It began with the arrival of an email message from the College of Business Administration announcing a course in customer relationship management (CRM). It continued with the recipient, Manny Buigas, principal of Axis Integrated Solutions, enrolling. And now, it has resulted in the development and initial offering of a one-of-a-kind, interactive CRM online certification program through the creation of a partnership between Axis and the college’s Marketing Department.
“When we expanded our core business beyond the finance department, we knew that to give our clients the best chance for a successful software implementation, we needed to have a deep understanding of CRM,” said Buigas, whose company is a Sage Software premier business partner focused on providing accounting, human resource, and warehouse management solutions, in addition to CRM solutions.
Based on his experience taking the course from Nancy Rauseo, an instructor in the college’s Marketing Department and a CRM consultant, he saw an opportunity for his firm to join with an academic institution to help peers, clients, and employees achieve the full benefits of CRM.
“CRM failure rates have been historically high—around 50 to 60 percent,” said Rauseo, who has developed the eight-module program with ongoing input and review by Buigas and his network of colleagues to ensure its real-world applicability. “We designed the program to enable technology consultants and IT professionals in small- to medium-size businesses design a highly-effective CRM strategy and implementation plan that delivers maximum return on investment as quickly as possible.”
According to her, “Far too many businesses jump into the adoption of CRM without a sound strategy and implementation plan. These critical-path tools are precisely what participants will take away from the certification program.”
Rauseo has crafted the course for several audiences, including:
- employees using CRM
- steering committees charged with selecting CRM projects
- individuals interested in consulting on CRM
- business people who want to understand how CRM streamlines business and better manages relationships with customers
Structure offers convenience and sensible pace.
“Forty percent of our business is in the Caribbean,” Buigas said. “The program is flexible and convenient and requires no travel, making it ideal for companies regardless of their location.”
Students can access the modules for up to ninety days; however, the coordinated activities within the course will ensure they all finish in six or seven weeks.
“This duration gives participants time to absorb the information, and the structure enables them to share questions about and insights into challenges and best practices with Rauseo and each other,” Buigas said.
Research will provide additional benefits to business community.
Rauseo will use the research she has done in fashioning the modules—along with survey information she will gather during the program—to add value to businesses.
“The more we conduct research, the more we can provide guidance and leadership to the community in the area of CRM,” she said.
The inaugural offering of the program begins October 16, 2006.