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Welcome to our weekly roundup of customer relationship management (CRM) industry news from across the web. This week, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we’ve brought together articles that get to the “heart” of CRM in one convenient post.

Gartner Says CRM Will Be at the Heart of Digital Initiatives for Years to Come
Analysts at Gartner summarize how organizations are leveraging CRM technologies as a major part of their digital initiatives to enhance the customer experience. They delve into what they believe are the main drivers behind the hot topics of CRM including the Internet of Things, where sensors connecting things to the Internet create new services previously not thought of.
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Looking for Customer Love in All the Right Places
Christopher J. Bucholtz iterates the importance of service in its correlation to customer loyalty. Bucholtz believes, “even with CRM providing the so-called 360-degree view of the customer, businesses continue to operate with significant blind spots.” He offers five broad categories to consider when developing metrics around your customer-facing operations.
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Avoiding a Brand Breakup This Valentine’s Day
“73% of consumers want to have a long-term relationship with brands that reward them for being a loyal customer.” according to Responsys, a marketing cloud and services provider that commissioned a nationwide survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, to take a look at how brand-customer relationships are built, and why they “break up.”
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Got ideas for other great articles we should include in future CRM Roundup posts? Let us know in the comments below!

FutureOS_Collaborator_badge_128Supported by 35 collaborating organizations (including SugarCRM), Black Duck Software and North Bridge, in partnership with Forrester Research Analyst Jeffrey Hammond, are teaming up to announce the 2014 Future of Open Source Survey! This is your chance to help shape the future of open source and be a part of an industry wide discussion sharing your views with today’s industry leaders.

Over the past eight years, this annual survey has sparked important discussions around open source adoption. Show your support for the open source community and share your perspective by taking the Future of Open Source Survey.

Take the survey here to voice your opinion and contribute to the conversation around:

  • Why companies engage directly with and contribute to open source communities
  • The importance and potential impact of upcoming new developments in open source
  • What business problems can be solved by open source now and in the future

Then, register for the live webinar, revealing the survey results on April 3, 2014. The results will also be shared on Twitter from the @FutureofOSS account, using the hashtag #FutureOSS.

Don’t miss the live panel discussion on the industry’s hottest trends and the future of open source survey results featuring:

  • Lou Shipley, CEO and President at Black Duck
  • Michael Skok, General Partner at North Bridge
  • Jeffrey Hammond, VP, Principal Analyst Serving Application Development & Delivery Professionals at Forrester Research
  • More to be added!

The folks at Software Advice are performing an in-depth survey to better understand how individual users of CRM surveysystems interact with the software: what works, what could be improved, etc.

Since we here at SugarCRM are always looking to learn more about the industry, but especially looking to learn more about what individual users are looking to get out of the system, we wanted to help spread thew word.

Want to have your voice heard? Want to help shape the future of CRM? Take the survey HERE.

Many of you may have taken part, or at least seen the results of our recent Social Media Survey.

Some of the highlights of the survey were interesting, but not all that surprising.  Among them, these points stand out to me:

  • Only 26 percent of respondents said they currently integrate their customers’ social networking information with their existing CRM data.
  • 72 percent of respondents said they plan to integrate their customers’ social networking information into their existing CRM data within the next year.

When you put these two together – it would seem that ideally EVERYONE would be undergoing social CRM initiatives in the coming months. That is a huge opportunity, but also a bit scary. There is an amazing propensity for people to overpay “gurus” and point vendors with no real solution in place, and thus not see results because they did not properly align business goals with the IT work underneath. (Really, there is not much difference between the potential social CRM miscues we could see and the high-level “CRM failures” of the Siebel era.)

The plus side?  A lot of the tools needed to “get social” can be accessed (albeit in a more ad hoc or manual manner) for free. This certainly lessens a lot of the financial risk associated with a new IT initiative.

I had an online chat with InformationWeek’s Dana Blankenhorn and he gets it. In his write up on the survey, Dana points out that this need not be an expensive undertaking.

Overall, I think we can safely say that Social is here to stay…now, the real question is – how will you leverage social in your organization to better your business in 2011?

Are you searching social networks for leads? Connecting with potential partners on LinkedIn? Are your support agents reaching troubled customers with Twitter?

If you are using social media as part of your CRM strategy – we want to hear from you!  We have put together a short survey to learn how companies and individuals are leveraging social data in their business life.

So, wether you have a full-scale company wide social CRM agenda, or are simply a savvy ales rep using LinkedIn to eliminate cold calls – We’d love to hear from you.

Take the short survey here: Social Media Survey

In addition to providing some valuable data on social media usage, you can qualify for a Free iPod Shuffle prize pack!

I will share the results of the survey on Outsiders once complete. Thanks for providing insight!