Firstwave Technologies Asia Pacific Ltd., a US-based company specializing on CRM, is positioning its solutions for the small and medium businesses (SMBs).
By Edu H. Lopez
PHILIPPINES, 24 July 2000 (Manilla Bulletin) - With a growing local CRM (Customer Relationship Management) market, Firstwave Technologies' objective is to help companies maintain loyalty of their customers.
Aside from the SMBs, the company is targeting start-ups, dotcoms, banking and retail.
"It is seven times more expensive to acquire customers rather than retaining them," said Martin Nygate, Firstwave Managing Director who is based in Singapore.
Firstwave is aiming to develop its clients in Asia particularly the Philippines as a key market for CRM. "The Philippines is an interesting and fast-growing market for CRM," said Nygate.
Companies spent a substantial amount of money on CRM to retain their clients' loyalty. "To retain clients, you need CRM solutions and not loyalty cards," said Nygate.
Firstwave offers local businesses the benefits of traditional CRM solutions without a hassle. Nygate expects to roll out its CRM solutions in the local banking sector where there is a significant interest in Firstwave's solutions.
Nygate said what differentiates their CRM solutions from their competitors are its ease-of-use features, rapidly deployable with an average implementation period of 20 days and a true web-centric solution.
He noted that several CRM solutions are not web-centric and have information or features which are useless.
There are three major market segments for CRM - the high-end solutions which are expensive which takes one year to implement, salesforce solutions and the midmarket.
Firstwave's solution which caters to the midmarket segment is cost-effective, flexible, and rapidly deployable.
To expand its market reach, Firstwave is also looking for distributors in the Philippines to push its CRM business solutions.
eCRM addresses the needs of web-based businesses and any company linked to the Internet, assisting companies to handle inside sales, call center, marketing and customer support efforts which in turn help build a healthy relationship with their clients.
Firstwave's Internet relationship management product - eRM - fills the market's need for cost-effective, rapidly deployable, easy-to-use eCRM solution.
eRM offers companies a Web-based CRM solution to increase business effectiveness in managing the complete customer life cycle.
Even more enticing is Firstwave Asia's unique pricing policy, marketing position and direct sales model - all factors that make a difference when Asian companies look into implementing eCRM.
US-based IT research firm, AMR Research said it expects the CRM market to hit $5.42 billion or P241.3 billion this year and expected to double in 2001.
A recent study by Reicheld & Sasser noted that many businesses could boost their profits by almost 100 percent if they retained just five percent of their customers.
Firstwave's solutions are especially relevant to the rapidly growing small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
"Most SMEs are typically driven by sales and marketing activities and have never ventured into CRM because current market offerings cater only to big enterprises with sophisticated IT infrastructure and are costly to implement," Nygate said.
Firstwave's eCRM solutions will allow SMEs to focus on affordable customer care, thus, retaining customers and in the longer term see an increase in business from these customers, Nygate added.
It also offers a lower total cost of ownership (TCO) by delivering rapidly deployable and open architecture solutions.
The solutions would allow for installation and upgrades to be done via the Internet, thus, limiting system interruption or downtime.
Nygate said that customizations are upwardly compatible with each product upgrade so that none of the original work is lost upon the installation of a new release.