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Don’t misstep around GRC risks when it comes to CRM

by Scott Wallask

February 22, 2011

By Scott Wallask, SAP Experts

The beauty—and at the same time, the minefield—of SAP CRM is that it spreads its wings to many other SAP solutions.

Such is the case with governance, risk, and compliance (GRC), a term that may not be on the lips of call center agents, but nonetheless permeates throughout SAP CRM.

Regardless of whether you take the black-and-white definition of GRC that focuses on risk management of corporate activities – or embrace a wider view of the acronym, such as the Open Compliance and Ethics Group’s stance that GRC acts as a collection of people and processes that ideally allow a company to measure performance and effectiveness – a poor approach to GRC is going to get the attention of customers.

Interest in GRC spiked after the Enron scandal in 2001. Due to accounting fraud, Enron did not indicate many of its debts properly on financial reports, thus inflating its profits. Eventually, Enron filed for bankruptcy in one of the fastest corporate collapses in American history.

So in broad strokes, faulty GRC brings with it serious implications for customers and customer service. Enron suffere d a terrible blow with public relations, and the revolt against corporate greed that we see in the current recession has some roots in Enron’s missteps. How many of you think of Enron in a positive light today?

GRC acts as a lens for everyone to view how a business manages itself, writes Norman Marks, an SAP vice president and GRC evangelist.

“GRC is not about technology, optimizing compliances cost, or having effective [Sarbanes-Oxley processes] and internal audit programs,” Marks states.

Sitting here at the SAP CRM table, I don’t know all of the answers to how GRC connects to customer service. If you’re facing a similar challenge, I invite you to join Marks this week as he takes questions about your own challenges in creating a sound GRC strategy on our Insider Learning Network chat forum. He’ll check in periodically during the week for new queries, so this is an excellent opportunity to learn about the breadth of GRC from one of its leading proponents at SAP.

If you want an hors d’oeuvre before checking out the chat forum, register to read “GRC Explained: A New Way of Looking at Risk,” an exclusive Q&A with Marks. Previously only available to Project Expert subscribers, this interview digs deep into the important steps every company must take to achieve a rock-solid GRC strategy.

Follow Scott on Twitter at @CRMexpert1

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