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Weighing benefits, risks of upgrading Oracle CRM in a down economy

My organization is preparing to upgrade to Oracle's Siebel CRM 8.1.1. Do you have an upgrade checklist which can be used to cross verify if we are prepared before and during the upgrade process?

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With vendors like Oracle and SAP touting new releases of their CRM products, enterprises running older versions of CRM apps are mulling whether to take the upgrade plunge. However, in a down economy, CRM professionals are wondering if the benefits of upgrading their CRM solution will outweigh the costs. And if so, how long will it take to realize payback?

To pinpoint the real-world pitfalls that can trip up CRM initiatives, Forrester surveyed business and IT leaders at 133 organizations. The executives were asked, "What were the major challenges in successfully implementing [a CRM software product] in your environment?" The companies we studied are all well-experienced with CRM initiatives; they typically had 30 months of deployment experience under their belts with a wide range of leading enterprise and midmarket CRM suite solutions.

There are plenty of risks to worry about. In fact, respondents reported more than 200 individual problems with their CRM projects, encompassing 27 risk areas.

These perils form the basis of Forrester's CRM project risk evaluation criteria. Thirty-three percent of the problems reported were related to technology, 27% to business processes, 22% to people and 18% to CRM strategy and deployment. Use the Forrester CRM risk evaluation criteria and self-assessment tool to anticipate, and remediate, problems before they sink your project.

Editor's note: You can find more information about risk evaluation for CRM initiatives at Forrester.com. Purchase required.

This was first published in July 2009

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