SuiteCRM Over A Cup of Coffee!

CRM

An Evening which meant to be with a friend, Ajay (“AJ”) on a lazy weekend, unfolded a story about “SuiteCRM Over a Cup of Coffee”. AJ is a Startup Entrepreneur who owns Travel and Hotel business and into this industry from the last 3 years. Conversation which started as casual chitchat quickly got transformed into a serious business conversation and thoughts to ponder upon.

CRM – The Power Performer!

Different (Business) Stakeholders across the Globe have shared many definitions of CRM and its benefits depending upon for what it is used or needed for. From Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Contacts, Leads, Processes, CRM helps business to get organize and automate. Over the years, there has been a shift in understanding the benefits of CRM and its implementation into the business workflows. Organizations are now clear what CRM brings to the table in order to support and track their business.

The Confusion in Selection!

Though there is a constant argument over the best CRM in place, it is needless to say that the one which offers the maximum flexibility with minimum cost is the best suited, though organizations and business tends to make an error in selection and end up losing a major chunk of money in investing on the “not so Right CRM”.

AJ – The need of CRM!

During the conversation, AJ spoke about his business need for the CRM and shared his thoughts about Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics. He looked prepared to invest big in adopting any of the CRM which helps to increase revenue and boost up productivity and overall business grow.

Mike, Salesforce looks to be the best suited one for my business, he politely said and asked my advice for the best Salesforce solution/service provider and shared his (not so impressive) budget for the same.

CRM – Salesforce or Open Source?

I whispered …

Imagine an alternative that offers any of the below features while increasing Sales, Customer Trust and Loyalty:

  • Free or Low Cost
  • Customizable
  • No License Cost

Ah …. AJ is now all SMILESSSSSSSSS ……

Now his Entrepreneurship role has taken over and he inquired, how about all these features in one CRM?

Tell me More ….

Open Source CRM – Personalize Customer Relationship with Enterprise-Ready Open Source CRM

SugarCRM or SuiteCRM can be good alternatives, both being Open Source options. SuiteCRM though is upgraded form of SugarCRM or build upon SugarCRM itself.

Why spend hundreds and thousands of dollars on a good Customer Relationship Management application? Are you Ready to transform your business with SuiteCRM?

  • Enterprise Ready and Flexible
  • Reduce Costs
  • Equally Efficient and Reliable with Brand CRMs – Salesforce, Oracle, Siebel CRM
  • Easily Customizable & Modifiable
  • Faster & Increased Customer Reach
  • Efficient Customer Support
  • Rich, Powerful, Flexible and User-Friendly features
  • Adopted Globally by Start-ups to Global Enterprises

It offers Enterprise Customized CRM for Every Organization Function:

  • Marketing Automation
  • Sales Automation
  • Service Desk Automation
  • Telephony Integration
  • Workflow Automation
  • Order & Invoicing Management
  • Accounting Integration
  • ERP Integration
  • Data Migration

AJ – Choice is yours! Think Realistically

Salesforce, Oracle, Microsoft Dynamics or Open Source CRM (SuiteCRM)

Oh boy!! AJ looks happy with millions of questions running in his head now.

I really need to give a second thought now… This is an eye opener. I never thought that an Open Source CRM can be so much productive and Enterprise Ready as compared to proprietary CRMs.

DEMOs and Case Studies!

Until next a meeting was fixed with Taction’s Business Head and Account Manager for some quick Demos and practical Case Studies to showcase the features of the Life Safer CRM – SuiteCRM.

AJ was all Smilesss Again and of course needless to say he paid the bill for the COFFEE  !!

Is your Business Ready for the Enterprise CRM? Let’s meet over a cup of Coffee!

 

 

 

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Bad Hire Costs a Bomb! Bad Decision is Nuclear!

Bad Hire

Mark just completed his first month in the “Dream-Company” and is
having a dinner in a plush restaurant with his wife celebrating; pop goes the wine and a surprise short message…

“I think I will QUIT my current Organization, I think I am a MISFIT here”

The Dinner ends and our our story begins, what went wrong with Mark’s Hiring??

Faulty Process…Culturally Misfit…Misevaluation…Technical or Attitude issues…Faulty Background Verification …      Reasons may be Many ….

Mark has gone through a series of interviews, relevant workplace behavioral assessments and internal vetting procedures in an effort to secure the right candidate.

