Academic journal article JITTA : Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application

Employing a Multilevel Secure Approach in CRM Systems

Academic journal article JITTA : Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application

Employing a Multilevel Secure Approach in CRM Systems

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

This research shows how Multilevel Secure (MLS) data models can be used in a Customer Relationship Management (CRIB context. MLS models were originally developed as database models for the management of information in environments characterized by a strict hierarchy of security levels, such as military institutions and government security agencies. Improvements in evolving database technologies have made MLS data modeling practical as well as theoretically appealing. This paper illustrates how an MLS model can be used as a part of the technology for coordinating business-customer interactions with the objective of building long-term customer loyalty.

Several examples are used to show how organizing a database management system based on MLS principles can be used to help businesses provide consistent and appropriate content to various customers and partners. Improvements inflexibility and cost of applications, as well as opportunities for new CRM strategies, are discussed as potential benefits of integrating AdES and CRM technogy.

INTRODUCTION

The introduction of virtual supply chains and other e-commerce related technological advances have altered the character of business-to-business (Klose and Lechner 1999) and business-to-customer relationships (Alt and Fleish 2001). Cognizant of declines in customer loyalty1 and increases in customer service expectations (Larson 2000), customer relationship management (CRM) has become a central business strategy for many companies (Newell 2000). Customer relationship management (CRM) is defined as an enterprise strategy that leverages technology to integrate all facets of a business in order to build customer retention and loyalty over time (Crosby and Johnson 2000b). CRM coordinates marketing, selling, and service activities across the organization and even between organizational partners (Swift 2000). In simple terms, CRM involves the intelligent deployment of database technology to the management of all customer interactions with the company (McKenzie 2001).

E-business strategies, in particular, emphasize personal integration and the building of customer relationships. It is estimated that approximately 40% of E-- businesses have made investments in CRM communications technology. E-business categories that have been early and dominant adopters of CRM strategies include: electronic product catalog providers (Lincke 1998), product-search service providers (Liu, Lin, Chen, and Huang 2001), and retail service providers such as e-grocery services (Bum and Barnett 2000) and financial service providers (K6,ner and Zimmerman 2000). Regardless of the product or service category, CRM communications strategies must take into consideration all phases of the customer buying process, from pre-purchase to purchase to post-purchase and after-sales service, and the types of interactions required at each stage (Rust and Lemon 2001). The challenge is to communicate with customers at the right time, in the correct manner, and on the correct topic (Calaminus, Kloepfer, Kundisch and Wolfersberger 2001) in order to manage single-customer, multiple product relationships (Keefe 2001).

Categories of CRM software and service providers include: 1) ECCRM-related -- Internet-specific solutions focused on e-mail management tools (eg., eGain and Kana Communications); 2) sales force-automation solutions - CRM features added to ERP software suites (e.g., Siebel and PeopleSoft); and 3) call center-related - Net capabilities added to existing call center systems (e.g., Clarify and Remedy). Industry sources report that the worldwide sales of CRM technology in 1999 have reached $2.3 billion, where sales of between $25-46 billion are anticipated by 2005.

Despite the steady growth in number of worldwide installations and sales, not all is perfect in the world of CRM applications. Industry studies suggest that approximately 60/, of CRM software installations are failures (Crosby and Johnson 2000b). …

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