I have wanted to create this blog for some time now. I realized of late, a lot of my experience in CRM *(Customer Relationship Management) software may be of use to a larger general audience. I do not pretend to be an expert in every area of this subject, but certainly there are areas in which I do have experience and knowledge in this area. It is here in which I wish to share this knowledge and continue to have an open dialog with a larger audience such as the interweb 🙂 . The goal of this blog is simply to share information as I see it, from lessons learned to best practices based on experience in the ever changing technology and business world.
What exactly qualifies me for this blog? Well, my experience in over 13 years of pure CRM and technology ranging from mid market companies to large global enterprise deployments probably helps a bit. In addition, I can approach this topic from several different points of view. From IT developer (coder), business analysis (requirements gather and scribe), project manager (global and country based) to my current role as a IT senior manager at a Fortune 50 company, these all contribute to my take on this subject. Currently, I (along with my great team) are responsible for my employer’s large scale cloud based CRM platform. Lastly, I have an MBA and BBA both with specialties in information systems.
A bit about myself and background first; I was born and raised in San Antonio Texas & eventually joined the US Air Force for four years as an EMT and nurse. In that time I learned a lot about responsibility and honor, among other qualities that have stayed with me for my entire career. Service to my country certainly taught me a lot in life and way even more than I realized at the time I was discharged. After my service in the military, I was accepted and attended the University of Texas at Austin. This was quite an experience for me and quite frankly still resides as some of the best times in my life. There is nothing like a 25 year old joining a frat and seeing Ricky Williams break the record for most rushing yards (American football) over UT’s arch rival Texas A&M.
Shortly after college graduation, I entered the professional job market right in Boston Massachusetts. At the time the “dot.com” bubble hit and this was fantastic. The amount of money firms were throwing at tech companies was in retrospect, ridiculous. My first role was at a company (that no longer exists) that had me performing IT consulting work. I worked primarily on the Onyx CRM, which was SQL based CRM run by a lot of ex-Microsoft guys. Here I learned the value of customer engagements and how to work with many “hats” on. From GTE (remember them?) to mid-level companies, I was able to help manage and deploy many short term projects in the greater northeast of the United States. Next, I moved back to Austin and for the next four years worked at another IT consulting company that did not require as much traveling. At this stage of my CRM career one can say I was a system administrator, Oracle DBA and even trained on some telephony products. Overall however my main tool of trade for this role was Clarify (Amdocs) CRM. Within the four years here I had better appreciation for the CRM toolset, but was limited in its use overall to small and mid-level companies. I lacked global and enterprise experience at this time.
During the 2004 time frame, I also earned my MBA and then left this consulting firm in Austin for my current employer. I have been at my current employer close to 7 years now and in that time I have had the opportunity really expand my CRM skills set to includes as Salesforce.com (SFDC) and add on tools that plug in as part of the SFDC app exchange packages. In addition, my global experience grew exponentially. I have traveled to over 30 countries in the last 7 years and have extensive knowledge in global implementation and execution of large scale IT projects. I also had the opportunity to live in London for a while and help manage and deploy account data management tool-sets and worked with CRM deployments in 17 European countries. Currently, I still manage the SFDC platform along with some amazing team members and staff that reside in several countries. The big area in the space seems to be mobility and social media. How can these two area’s exist within CRM, allow for cross functional collaboration and how will it look tomorrow are just some of the questions we face in today’s world.
In summary, my experience and knowledge of this area has taught me one undeniable fact: Most of what I have learned is probably something another company or person is going through right now or will go through. And with that, I hope to impart some useful knowledge.
Hector Perez Jr