So, what went wrong??…Well,  it’s a classic case of “cultural misfit.” (in this case specifically)

Who’s fault is it? … Mark’s or the Organization (Decision Makers)?? Could it had been avoided? …

This is a clear case where human wins over the software !!

With technology comes innovation in the interview process and it has become much more dynamic in the recent times.

Does technology fail to evaluate the perfect candidate to organizational culture  

I believe this is where a candidate’s interaction with different groups in the organization becomes critical. This can be seen as strategy to evaluate the fitment in the group and not just job role.

Here is a shocker again Harvard says as much as “80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions” and the Cost sky rocket too. SHRM also found that the higher the person’s position and the longer they remain in that position, the more it will cost to replace him or her.

Though the consequences could be dangerous but there are also some non quantified costs like high attrition, low productivity, low morale, less productivity, employee disengagement and motivation which actually affect the organization culture. The ripple effect is being created on non performance issues.

Looks obvious …Really?  Why Bad Hiring happens?

A recent survey by Robert Half showed that one-third (36%) of 1,400 executives surveyed felt the top factor leading to a failed hire, aside from performance issues, is a poor skills match. The second most common reason (30%) was unclear performance objectives…

There are two aspects to job description; the job definition and the skills needed to complete the desired job.

Here is the gap …

Do we really know what is required to be done? Or What skills are needed to do the job?

It is hence always advisable to involve people who actually do the desired job to write the job description to avoid any gap between the desired and the actuality i.e. avoid any mis-communication about what’s required to do a successful job.

What about a scenario when an organization faces candidate’s misinformation?

There might arise situations where the Candidate(s) gets away with intentional hidden facts during the interview and they are actually not qualified to competently perform the job. Or, it may be, they failed to inform about any previous offences and than try to defraud the company.

Whatever be the reasons, Bad Hire Costs and if it turns out to be Bad Decision it will go Nuclear. All this plus the rolling effect of passing the buck of responsibility, HR to the Hiring Managers and so on, affecting the Team Morale, Motivation and overall Cultural Poisoning…

So what can be done? Some Tips for Better Hires

  1. Detail the Job Role: A detailed job description will help reduce the number of unfit candidature
  2. Match the Unsaid Expectations: Employers that don’t take soft skills such as leadership and communication into account may set themselves up for a bad match
  3. Create A Connect:Hiring is more than just recruiting. Building trust, loyalty and talking to evaluate personally the expectations and inner strengths
  4. Reference Check:Speak to qualify references. Better late than Sorry. Don’t hesitate to say Hi through the right channels to get the confidence on desired candidate
  5. Sell your Value and not Culture: Culture is Experienced and not Said. Show the opportunity and match the Expectations

And Above All …

Hiring the Right Candidate Takes Time …

The most important asset to any business or any organization is its people.. Taking shortcuts to build your team may ease immediate growing pains, but may create regrets in the long-term.

Time and patience are the key towards developing a culture of Better Hire !

IIM Raipur HR Summit & International Conference looks into emerging HR Challenges : VUCA Perspective

Group

It is essential to know your HR data” – Micky Chopra, VP, Human Capital, Taction Software LLC

As an invited speaker, Micky spoke at recently held second HR Summit and International conference organized by IIM-Raipur, which explored the emerging challenges, furthermore the conference saw more than 24 leading HR professionals across varied sectors coming together to discuss the ever changing landscape of Human Relation and its impact on business.

The much talked about two days HR Summit and International Conference, explored real world problems faced by HR executives, for the most part, panel discussions and paper presentations formed the chunk of the event.

The discussion themes included Leveraging Diversity, Leadership in a VUCA World, Competency Management and HR Analytics & Metrics.

Micky Chopra spoke on the essentials of HR Analytics & Metrics– The technical aspects of HR metrics which have become the beacon of the complex relationship between an organization & its talent pool management.

Here are the excerpts of the short interview with Micky Chopra by the Tacteam:

 1.  What was the event all about, sounds like, it’s not number crunching anymore?

“It is essential to understand the data, says Micky and know the objective of the research before going ahead with the analysis; which in turn helps the organization to face business challenges effectively”. The prime focus of the IIM Summit was “VUCA”, a term coined by the US Army War College. “VUCA” stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity and as a rule VUCA has become a natural part of the organizational landscape in today’s time. Nowadays contemporary business leaders are constantly working to find out the possible ways to face VUCA challenge, consequent the organizations. Leaders with high VUCA capability is associated with strong leadership, thereby capable enough to meet future business challenges, similarly VUCA capability also links to financial performance, for example, it is reported that the organizations performing well are more likely to have VUCA-capable leaders.

