Category: Discussion Forum

5 Best SoapUI alternative applications to test web services

I have analyzed more than 15 web services testing tools to find out SoapUI alternative applications.

Specifically I looked at 2 main aspects – product features and user friendliness.

I have learnt a lot.

And I am sure, you will too.

Here I have listed down 5 best SoapUI alternative applications that you can try.

But it is also true that…

Whenever I test web services, very first tool that comes in my mind is SoapUI.

Why?

18 Utmost Importance of CRM Software that You Must Know

Believe me:Importance of CRM software

If you are a business owner, this article – Importance of CRM Software will definitely help you to grow your business.

How?

Look at our 3C model…

Customer, Company and CRM (Customer Relationship Management)

You know,

Customers are always at the center of any business model.

But,

What is CRM? Why does a company need CRM?

Moreover,

Importance of CRM software in a business?

We will discuss benefits of CRM but read this analogy first.

Say,

You own a business that has just 10 customers. You remember their contact details, addresses, even their birthdays.
For better customer engagement, you ask your customers to share feedback about products and services. You discuss about new products or service improvement areas in your business.

You send customized gifts to your customers on special occasions.

Try to resolve customers’ queries as soon as possible.

Because…

Customer loyalty and satisfaction matter a lot to increase sale and brand value.

You can use a simple spreadsheet to maintain these 10 customers as well.

Now your business has grown up. You have got 100 customers to take care. Your satisfied and loyal customers refer their friends and families to buy products from you.

Nice job!

Give a pat on your back!

On the other hand,

It has become difficult to maintain same personal touch with all customers without any systematic approach.

You do not have enough time to resolve customers’ queries same way you did before.

No time to ask for customer feedback or discuss about new products.

Often you forget to send gifts to your customers on special days.

A simple spreadsheet is not enough anymore.

And most important,

Do you know how this can affect your business?

need of customer relationship management

That matters a lot, isn’t it?

Your client satisfaction goes down. Once your most loyal customers go to your competitors to buy products.

So,

What is the best way to retain old customers and capture new prospects?

Acquiring a new customer is five times costlier than retaining an existing customer. – Forrester Research

What you can do to make your customers feel that you care each individual?

70% of buying experiences are based on how the customers feel they are being treated. – McKinsey

How to send only that type of birthday gifts to your customers that they like?

A 5% increase in customer loyalty would increase the average profit per customer by 25% – 100%. – TheLoyaltyEffect
(To know more, read 15 mind blowing customer loyalty statistics here)

Answer is Customer Relationship Management (CRM).

What is CRM?need of customer relationship management

CRM is a technology that helps an organization to retain existing customers, capture new customers and improve customer loyalty. It helps business owners to overcome various operational business challenges like high client attrition rate, sales decline, non-systematic business processes and dissatisfaction of stakeholders.

 

Here we have listed down top 18 benefits of Customer Relationship Management.

Importance of CRM Software:

1. Business Process Automation:

Think about this:

Will it be helpful if you can capture customer feedback automatically? Or if someone can tell you what will be the next best thing to do based on customer complain or suggestion?

Do you want to send customized gifts to your customers on special days without fail?

Using CRM software, you can automate all these business requirements.

CRM helps an organization to streamline business processes. It standardizes and automates sales, marketing and service processes to reduce human error. It increases productivity, speeds up business processes and improves customer satisfaction.

2. Better Lead To Customer Conversion Ratio:

Do you know?

79% of leads never convert into sales and most common reason behind this poor performance is lack of lead nurturing.

But the best part is that…

CRM can solve this problem.

CRM tracks all customer interactions like when customer was last contacted, what was the outcome. Even CRM tells you what can turn the lead into customer.

If you use CRM, you will never loss any lead or miss any selling opportunity.

3. Personalized Product Configuration:

You know,

One size does not fit all…

Customers are more likely to buy personalized products or services than a generic one.

CRM helps organization to configure products for each individual. It allows to customize products according to zone or country or industry or age group etc.

Using CRM, business can define various rules like product compatibility & eligibility, validation, up & cross selling.

4. Shorter Sales Cycle:

First,

What is Sales Cycle?

