CRM: Avoid 3 user identity mistakes

By David Taber, CIO |  Enterprise Software,

Further, recycling slots practically guarantees data quality problems over time, as people try to "fix" the data or reports to adjust for blurred user identities.

The best practice: never recycle user slots. Instead, deactivate old users and create new slots, explicitly transitioning the defunct user's data to the new owner(s) in a bulk data change.

What about the situation where a user leaves the company and comes back months or even years later? Usually, it's best to reactivate the user's old slot and transition the data that belongs to them in their new role. However, if their new role is completely different from what they were doing before (e.g., they used to be in the customer service call center, but now they're in marketing after business school) and their old identity could cause confusion in reports, using a new slot may be justified. In this case, their old avatar should be renamed (e.g., "joe.blow.OLD") to keep the identities clearly separated.

3. Sharing Licenses for Cloud Integrations To be effective, CRM systems need to be integrated with other enterprise systems and infrastructure. That goes double for cloud-based CRM. Typically, each integration point must "log in" to the CRM system to securely share data.

If you've got several systems integrating with the CRM, it's tempting to have a policy where the systems share a single user license. Or, you might find it tempting to have each external system share logins with human users. Even if your CRM vendor's contract allows it, avoid these temptations.

The first issue here is audit trails and data forensics. If all the systems are taking action from a single login, it will be very difficult to troubleshoot bugs. In the other case, where systems are taking action while logged in as one or more users, management reports will soon become very complicated (to filter out the robot activities from the human ones) or misleading, or both.

Potentially worse is the potential for uncoordinated workloads. External system integrations operate asynchronously, and may need to update data at high speed. Having multiple integrations using the same user license may cause resource contention within the CRM system, leading to weird performance problems and bugs that can be tough to troubleshoot.

David Taber is the author of the new Prentice Hall book, " Secrets of Success" and is the CEO of SalesLogistix, a certified consultancy focused on business process improvement through use of CRM systems. SalesLogistix clients are in North America, Europe, Israel, and India, and David has over 25 years experience in high tech, including 10 years at the VP level or above.

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Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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