Related trendsMany CRM vendors offer Web-based tools (cloud computing) and software as a service (SaaS), which are accessed via a secure Internet connection and displayed in a Web browser. These applications are sold as subscriptions, with customers not needing to invest in purchasing and maintaining IT hardware, and subscription fees may be cheaper than the cost of purchasing software outright.
The trend towards cloud-based CRM has forced traditional providers to move into the “cloud” through acquisitions of smaller providers: Oracle purchased RightNow in October 2011 and SAP acquired SuccessFactors in December 2011. Salesforce.com was the first company to provide enterprise applications through a web browser. Salesforce.com continues to be the leader amongst providers in cloud CRM systems.
The era of the "social customer" refers to the use of social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, customer reviews in Amazon, etc.) by customers in ways that allow other potential customers to glimpse real world experience of current customers with the seller's products and services. This shift increases the power of customers to make purchase decisions that are informed by other parties sometimes outside of the control of the seller or seller's network. In response, CRM philosophy and strategy has shifted to encompass social networks and user communities, podcasting, and personalization in addition to internally generated marketing, advertising and webpage design. With the spread of self-initiated customer reviews, the user experience of a product or service requires increased attention to design and simplicity, as customer expectations have risen. CRM as a philosophy and strategy is growing to encompass these broader components of the customer relationship, so that businesses may anticipate and innovate to better serve customers, referred to as "Social CRM".
Another related development is vendor relationship management, or VRM, which is the customer-side counterpart of CRM: tools and services that equip customers to be both independent of vendors and better able to engage with them. VRM development has grown out of efforts by ProjectVRM at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society and Identity Commons' Internet Identity Workshops, as well as by a growing number of startups and established companies. VRM was the subject of a cover story in the May 2010 issue of CRM Magazine.
In 2001 Doug Laney developed the concept and coined the term 'Extended Relationship Management' (XRM). He defined XRM as the principle and practice of applying CRM disciplines and technologies to all core enterprise constituents, including primary customers, partners, employees, and suppliers, as well as other secondary allies such as government, press, and industry consortia.
The proliferation of channels, devices, social media and the ability to mine 'big data' prompted CRM futurist Dennison DeGregor to describe a shift from 'push CRM' toward a 'customer transparency' (CT) model of managing data about customer relationships.[