Sales Cycle is the time that a company takes to close a deal. It starts when a salesperson first contacts with a lead and ends when the lead becomes customer.

CRM with sales process automation helps salespersons to track and communicate with all leads. It helps to complete the sales process quickly and efficiently.

advantages of customer relationship management

5. Customer Segmentation:

Customer segmentation plays an important role, especially in marketing.

Few years back, Harvard Business claimed that in the US, 85% of 30,000 new products failed because of poor customer segmentation.

CRM captures and analyzes customer data, coming from various sources. It divides customers into groups that share similar characteristics such as buying pattern, geography, age, gender or any custom rules.

Customer segmentation helps organization to develop new product, set product price, run campaign and decide service methods.

6. Campaign Management:

Do you give enough importance to campaign management and analysis?

Remember,

This is your very first step to reach potential customers with your products.

So, it must be flawless.

CRM leverages the efficiency of marketing campaign by automating the process. A well defined marketing strategy with CRM helps business to get more qualified leads than traditional campaign.

CRM reduces the campaign cost, analyzes campaign data and forecasts future marketing strategy.

7. Social Media Marketing:

Nowadays, it is difficult for any business to grow without social media presence.

significance of customer relationship management

71% of customers who experience quick and effective response via social media are likely to recommend the brand to others. – NM Incite

Good exposure in social media helps business to reach out more potential customers. It helps to reduce service cost and improve customer engagement.

CRM with social media integration helps business to run and track social media campaign, measure its effectiveness, increase sales, resolve customer queries.

To know more, read this – Social Media Marketing

8. Customer Service Improvement:

You already know the importance of good customer service. It helps an organization to keep existing customers, bring more business from them and capture new leads.

You can automate service processes using CRM. It helps to deal with customers’ complaints or suggestions more effectively and quickly. By streamlining the business process, you can minimize human error.

Not only that, it gives you better traceability of employees’ actions on customers’ queries.

9. Increase Customer Loyalty:

Unbelievable but it’s true…

Acquiring a new customer is 6-7 times costlier than retaining an existing customer.

importance of customer relationship management in banks

Satisfied and loyal customers are more likely to buy products from you than a new customer. Moreover, they spread positive words about your brand.

Do you know how word of mouth affects your business?

74% of consumers think that word of mouth is key influence in their purchase decision. – PRNewser

Satisfied customers help to generate more leads and increase sales.

CRM helps an organization to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

To know more, read this: Customer Retention and Loyalty – 15 Statistics in Infographic

10. Customized Escalation Matrix:

By now,

You have got the idea that customers’ queries should be resolved ASAP.

But how?

Very first step is to set proper escalation matrix.

It helps to response customers’ queries on time, increase sales, run campaign within budget.

CRM is the best place where you can define your own escalation matrix and integrate with customer details.

11. Task Management:

Another importance of CRM software,

CRM is not only for customer management but also employee management.

It is very important to assign and complete tasks within time and budget.

You can automate task management process in CRM.

It can create and assign tasks among employees based on their skill set, availability, geography etc.

Business can set their own rules in CRM to manage tasks efficiently.

Not only that, CRM maintains employee hierarchy and control data visibility also.

For example,

Team leader can assign and track progress of all his team members’ tasks. Manager can see all tasks assigned to team leaders and their subordinates.

Many CRM applications offer task synchronization with other platforms as well like Outlook, Google Calendar.

12. Customer Communication:

Would you like to send a welcome kit to customers once they join with your business?

Or an email when their queries are resolved?

Or gift on birthdays?

What about a letter when a new product is lunched?

You can specify your own rules in CRM to automate customer communications. This reduces human errors as well as increases customer satisfaction.

13. Optimum Utilization Of Communication Channels:

Think about it:

If a prospect prefers email communication and you send letter, can you ever convert him into customer?

NO! It’s never possible!

Even it will create a wrong impression of your brand.

Communication channel matters a lot in every dept – sales, marketing or service.

You must capture preferred communication channels of your customers.

Also automate the process in CRM so that you reach your customers with their preferred channels only.

This will definitely increase lead to customer conversion ratio, sales and profit as well as customer loyalty.

