Star, a provider of on-demand computing and communication services for UK businesses, has launched a new pay-as-you-go Customer Relationship Management (CRM) service that allows companies to enjoy the benefits of improved customer intelligence and more efficient sales and marketing operations at an affordable price.
The new on-demand service requires no up-front investment in hardware and software and eliminates the traditional problems of prohibitive cost, lengthy deployment and difficult integration with legacy platforms which have long dogged CRM deployments in the past.
The CRM service, which is available from £19.99 per user per month*, is the latest managed business service to be rolled out by Star, adding to its existing suite of IT and communication services which include business email, connectivity, hosting, networking, security and voice.
By optimising Microsoft Dynamics™ CRM technology, Star’s new CRM service is designed to provide companies of all sizes with the tools to build a customer-centric business philosophy and culture to support effective marketing, sales and service processes.
Analysts at Tier1 Research (T1R), in a 2008 report, estimated that, while the on-premise enterprise CRM market has reached relative maturity and is expected to experience annualized growth of 6.2% through 2010, the on-demand CRM market is expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 41.0% through 2010.
Star’s new CRM suite can be up and running in days and comprises of modules for marketing automation, sales force automation, and customer service within the familiar Microsoft Outlook user interface. All three modules are backed up by analytics technology to provide out-of-the-box tools and reports. It offers all of the traditional benefits of a hosted service including no upfront capital expenditure, quicker ROI and secure access to customer, sales and marketing data from any browser or mobile device.
Helen Rosen, a senior analyst with AMI-Partners, highlights the unexploited potential for CRM deployment and estimates that not even half of all midsize businesses -- and not even a quarter of small businesses -- have deployed CRM and collaboration software in their organizations.
Helen explains, "The efficiencies UK businesses gain will help them significantly in the current economic climate by unlocking the potential in their customer base and by effectively managing their sales and marketing campaigns. There has never been a better time to implement a CRM solution, which will help ensure a business is primed and ready to take advantage of accelerated growth opportunities when the economy picks up again. Research has shown that those companies that invest in the appropriate technologies they need in a downturn will be the ones that leave their competitors behind when the economy recovers.”
Star’s CEO Rick Hudson comments, “The new Star CRM service is a natural extension to our already highly successful on-demand email service which is gaining 1,000 new users every month. It is particularly important in the current economic downturn where building customer loyalty is of primary importance for any organisation. Backed up by Star’s guaranteed service levels, an on-demand CRM service is a logical choice for any business which has been dissuaded in the past by the massive up-front costs and implementation issues of traditional on-premise solutions.”
Microsoft’s Head of Software Services Martin Walker commented, “Star’s vision for their cloud-based CRM service mirrors Microsoft’s own and coincides with the current market shift towards CRM delivered as a service in order to address the issues of high cost and risk, and implementation difficulties that plagued the first wave of CRM deployments. We believe the combination of Microsoft Dynamics CRM familiar and easy to use Outlook interface, combined with Star’s reputation for exceptional customer service, will unlock a huge untapped demand amongst businesses of all sizes.”
To find out more about Star’s new on-demand CRM service please visit www.crm.star.co.uk.
*based on 251+ users.
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