2. What did you speak about?

The HR professional has to go beyond number crunching and straight execution, and it is absolutely essential to understand the data and know the intent of the research before going ahead with the analysis. Major challenges are being faced by startups in tuning the Organizational objective to skill set requirement, hence skill mapping and L&D initiatives, HR Analytics & Metrics are a competent tool in the hands of a skilled HR professional to understand the talent pool and align its TA targets.

3. What is your key takeaway?

“It is a huge learning experience for me, Keynote speakers like LT Sherpa, ED (P&A), in the valedictory session cited various examples of crisis like that of Greece, and analogically compared VUCA to an earthquake whose epicenter is elsewhere, but the impact is widespread.

Murlidhar Shyam, VP – Group HR RJ Corp Healthcare, showcased the use of HR analytics in Recruitments. He explains how HR analytics could be leveraged to improve the quality of intake. “We look at the points whose impact on our business is of an immediate nature.” He cautioned the HRs against being fully satisfied with their own HR policies as there is always room for improvement.

Ajay Nair, CHRO, Housing.com stressed on how important it was to eliminate feelings and biases from data in analytics.“Torture the data, not the person associated with it,” he asserted.

Adding to the discussion Anil K Misra, CHRO, Fidelity National Financial, elaborated on the predictive ability of analytics for top talent retention.

In conclusion: the HR Summit tried to focus on paradigm shifts within the HR function in order to maintain compliance and for building organizational capability, for gaining competitive advantage.

Organization Vision – People Way!

untitled A winter is always a good excuse to invite someone for a cup of coffee! The mercury fell to 4 degree’s and the coffee boiled over, it tasted even well with My Friend ‘Mark’ after a long time. He off-course lived next block but our Watches did not. Sunday and the drink in the mug was strong and soon the Devil Crept back in, Office discussion. It was one of the Annual Meet days, and Our CEO was sharing his Mission, Vision Statement for 2015, and I… as always stared at the “Fill in the Blanks” It was a well defined “Vision” and “Mission’ speech, but somehow I did not find the “Human/People” projection scope. I wonder:

  • Why is it every “Vision” & “Mission” statement talks about business & customers and not its people?
  • Are organizations really doing enough to contribute to the vision of their people?

Though it’s a common sense that… No business is successful unless, you have competent people running it…Then why do organizations hesitates or are afraid to bring in “people” aspect to their “Vision” statement, thinking about it… gives me sleepless nights! AND IF THEY DO, What will be the biggest challenge we see an organization might have considering the people aspect? – “Keeping them engaged” or may be not… It is though apparent that the traditional model of the organization of work enables deficiency in the cognitive development of its employees. With the fast changing economy where there is a need of increased connectedness and purposefulness, it is critical to change the model for the betterment. To the point, Organizations with engaged employees outperform those without up by to 202% (source: Gallup). Be it the lack of appreciation, respect of values, listening ears, burnout or stress, it ends up people not willing do their job i.e. they are disengaged. Though many organizations these days acknowledge the fact of “Engagement” but are they really doing it correctly? Is what needs to be addressed…? Cut to 2015 and beyond… Engagement EE – Are we seeing a transition from Employee Engagement to Employee Entertainment Many organizations are mistakenly relating Employee Engagement to the Employee Entertainment and the actual business goal (i.e. people) goes missing. Though Entertainment is essential but may not always determine the employee satisfaction. Few of the priorities that need to align with Employee Engagement initiatives should be intended to:

  • Align individual goals to that of organizational goals
  • Quality of work life
  • Entertainment/Celebration aspect should only be the part of Engagement and not the only aspect in place
  • Training should be aligned with the proper outcome mechanism rather than one of initiative
  • Timely recognition is a Must and should not be waited for a year end celebration
  • Build an atmosphere of trust and loyally from Employer standpoint as well

Organizational Experience is a combination of work, play, and learning. It has been revealed that most of the organizational learning activities results in immediate/short-term effects. However learning at the organizational level may challenge the organization’s guiding principles causing of developing a new understanding and relationship with the changing environment.

