There are a huge variety of CRM systems available to companies now, and amongst all the other differences they have, one of the big separators is whether they are installed or cloud-based.
Traditionally, a CRM is a piece of software that each individual user must have installed on their machine. The information contained within the CRM is stored locally to that machine, with backups and synchronisations taking place at set intervals to try and ensure that each user has the most up-to-date version of the information possible.
As technology has progressed, and with the explosion of the internet’s importance to working life, many installed systems have given way to new cloud-based systems. ContactBuilder itself has embraced this technology and the opportunities it brings from the start, and offers a fully cloud-based system to all users.
There are a number of benefits to this type of system over the traditional per-machine installation:
A cloud-based system does not need to rely on the security status of each individual machine. It doesn’t require specific virus software to be running in order for the system to function correctly, and it is not susceptible to any machine that may have security issues, such as a virus that compromises the operating system and causes corruption or loss of work and files.
ContactBuilder’s security relies on its own servers and ongoing system maintenance procedures, which ensures that all data remains secure and the system adheres to relevant legislation.
A cloud-based system is effectively already set up and waiting to be used. To add a new user, all that’s needed is to supply a username and password and the new user is ready to go. No more time taken trying to co-ordinate support teams and users is needed. This is particularly helpful where staff routinely work remotely, as again, there is no need for them to bring in a particular machine to have any software installed. As long as they have an internet-enabled device, they can easily use a system such as ContactBuilder.
The flexibility of a cloud-based system like ContactBuilder is a huge benefit to both companies and users. As with the set-up process being very simple and flexible with regards number of users, the fact that the system can be used across devices makes working life much easier. As more and more people work from home, or remotely whilst travelling to and from meetings, it makes sense to also make it as easy as possible to enable people to continue to follow company processes and keep all systems properly updated. Another benefit of the cloud-based system is that everything is updated by all users in real time. There is no need for any synchronisation from different installations and so users can be confident that they are always working on current information.
Any good CRM system will have regular updates to ensure that the system works as well as it possibly can for its users, and to embrace improvements within the system itself. With an installed system, these updates may be applied to users’ accounts at different times, depending on when they choose to perform the updates. This could lead to compatibility issues between user accounts and the way the system synchronises data. It’s also not uncommon to run into problems when there are outstanding updates on the machine itself. With a cloud-based system like ContactBuilder, the updates are all controlled centrally and users will see these at the point they log in. There’s no maintenance required from users, and no potential compatibility issues between updates and individual machine set-ups or operating systems.
All in all, a cloud-based system offers all of the good points that a traditionally installed CRM gives, but with a number of added benefits that combine to give a more secure, more streamlined and more flexible system, perfect for the realities of modern-day working.