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SaaS CRM vs. CRM on premise for a diversified business

One SearchCRM.com reader asks, "How do you suggest implementing CRM software in an organization that has diversified business interests?" Read Steve Raye's expert advice here.

How do you suggest implementing CRM software in an organization that has diversified business interests -- where the revenue generated varies greatly from one division to another? In this situation, would you suggest Software as a Service (SaaS) or on-premise CRM?
This is a difficult question to answer without knowing more about your customer service, sales and marketing processes. If these are segmented by the line of business, I'm not sure there would be a compelling value to adopting a single Software as a Service (SaaS) CRM package across divisions. If these are leveraged across multiple lines of business, then a SaaS CRM deployment could be a great way to standardize processes and gain critical customer insights across divisions that likely have a heterogeneous set of legacy sales and support systems.

Knowing more about your customers would also be a key input to this decision. Are your customers segmented by line of business? Are your divisions B2C, B2B, or a mixture of both? What is your corporate vision for what it should be like for a customer to do business with a division, or do business across divisions? Unfortunately, without more information, the answer here could be SaaS, on-premise, or a hybrid combination of the two.

This was last published in January 2007

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