INTERVIEW: TOP 6 TIPS TO BUILDING A WOW CANDIDATE EXPERIENCE!

untitled

 

Mark, a Program Manager recently sent his candidature for a job opening through a job portal. Confident of his skills and description in the job on the portal, he was all excited! He went in for the interview and the story begins…!

The Big Question ?

 “Does the company have a well defined interview process”?

Or is it  “fills” the so-called “urgent” position….

Exploit the opportunity to add another armor to your Brand Image –

Mark needs to be treated as the “Brand Ambassador”.  The experience that he will get during his interaction (interview process) will automatically be “delivered as it”  to the outside references (friends, colleagues or anybody) and in turn will not only encourage or discourage people to apply for a job, but will also create and build a brand Image in totality.

The Key Initiatives !

Few Key pointers critical to be understood or should be taken care are:

  1. Create a well defined job description: Hiring managers (not necessarily the recruitment managers) should be well aware “what they are hiring for?” It will be only foolish to recommend a candidate search without even detailing the job description
  2. Create the best first impression with the candidate: As mostly, it’s the recruiters who initially touch-base with candidates on their candidature, so It becomes absolutely critical to make them understand and trained enough (if needed) to deliver the best pitch possible and to create the best first level impression thereon
  3. Building a level of trust with the candidate: It is important to make the candidate at ease and make him feel excited about the opportunity available. There is always a high need to be trustworthy (with the candidate) at any level of the interaction
  4. Respect the time of the individual: Two way timely communication is a Must in any communication with the candidate starting from initial stage, i.e. of thanking the candidate, to the feedback sharing communication and moving towards the closing on the candidature process
  5. Train the interviewers: Interview is “Art” or “Science”? Well, maybe it’s about “Common Sense”. Interviewers need to be trained on the intent of the interview, it’s not about evaluating their (own) knowledge or comparing them with the interviewee’s
  6. Create a positive delivery even on rejection: It is critical to understand that a candidate needs to be well respected during his candidature. He needs to be “valued”. It’s important to create a positive delivery (intent) even while discussing the rejection candidature with the candidate

Mark experienced one of the best interview processes around. He was so impressed that even on his rejection, he spoke to his close friends and referred them to (his interview) company. He is very much confident that one of them will surely be able to close the candidature.

My take: is as good as yours i.e. “Well Said is always easier than “Well done”. Human nature takes all control when dealing with people. Ego, Character, Self worth, Pre opinion all plays an important part during human interaction.. Hence, it’s the mature nature of the interviewer that becomes a critical element in proper judgment of any candidate.

 

 

Need to manage Millennials in the workplace – hyped or real?

mille

Mark, an individual and a Millennial who recently joined an organization is all excited to be in a career growth oriented role. As a part of Gen Y, he has very high aspirations and expectations. He is hoping to achieve everything at a doubly fast pace.

Is that the benchmark mindset of other Millennials / Gen Y as well?  …. May Be or May Be Not … 

The biggest challenge for any organization has always been “how to manage its workforce”. 

The survey, carried out by London Business School (LBS) in conjunction with Deloitte, also revealed that 37% had given themselves a maximum of a two year window with any one organization, and that 40% were already planning their next career move when they started a new job.

Is there truly a Generation Gap – in Values, Ethics, Patience levels, Resistance levels, Motivations… Do they really count ?

THE WORLD IS CHANGING…  so do…. “THE HUMANS”­­­­­­ – Change in behavior, human values, expectations, attitude, competitiveness are all visible.

Welcome Human Millennial – Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation (Y) are the demographic cohort following Generation X. There are no precise dates when the generation starts and ends. Researchers and commentators define these as birth years, ranging from the early 1980s to the early 2000s

[Source: Wikipedia]

  • Is this the ever changing way the Millennial behaves and works?
  • Do they have any specific characteristics or needs?
  • Are organizations doing that extra to assimilate them into the system? 

These are a few questions which are worth deliberating and more importantly waiting to be answered. 

Few impacting characteristics that represent Millennials as a community are:

  • Very competitive and want to take on the world
  • Highly self determined, confident and can take up any challenge
  • Very visible and socially networked
  • Highly career oriented and keep track of their goals
  • Very motivated with “We Can …We Will” attitude

But, Why, for What …. Is it Visibility, Money, Status, Brand, Ambition to Reach to Top…..That is what the HR practitioners need to understand.