14. Team Collaboration:

Effective team collaboration brings more leads and increases sales.

For example,

Data from service unit can help marketing department to run more effective campaign or sales department to up-sell or cross sell products.

CRM unites various departments (like Sales, Marketing, Service, Management) of an organization.

The purpose of collaboration is to enhance the quality of service and customer satisfaction.

To know more, read: Collaborative CRM and Collaborative strategy

15. Better Data Protection:

Most important of all,

Data protection must be the highest priority in any business.

In CRM, users can see customer data according to their roles and responsibilities. It helps business to safe guard customer information from being stolen or misused.

16. Better Traceability Matrix:

Do you know –

Was your last marketing campaign effective enough?

Which channels gave you maximum sale in last campaign?

How your company performed during last 5 years?

How many customers did you loss last quarter?

And a million dollar question…

Are your customers satisfied to do business with you?

A CRM application can answer all these questions. It can analyze data, generate reports and measure campaign effectiveness. Even it can tell when a customer tends to leave your business.

It also helps upper management to take better decision based on historical data analysis.

17. Cost Effectiveness:

If you think CRM is costly software and only for big companies, then you are wrong!

CRM implementation may be a costly process for SME but over the time it becomes the most cost effective way to run business.

Business process automation in CRM saves time, manual activities and other resources.

There are many cloud based free CRM software for SME as well.

To know more, read Best Cloud Based Free CRM Software For Small And Medium Business.

18. Mobile Compatibility:

Last but not the least,

Mobile CRM enables business not to lose a single selling opportunity, even when you are not in office. It helps employees to access customer data using smart phones or tablets any where any time.

Stay connected, do business!

Few Final words about Importance of CRM Software:

Irrespective of size, CRM enables a company to understand its customer and business well. It provides better insights about customers to improve sales and generate revenue.

Remember,

It is very important to choose the right CRM software for your business. But how to do that?

We will discuss this in our next article.

What to do next?

Do you have any question about importance of CRM software?

Please feel free to comment below. We love to hear you.

Keep in touch, follow TechOneStop on Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / Google+.

Future of Siebel CRM in 2017: Is it still a choice for building career?

Future of Siebel CRM – it is still one of the most debatable topics in CRM.

And it is more confusing when you see a small spike in Siebel job trend.

Yes! I am serious.

scope of siebel crm in future

Source: Indeed.com

But before we dig deep, let me thank you all for your overwhelming responses!

You may wonder why…

Well,

Last year I published an article about ‘Future of Siebel CRM’.

And, believe it nor not,

I have received 79 emails plus good social media responses and few comments as well.

But,

It is the time to rewrite the article with updated data and new statistics.

One question that many readers asked –

‘If there is no future of Siebel, why Oracle is still investing and releasing Innovation Pack every year?’

This is quite a valid question, isn’t it?

If there is no plan, why Oracle is still investing in innovation?

In this article we will go deeper to find answer. Also we will discuss about current CRM market trend, market share and where Siebel stands in 2017.

And yes,

I will answer – Did Oracle stop selling Siebel to new customers?

But now,

Take a look – how CRM market looks now and in near future.

CRM World Wide market

(Source: Statista)

It is expected that by 2020, CRM market will reach 24 billion U.S. dollars globally.

However,

We see different prediction by Gartner.

As per Gartner’s enterprise software forecast, worldwide CRM revenue will touch $36.5B by 2017, up from $13.9B in 2010.

Future of Siebel CRM - Revenue

Though we see 2 different predictions from 2 different sources, bottom line is that CRM market is growing day by day.

Okay,

Now question is how CRM vendors are sharing this revenue.

Company 2013 Market Share (%) 2014 Market Share (%) 2015 Market Share (%)
Salesforce 16.3 18.4 19.7
SAP 12.8 12.1 10.2
Oracle 10.1 9.1 7.8
Microsoft 5.8 6.2 4.3
IBM 3.9 3.8 3.6
Others 51.1 50.4 54.4

Source: Gartner (May 2016)

As a standalone vendor, Salesforce has maximum market share 19.7% where Oracle has 7.8%.

One thing to remember here,

Oracle has many CRM applications and 7.8% is the total market share.

