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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • IBM Japan to Set Up Japan’s Largest CRM Unit
  • January 5, 1999 (TOKYO) — IBM Japan Ltd. said that it will set up an expert organization to handle a full range of customer relationship management (CRM)-related businesses from system building to consulting in 1999.
    The new organization is scheduled to start with a staff of 80, and it will increase to 200 by the end of 1999 to become the largest CRM expert organization in Japan.

    CRM is a marketing method to help companies build strong customer relationships to enhance their competitiveness. At its core is the customer database. The system allows companies to give consistent responses at all offices, including call centers and via the Internet. CRM solution systems, which are not yet popular in Japan, are being implemented by banks, insurance companies and mail order companies.

    IBM Japan’s new CRM organization employs software designed by Corepoint Technologies of the United States for building the CRM system and for consulting. Also, it is developing a Japanese language version.

    The new organization handles six Corepoint software products:

    (1) Relationship Management Products to manage customer information;

    (2) Sales/Marketing Products to offer service at the appropriate time and place and using the most suitable method;

    (3) Service/Support Products to resolve customer inquiries quickly and consistently;

    (4) Universal Access Products to integrate customer interaction across all access points such as phone calls, Web browsers and email;

    (5) Enterprise Connection Products to help the CRM system connect with existing systems; and

    (6) Middleware products that serve as the foundation for the five products.

    Already, IBM Japan has started selling some Service/Support Products and the middleware under different names, and it will integrate them under the Corepoint brand. The remaining four products are slated to be sold in the spring of 1999, IBM Japan said.

    (Nikkei Computer)

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