 Work Attitude – is there a shift? :

  • Demand of Work Appreciation
  • Highly Career Oriented
  • Two Way Communication
  • Values aligned with Goals
  • Job hopping not a limitation for good opportunities
  • Independent / Individual Contribution
  • Very positive & optimistic – Entrepreneurial Skills

 So, 

  • What will happen to Mark?
  • Who will take care of his aspirations?
  • What will happen to his expectations?

 Organizations have realized the need to “CHANGE”, accepted it, and are now investing in assimilation and retention of these employees.

IS THIS ENOUGH? …. MAY BE OR MAY BE NOT….. “CHANGE IS THE ONLY CONSTANT”

It is time for Organizations to think and take an Out-Of-the-Box Approach………… Sounds interesting? 

  • Branding, Employee: It has become critical for organizations to brand their employees as products. It is time to dismiss any negative thinking including poaching or headhunted. In-fact retention has decreased significantly for organizations who are very aggressive in branding their people.
  • Being Loyal: Employees need an environment where they feel secure in their job. It is important to give your employees enough time and space to grow with the organization
  • Values & Goals: Emphasis must be given when defining KRA’s of the individual and an alignment of Goals, Values, KRA’s needs to be established. Employees’ needs must be recognized and aligned with the goals
  • Boss Vs Leader/Mentor Approach: It’s important to realize that Leadership is action and not position. Mentor / Leaders needs to be proactive in defining and monitoring the career progression. Feedback / Feed Forward approach is much needed. They need to encourage and promote healthy competition
  • Individual Thinking: Provide a much needed environment where the individual can think/work independently with minimum supervision as aligned with their entrepreneurial skills. It is time to appreciate, recognize and celebrate the uniqueness
  • Timely Recognition: Very important to understand the need of proper and timely recognition and benefit to the employee. Any sort of appreciation goes a long way in motivating employees. Even quick appraisal or early bonus can work wonders
  • Learning & training: Grooming of employee with proper guidance / training and learning is a necessity to map with the constant change in the industry. Train from the perspective of “what is required and not what you have”.

 Millennial in the workplace – hyped or real?

 Well, you decide, I think it’s for real… let me know your point of view

Human Resource: Human…is it? ….Really …

 Human

Mark just completed his first quarter with the new company.

One day he met John, his best friend after a long gap of several years and they decided to have a cup of coffee together and that too at their favorite joint. The chit chat that started about well being actually turned into the more important conversation…….

…….Conversation about their overall experience with their respective companies.  Mark, had joined the company a quarter back, John was associated with his company for few years now.

As they moved on with the talk, both of them agreed that, though the entire process was very “process oriented“and professional in its own way, there seems to be a sense of lack of “Human Touch” in it.

In today’s fast changing World, by the scheme of things the term “Human Resource” which has been inherited from the word “Human” itself is fast losing its weightages.

Reasons could be many… but not limited to:

  • Too Much Technology:  Is Technology the next “Human” Face of HR?
  • Tight turn-around-time: Is too much of TAT is limiting the productivity?
  • Perfect Match: Are we hiring “Human” or “Machines”?
  • Poor Forecasting: Is there any time left to plan or to forecast?
  • Scientific methodology: Will behavioral evaluation automatically bring values?

Are these excuses? ……May be …or…May be Not….

Will machine and processes be the “Humane” face for “Human Resource”?

The faster we are able to find the answer, the better will be for the candidate, employee and the community in total.

Are we really thinking?

  • Can HR processes really drive the Human Values?
  • Is it only about company values? What about employee values?
  • Does too many processes actually taking away the “Human” approach?
  • Employee attitude – is it only about his responsibility?

Most of the companies are laid on the foundation of “Human Values” and HR, the custodian of Values, Ethics and Culture of the company.

Is it the time to give employees a special identity… much more than a designation or responsibilities?

Maybe, it could have made Mark a happier employee, if

  • He has been given a thorough listening
  • Process and approvals can take backward approach during his time of crises
  • Better relationship could have served him better
  • He has been treated as like any other employee

My Take: Though technology & tools are good to manage the processes, but at the end, it’s the relationship and bonding you have created, with the employee that will eventually help you win the bottlenecks. So, don’t forget to give a “Human Being” approach towards your employee(s).

Every ‘Human” has emotions and values which need to be respected!