My point is…

If we take only Siebel market share, it is less than 7.8%.

And here is the actual revenue vendor wise…

Company 2013 Revenue* 2014 Revenue* 2015 Revenue*
Salesforce 3,330.20 4,268.50 5,170.90
SAP 2,621.30 2,809.40 2,684.40
Oracle 2,060.80 2,115.20 2,046.50
Microsoft 1,181.80 1,438.60 1,141.50
IBM 792.1 873.1 936.8
Others 10,474.70 11,681.90 14,307.70
Total 20,460.90 23,186.70 26,287.80

* Millions of Dollars

Notice,

Except Salesforce, all other 3 big CRM providers have lost their share.

Now,

Why Siebel market is shrinking day by day?

There are many reasons and I don’t want to go into those details in this article.

But,

From above statistics, we can say that market is more inclined to SaaS based CRM application.

That means…

On premise model is one of many culprits behind Siebel market shrink.

However,

Probably you know that Siebel can be installed in cloud environment also.

To know more about Siebel on Oracle Cloud, read this, published by Oracle.  (You can also follow or subscribe in Techonestop newsletter and get update directly in your inbox when I publish next article on Siebel on Cloud)

Not only On Premise architecture,

Here are another 2 statistics that also go against Siebel. (Source: Gartner)

By 2018, 4% — and by 2020, 10% — of $1 billion-plus organizations will run all their CRM applications on SaaS.

By 2018, salesforce.com will have over 15 million end users.

Well,

That is lot about Siebel architecture.

Let’s face real situation that we bother most – Siebel job trends.

is siebel deadThis is surprising job trend!! Isn’t it?

Compare to Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics has smaller market share but job posting is quite high.

And,

siebel future 2017

Source: Indeed.com

Job opportunity in Siebel is much lesser than Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

(Want to be master in Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics? See recommendations below)

Also it is not difficult to understand that –

When customer base of any software goes down, job opportunities also go down.

But how far it will go down?

Is Oracle doing enough to improve Siebel customer base?

Answer – Yes / No / May be 🙂

There is no straight forward answer of this question.

But,

I have answer if you ask – 

Did Oracle stop selling Siebel to new customers?

Gartner 2015 Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation states that “Oracle will no longer sell Siebel Sales to new customers“.But here is Oracle’s response –

‘The report states that Siebel CRM is no longer sold to new, greenfield customers which is not completely accurate. Certain customer requirements may strongly indicate that an on premise solution is necessary, for many customers, in specific industries or geographies, or with specific functional requirements and specific data regulations. We assess customer requirements to determine suitability of Siebel, along with our Oracle CX suite, to ensure we guide customers to the best fit for their needs: where applicable, this does include Siebel, including for new customers.’

(Source: Oracle’s Siebel CRM and Cloud CX Suite FAQ 2015)

Oracle answered almost similar kind of question in 2016 also.

Q: Is Siebel CRM still a General Availability product?

A:‘Yes. Oracle does review proposed solutions to ensure they are the best fit for customer needs but we do not believe one application or deployment option fits all enterprises, and we continue to recommend Siebel CRM to all customers for whom it is the right choice.’

Q: Solutions exist for Sales, Marketing, Service etc in both Siebel CRM and Oracle Cloud – should I move to Oracle Cloud?

A: ‘Solution choice is largely dependent on IT deployment strategy (on premise or cloud) and business requirements.’

Q: Is Oracle still investing in Siebel CRM?

A: ‘Yes, Oracle continues to invest significantly in Siebel CRM. Since the acquisition, Oracle has accelerated Siebel CRM releases and we currently release annual innovation packs and monthly patch sets. These releases include many new features and innovations, since acquisition over 50 new products and 750+ new features have been released. In fact, our investment in Open UI, Mobility, Business Agility and Industry solutions are a testament to significant innovation, and we openly share our roadmap on substantial enhancements going forward.’
(Source: Frequently Asked Questions About Oracle Siebel CRM)

I would suggest you to go through these FAQs.

So,

What is future of Siebel CRM?

It is really a BIG UNKNOWN area.

