Every business will not become successful without loyal customers. This is the reason why both small and large businesses capitalize in its people to enable the company to survive the industry. Customer relationship is the key to day-to-day operations since business is filled with uncertainty and involves high level decision making that could impact different aspects of the organization and its stakeholders. Every decision that is made could either have a positive or a negative effect on both the organization and the customers.
Whatever the size of your business, it would be beneficial to invest in Customer Relationship Management software (CRM) that could help your business in terms of profitability and sustainability. Customer relationship management is a strategy or method in business to find, acquire, nurture, and retain customers through ceaseless communications and analysis of customer’s patterns, behaviors, and transactions. Without customers, your business is nothing!
Many companies nowadays have realized the importance of using to reach out to more customers and keep their loyalty in the company’s hands. Looking for strategies to promote your business is a never ending process and sometimes you get to a point where you have tried everything, but nothing still works. Spare yourself from all the troubles because CRM is effective in promoting the growth of a company. The customer is the heart of every business and it is necessary to manage your clientele is the best way possible.
Many companies close down because they lack customer satisfaction or they could not meet their customer’s needs. This is a “no-no” for every business. Customers who feel important and are satisfied with your products or services will return and even promote your business to other. This, in turn, will generate more revenue to your business.
Customer relationship management software is an application that gathers and manages customer’s data for analysis to determine their needs and gain more leads. The software is responsible for sending communications about your business to customers and gathers feedback from customers in order to maintain a strong relationship with them. The software is like your personal assistant who organizes your clientele database and is responsible for keeping your online presence with your customers. Using CRM methods is proven to be effective in maintaining a healthy relationship with your customers without being over the top or too needy for attention.
The strategies used in CRM are simple like sending friendly greeting cards and sending an invitation for the launching of a new product or service. CRM makes things easier for businesses that have a growing number of customers to follow-up. Sometimes when you’re too busy with your business, you couldn’t even make time to answer customer queries and those that in need of your assistance. The customer relationship management software is a tool that every business owner should have to encourage better customer service and relationship.
In the early days of computing, all software was free. Seems like an unbelievable concept, but in reality, during the 1960s the philosophy was that company sold hardware and they just provided the software for free. Companies like IBM and Honeywell just sold the hardware they provided the source code for the applications with little or no restrictions on to use or distribution of the software.
In the 1970s the philosophy of software began to change. Companies began to realize that Computer Software was expensive to produce and they started to view the software as intellectual property which had value. During this time, software began to be protected with only binaries being provided to the purchaser, there was no source code made available, and licensing agreements came with restrictions on the distribution of the software.
Realizing that software or was valuable intellectual property, companies look for new ways to protect their investments in software development. The next stage of software protection resulted in several vehicles:
At the same time, there were people who were developing the beginnings of open source software, and in order to get a lot of people involved in developing software the computer science research group at UC Berkeley, headed by bob Fabry began improving UNIX and building applications that were known as BSD Unix. In the late 1980s, you could get this free BSD license, although you still needed an AT&T license for some parts of the kernel. While this was happening on the West Coast, there was also development going on on the East Coast. This was led at the MIT artificial intelligence lab. A person by the name of Richard Stallman and, who was a programmer in the lab started the GNU project and the free software foundation and. His goal with the GNU project was to create a complete operating system following the principles of the GNU Manifesto. The free software foundation was developed to build a community of people and to support development in the use of free software. Richard was very interested in getting like-minded people to band together and create a free software and his manifesto was a view of how software could improve humanity. So back on the West Coast, development of BSD chief operating system continued which evolved into many different versions, most notably 386BSD, NetBSD, and OpenBSD. These operating systems are still in great use even today, and are used by many large web hosting companies.
At this time (early 1990s) Linus Torvald, a computer science student was creating a Unix kernel called linux in Finland.
Torvald took Linux plus the GNU project apps created a complete open source operating system, known as Linux.
At the same time a guy named Tim Berners – Lee invents the HTTP protocol and names it the WWW or World Wide Web, and at this time many important components to help share information are created and distributed. Things like Apache (a web server), Sendmail (e-mail component), and BIND) were all created in the open source community. This made the Internet/WWW a free software distribution vehicle.
During this time, OSS was driven by two groups, GNU and BSD and these groups had different ideas about software. The GNU group saw free software as a philosophy, while the BSD group saw free software as a pragmatic issue. At this time the GNU “and general public license” (GPL) and was created. This created some challenges fourth the OSS community. For the folks who really wanted software to be developed and distribute via GNU, this was great and but for many other people and businesses saw this as a danger because if their software contained code that was part of the GPL, they might have to distribute their own code freely. This caused a backlash against FSF and the GPL license, because many felt that it would prevent them from establishing a business that could make money with free software. They also didn’t see software as a philosophical crusade then, and they didn’t see proprietary software as evil. And so rather than call it free software, and a group of individuals and came up with the concept of open software and created a license that was open source and more business friendly and then Fre software. This began as a lobbying group called the open source initiative and a license known as open source had two follow the 10 principles of open source definition. This spawned a lot of new licenses, like the MIT license, the Apache license, the creative commons license, etc.
An open source software development began with two styles of development, called The Cathedral and The Bazaar. These were two very different styles and of open source development. Cathedral was a very regimented carefully and controlled architectural based process. Bazaar, was quite different, and was characterized by a rapid release method with all changes given out freely and followed a survival of the fittest approach.
The main tenets of the Bazaar Model were:
1) Users are treated as co-developers and are given access to source code, and can report bugs, etc
2) Release often and early
3) Frequent Integration
4) Several versions (stable vs. development)
5) Employ high modularization
6) Dynamic decision making
Open source software has many strengths and weaknesses that present challenges to a team. So a hierarchical model is used to manage the teams. This means that people have to go through several roles before they can rise to the level of a project manager.
One company that has been successful with Open Source Software is Oracle. They purchased MySQL, and currently have about 8000 customers who pay for support of the software as well as updates. Even though users pay only 1-10% of the cost of Oracle database software, there are one new customer for every 1000 free users. Oracle has made the business decision to support these users because they see them as potential paying customers and future employees. The company currently employs about 60 developers all over the world, and many of them work at home.
As you become a software professional, learning development and participating in open source projects can be an excellent way to achieve visibility for your work, showcasing your skills and abilities.
Open source development can be a very rewarding experience. Developers do it for the passion that they have for creating software. They love what they do and in shows in the quality of the product. People will put much more effort into something that they love to do as opposed to doing something merely for the remuneration. There is a strong sense of community and many developers like that philosophy. That means acting professionally and treating others with kindness and respect. This is done in an environment that typically lacks a lot of formality, but that does not mean that there are no standards of behavior. It’s just that they are not written down.
There are many advantages to developing open source software. Many developers enjoy the interaction among like-minded people. They enjoy the ability to share ideas and collaborate to get a better result. There are real advantages to having an experienced team, with many resources.