Channel Q: The CRM Review, Putting The Fun In CRM News

NOTE: I realized, while putting this post together, that I was attending a lot of conferences run by CRM Watchlist winners. Then it occurred to me that I could actually combine my discussion of the conference with my CRM Watchlist review though slightly out of order from my normal approach. So in the interests of efficiency, currency and laziness, I'm going to combine my CRM Watchlist reviews when possible with the conference coverage. So the next one I'm doing after this one --since CallidusCloud was a winner of the CRM Watchlist this year --is going to be CRM Watchlist Elite winner Lithium and their conference LiNC, and then SAP, who won CRM Watchlist winner with distinction this year and their conference Sapphire. Smart thinking, huh?

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Callidus Cloud has been around in the compensation/incentive management world for a long time and has always been one of the big players in that world. But about six years ago, they made a practical decision to go the way the world was going - actually a little ahead of the curve - and in terms that their audience would understand went to an ecosystem.

What do I mean by that? First let me clarify what I am defining here as an ecosystem. If you go all formal, the definition of ecosystem - according to (not even Webster's is:

"a system, or a group of interconnected elements, formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment"

"any system or network of interconnecting and interacting parts, as in a business."

The latter one is pretty close to what I'm talking about here. But I'd add to it a little, my definition is:

"Any system or network of interconnecting, interacting and interrelated parts, acting cohesively."

I'm talking this when I talk ecosystem. The key to any ecosystem is that not only are the parts interwoven and interacting but it makes sense for them to be grouped into the ecosystem. For example, it makes perfect sense for an ecosystem that covers a business process end to end, such as lead to money/cash - and along the way covers the things that a company needs to be successful in that endeavor. There are multivariate approaches that can be utilized and different pieces that can be put in place, but at the end of the day, the end to end meets the outcomes needed by the customers buying the systems.

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