But,

After so many negative talks, few things still go positive for Siebel –

1. Most importantly Oracle is still investing in Siebel.

Siebel Road Map shows Oracle has plan beyond 2030. This is really good news for all Siebel lovers.

Moreover without any future plan, Oracle would not invest in Siebel innovation.
Siebel Roadmao 2017 - 2030

2. 2016 was a land mark year for big data and Internet of Things (IoT). We will see same trend in 2017 and beyond. More organizations are storing and processing data to empower end users with most valuable data.

By 2020, the number of Internet-connected things will reach or even exceed 50 billion. (Source: Forbes)

Siebel is not far behind…

Roadmap shows that IP2017/18 will focus on Big Data, IoT, real time analytics.

3. Siebel can be installed on Oracle cloud or any other third party cloud like Amazon AWS.  It is cost effective, faster and straight forward compare to physical server setup and maintenance. Already many Siebel CRM customers are taking advantage of private cloud hosting solution to reduce total cost of ownership. Oracle Managed Cloud Services provide a solution to manage Siebel as a managed cloud service.

4. Oracle has introduced many new features like IRM (Incremental Repository Merge), Siebel Open UISiebel Composer (web tools), Workspace. All these features will make Siebel development faster and easier.

Siebel Composer is the web version of traditional Siebel Tools. It is accessible in any browser using Siebel Open UI client.

Workspace is an alternative of Siebel local database. It gives a sandbox to each developer to configure application and verify changes before delivering to parent or main workspace. It allows multiple developers to work on same repository object in Siebel database simultaneously.

Workspace will be default with IP17 with enhanced features like full multi-level branching, multi-release development.

Siebel Composer and Workspace will bring better agile development in Siebel.

5. Siebel is integrated with many other Oracle applications (Like Eloqua, ATG, Sales cloud, Responsys) to deliver world class customer experience.

oracle siebel roadmap

(Source: Oracle OpenWorld 2015)

So,

Do we have enough opportunities to build career in Siebel?

This is another difficult question to answer. Probably I would like to hear from you.

But,

I would suggest you to diversify CRM knowledge. Instead of knowing Siebel or any other particular CRM, know how CRM works. It will give you more job opportunities than knowing any particular CRM application.

Friendly Recommendations:

There are many training courses and learning materials on the web for Salesforce and MS CRM.

But if you ask me to recommend ONLY 3 COURSES, then try these –

  1. The Complete Salesforce Administrator Certification Course
  2. Salesforce Platform App Builder Developer 401 Certification
  3. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Customisation & Config

Now,

What do you think about future of Siebel CRM?

Please share your thought below.

To download this article ‘Future of Siebel CRM in 2017’, click here.

Keep in touch, follow TechOneStop on Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / Google+.

YouTube Linked Comment – why I can’t reply?

Have you seen ‘LINKED COMMENT‘ in YouTube? Few days back, one of our readers asked us a question – ‘What is YouTube Linked Comment? Why can’t I reply on all linked comments?

youtube linked comment

Well, before discussing the solution, let me give you brief background about our reader’s situation. Our reader has a popular YouTube channel with 50+ videos. He has noticed that few comments on his YouTube videos are marked as ‘LINKED COMMENT’. Also few of such comments have ‘Reply’ option active and for others there is no ‘Reply’ button. So he wanted to know what is YouTube Linked Comment and why there is such behaviour difference between two linked comments.

So what is YouTube Linked Comment?

Google marks a comment as ‘LINKED COMMENT’ if it is coming from Google+. Suppose you have shared a video on Google+ and your viewer has commented on that video from his Google+ page. You can see that comment on your YouTube video but marked as ‘LINKED COMMENT’.

But why ‘Reply’ option is not available for all linked comments?

This is because your viewer has restricted replies on Google+ page settings. As the comment came from Google+ page and viewer has restricted replies, there is nothing you can do here to make the ‘Reply‘ option available.linked comment

To verify further, you can go to your viewer’s Google+ page and locate your video where he has commented. You should not see ‘Add a comment‘ box.

Is there any workaround to get back ‘Reply’ button?

There are couple of workarounds that you could try to get the ‘Reply’ option.

– You could ask your viewer to add you in his Google+ circle. If your viewer has given reply permission to his circle, you will get the ‘Reply’ button back.

