Compare an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) with a CRM (Customer Relationship Management)? If we boil it right down we can think of ERP systems as ‘processing transactions’ and CRM systems as ‘recording events’. The transactional engine has historically been the powerbase of an ERP.
These definitions may be exaggerated and are certainly simplified, but it helps to illustrate the point.
Traditionally, when any ‘heavy’ processing is required a CRM system is integrated with an ERP. Why do I say ‘heavy’, well CRM systems can manage a base level of processing, for example Microsoft CRM does have the ability to take orders or capture invoices etc. But any meaningful processing, one that can track related items, e.g. payments, history, credits etc, often requires a greater level of sophistication. Hence, the need to integrate CRM systems with an ERP.
However, integration comes with its own set of problems; complexity, cost, effort, integrity, speed, reliance, etc.
For many membership organisations there is a need for transactional processing. Fees, ticket sales, services etc. But critically important is gaining ready access in the CRM system to these transactions (without having to interrogate an ERP).
This transactional engine differentiates UpBeat from almost all other CRM-related Membership applications.
Incidentally, having built the transactional engine for UpBeat, there is no reason why it cannot be sold separately and used by other industries other than membership. Anyone wanting to harness the power of ‘transactional processing’ within Microsoft CRM could take advantage of this.
To find out more about the CRM transactional engine or UpBeat (a membership system) go to www.pa.com.au.
Blog written by Chris Pennington, Consultant to PA.
The opinions expressed here are the personal opinions of the writer. Content published here does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of