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Why Charlie Chaplin figures into the future of CRM

by Scott Wallask

July 23, 2010

By Scott Wallask, Insider Learning Network

Charlie Chaplin and SAP CRM customers seem an unlikely pairing, but similarities exist between them.

For those unfamiliar with Chaplin, he was a famous actor and movie director best known for a character called The Tramp, who appeared in many silent movies in the 1920s and 1930s.

Some of us here at the office recently discussed a movie made about Chaplin’s life called … ahem … Chaplin. A theme of the film is that Chaplin tried to resist the transition from silent movies to those with dialogue, but eventually even he yielded to the trend.

Some SAP CRM professionals are in The Tramp’s old shoes, holding back against industry movements such as wireless applications and social media. But as I talk to folks out in the field and read what my peers are writing (e.g., “Why you should consider going mobile and social” by CRM Expert’s Molly Vaughan), I have to conclude that these trends are going to become the norm for everyone soon enough.

You can see SAP adapting as well. The expected acquisition of Sybase, Inc., will raise awareness and use of SAP’s mobility functions, and one has to wonder if future SAP CRM features will directly tie into social media efforts.

Even though change looms, the traditional avenues of CRM won’t be forgotten, much as the world remembers The Tramp’s trademark derby hat and cane all of these years later. E-mail marketing campaigns will continue, and sales reps aren’t about to stop their face-to-face meetings with potential customers.

So nudge yourself towards the horizon, even if it’s uncomfortable at first. Chaplin did it.

Follow Scott on Twitter @sapcrm_observer.

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