" (Fitzgerald, 2006) Groupware technologies are those of either: (1) 'synchronous' groupware; or (2) 'asynchronous' groupware. Synchronous groupware is used when real-time communication is needed and Asynchronous groupware is used where users access group information at different times. Another groupware technology feature is whether the users are working in the same location or in different locations. For the company that has several various workgroups that, while separate units, are required to work in collaboration with one another, enabling business communications within the organization is key to efficiency and productivity for the company.
IV. CUSTOMER SUPPORT PLAN
In the initiative to implement information technology across the organization it is critically important that a customer support plan be in place to assist customers with any complications or confusion that might arise due to the new processes and methods related to the use of the Information Technology. A customer support plan requires support on various levels including: (1) asynchronous support; (2) synchronous support; and (3) proper introduction of the information technology being implemented across the organization in relation to how the implementation of this information technology will directly impact the customer. The following plan has been adapted from the Microsoft Dynamics work entitled: "CRM Implementation - Implementing a Customer Relationship Management System" which states that the CRM implementation process is inclusive of "...defining business objectives, businesses processes, organization structure, customer hierarchy, and management needs." (2005) the CRM plan is ever-evolving as the organization grows and essential for success is "planning for change." (Microsoft Dynamics, 2005) Customer support should begin with the planning stage, which should be the stage in which the customers are provided with an introduction to the changes that will be taking place. During stage two, the change is envisioned and roles and responsibilities of the customer support team are assigned. During the Planning and Design stage a detailed project plan should be developed with all business processes examined and an analysis of the gap between the requirements of the business and the processes already existing should be completed. During the Configuration and Development stage the customer relationship management software is installed and configured with integration and customizations as needed and application testing being conducted as well. The Deployment stage is one in which the final data migration takes place and customer support personnel are training and the customer relationship management application is deployed. A quality review questionnaire should be conducted at this stage of it implementation. The final stage in CRM implementation is the support stage, which is ongoing and integrated into the structure of the business and the overall business objectives and strategies.
V. DEVELOPING PARTNERSHIPS in CRM and it
Partnerships between enterprises for customer relationship management and information technology deployment broadens the reach of the organization in many areas as well as enabling a smoother transition for the company during it and CRM deployment and implementation. It is important to remember that effective communication both within and without the organization has the capacity to add value both internally and externally.
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Bjork, B.C. (2005) Factors Enabling Information and Communication Technology Diffusion and Actual Implementation in Construction Organizations. Online available at http://www.itcon.org/data/works/att/2005_14.content.02646.pdf chapter 2
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Fitzgerald, Patrick W. (2006) Groupware and Continuous Improvement in Knowledge-Based Organizations. Online available at http://www.saumag.edu/abis/ABIS_Proceedings_March06.pdf
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Technology's Impact and Added Value to the Organization