undertaking.

A major issue to be considered is the resettlement of people in Milton Keynes to Birmingham and besides from the different call centres to the integrated call Centre. There is likely to be opposition in this respect. This issue was non discussed decently in ICG ‘s proposal. I believe that a little hiking in wage is justified to actuate people for the alteration. This would n’t be a load on the company sing the effectual outgo cut. Besides a publicity would be a large psychological motive for the staff even if the salary rise associated with the publicity is minimum.

Personal Learning

The faculty helped in understanding the constructs of consultancy and how to be professional in the work that you do. It familiarized me with the assorted phases involved in a undertaking and how to undertake each of them. It is most of import to hold a holistic position sing all possible facets. Initially, the focal point had merely been on planing a CRM system. But as the class progressed, I learned to look at the chances for organisational restructuring and investigation for ways to transfuse process optimisation and cost decrease. The experience of working with clip restraints in a really competitory environment has made me confident to take on the universe of confer withing.

As for the soft accomplishments, I was a portion of all the meetings with the client and besides handled the RFI presentation and the concluding presentation. It made me confident to talk in forepart of honored persons. The meetings helped me understand the elusive niceties of constructing a resonance by conversation and gestures. I was besides introduced to the art of inquiring the right sort of inquiries to pull out inside informations from the client.

The procedure of working in a group besides was a really fulfilling experience. The work was by and large divided among the members and each member came prepared with the subject. This was followed by treatments and encephalon storming about the assorted subjects. This ensured proper analysis of all the subjects and deep apprehension about the same. It besides made certain that everyone in the group was cognizant of all the facets of our proposal. This was highlighted by the fact that during the reappraisal session by the panel after our concluding presentation, all the members answered to the questions.


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