– If the first workaround does not work for you, copy the comment and post it as a new comment. This will make ‘Reply’ option active.

Was it enough to clear your doubt? If you have any question about YouTube Linked Comment, Please feel free to comment below.

Keep in touch, follow TechOneStop on Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / Goolge+.

Also read: Policy Breach Notice: We are no longer detecting PII being passed to Google from the account

Will Microsoft take over Salesforce ?

Salesforce acquisition - Microsoft takes overIn our previous article (

Salesforce For Sale

), we told you that recently Bloomberg has published a report saying Salesforce has hired financial advisers to assess different takeover offers from potential buyers. Though Salesforce didn’t say anything on acquisition but if it happens, it will be the largest takeover in Software industry. Right now Salesforce has around $49 billion market value and it is also expected that shareholders would demand a premium over its stock price that the buyer needs to bear. This confirms one thing that the potential buyer needs an extraordinary deep pocket to afford the cost.

Several analysts have kept Oracle, Microsoft, Google, IBM and SAP as potential buyers list. But recently SAP has denied the idea of buying Salesforce. Spokesperson from SAP has confirmed that SAP has no intention to take over this cloud based CRM Company. Oracle Corporation also has showed disinterest in acquiring Salesforce. Safra Catz, one of Oracle’s two CEOs, has said that “If it’s acquired by someone else, it’s probably good for us.” IBM could be a potential buyer but the current market value of Salesforce.com is surely a big challenge for them. All these facts are supporting only one company and that is Microsoft.

Already Microsoft and Salesforce have an agreement to promote each other’s products. Also over the last few years, Microsoft has showed its interest in CRM and now by acquiring Salesforce, it could try to extend its presence in CRM business, mainly on cloud. Recently Marc Benioff, Salesforce’s CEO has offered a tweet that shows Microsoft and Salesforce, both are looking for closer relationship. Recently Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella told that the company aims of $20 billion annual revenue from cloud business by 2018 and Salesforce acquisition will definitely help to meet the target.

So…
SAP has already answered negative
Oracle has showed disinterest
IBM would not go for it because of high market value
and all other facts point to software giant Microsoft only

Till now neither Microsoft nor Salesforce has opened up their mouth but won’t get surprise if one fine morning you read ‘Microsoft has acquired Salesforce‘.

We are still waiting for more details, keep follow us for further updates.

***Latest update: It seems, Microsoft is also not interested to take over Salesforce because of its huge market value. We have to wait few more days for next story!

Read more: 5 Best Cloud Based Free CRM Software For Small And Medium Business

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<< Is Salesforce For Sale ?

Is Salesforce For Sale ?

Salesforce for Sale

– according to Bloomberg recent report. It is still not decided who is going to take over Salesforce but if it happens, this will be the largest accusation in the software industry.

Salesforce, the giant cloud based CRM software provider, was established by Marc Benioff in 1999 after a career in Oracle. According to Gartner, it has more that 16% CRM market share with stock market capitalization of almost $49 billion after an 11 percent surge on the news.

According to Bloomberg report, Salesforce has hired financial advisers to look at takeover offers. Though it is still not clear who will win the race but it seems, buyer list is not large – potential buyers are Microsoft, Google, Oracle, SAP (Germany), Tencent (China) or Softbank (Japan). But whoever is the buyer, it needs extraordinary deep pocket. Considering Salesforce’s growth, it is expected that shareholders would demand a premium over its stock price that the buyer has to afford.

According to Bloomberg, even if there is no extra cost, it will be the biggest deal in software business. In 2008, Microsoft tried to acquire Yahoo for close to $45 billion but it failed.

Though Benioff, Salesforce’s CEO, didn’t comment anything on potential buyers but it seems, he is more inclined to see Microsoft Salesforce deal. Recently he has offered a tweet that makes this rumor more strong.

Only time can tell us that Salesforce is really for Sale or just speculation. But if the deal is done, buyer will have biggest CRM market share over night.

If Salesforce is acquired by Oracle, will it see the same fate like Siebel? We will discuss this in our next article.

Read More: Siebel Vs Salesforce – is it valid comparison?

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