CRM Case

CRM Case

Assume you are James Williams developing a presentation on CRM in Russia for the Board of Directors of AMIR limited:

  1. Identify strategies for the CRM project implementation.
  2. Identify reasons contributing to the failure of the CRM implementation at Mashkin.
  3. Discuss the current state of CRM practice in emerging markets using the example in Russia.
  4. What additional challenges might companies in Russia face in implementing CRM projects?
  • Copy the questions and write your responses below each question.

It will be necessary for you to research CRM strategies and/or implementation in Russia to formulate your responses.

HINT: see the articles listed under References in the attached document.


International Business

Research, Teaching and Practice The iourrral of ttre AIB-SE

Intemational Basinest: Rnearch Teaching ad Prattice 2008 2(1)


(A TnecHrNG Cesu Sruov)

Tamilla Curtis. Nova Southeastcrn University

317 Aleatha Drive, Davtona Beach, FL 32114

Donald Barerc Nova Southcastcrn Univcrsifi,

1900 Pelican Landing Blvd, #1t)23, Clear-water, FL 33762

Tom Griffin N c.rva Southeastern University

2900 NE 30th St. Unit 8G, Fort Lauderdale, FL 3330(r

Despite the benefit afered lry ilte integration of cuttomer relationsltip management (CkM) strategy with aduanced lechno/0g,, manlt companiu ii//fail to see competitiae aduautage results protnbed b1 CRM.’I’his case stadl proaides a platformfor student anafisis and discassion in lhis area. This case ttud1 is presented in two parts. Tlte frst part descibu the unvccessfal inplemenlation of an integrated CRM ysteru witbin a ntidsiqefnancialfrm based in the (J.l; the second partprouides an oueruiew 0f CkNI deueloptrent in kusia af huo telecomruunication companies. Suge$ed tlueilions

.for discassion are presenled. Appendix A prauides an oueruiea of CkM that can be eruplayd al the option rf an instractor tct transition between a spectfic curicu/urt and the case. Teaching ncttes (inckding exanple respzltrr,i for each discussion question) are aaailable b), contacting the come$onding author.

Telephone: 386 226 7173 e-mail: cuttist(



fnternational Business: Research, Teaching and Ptactice 2008 (2) 1

MesnrcN GRoup

N{ashkin Group Inc. (N{ashkin), a wholly owned subsidiary of Amir Inc., a British financial conglomerate, is a medium-size, asset-managemerit group based in the US. Mashkin consists of three primary dir.isions: a mutual fund company with $10 billion in assets; a separate, but closelr,- affiiiated asset management companv rvith $15 billion in assets; and a financial services company. Since the early 1990s, these three enterprises have shared the same client database and other software programs. The first program utilized, an inexpensive, off-the-shelf system with limited capabilities, was used by the sales department of both the mutual fund company and the asset maflagement company primarily to store names, telephone numbers, and notes of salespeople. A second progtam was used by the IT department to update the database as new clients arrived and record daily sales data. A third program was installed at all internal and external salespersons’ workstations and laptops to provide current data to the sales force. In addition, the Client Service Call Center used a sepa(ate designed-in-house program to track incoming call activity.

The technology systems utilized by employees in N{ashkin were designed to support general sales activities. None of the software was designed specifically for the needs of their financial divisions (either the murual fund or the asset management side) and lacked the anaiytic functionality as weil as the collaborative functionaLitv to interface with other systems rvithin Mashkrn. This limited functionaliry of technologv forced emplovees to spend an inordinate amount of time manuall1, jumping bctween applicauons and creating new reports to import and export data between applications that could not be cr-rrrentil, integrated. Srgnificant effort was also expended in e-mail and other communications between users throughout the firm to collect information that rvas not recorded in the system.

STorking around the limitations of the technologies had been possible when the sales volume and number of clients was small, but with the expansion of the company the situation had become unacceptable. Management felt that it was time to implement a comprehensive CRM strategy with integrated technology specific to the needs of their financial divisions (both the mutual fund and the asset management sides). The three companies undet the umbrella of Mashkin shared the same objectives for their new CRM approach:

1.To pror.,ide superior service to customers inaddition to the benefit of the core ptoduct;

2. To identify, focus on and retain key customers;

3. To develop customer’s profiles; and 4. To improve managerial decisions and workflow.


Cunis, Barerc & Gdffin CRM Case Srudy

The desired (and expected) outcome of the new strategic approach, whichincluded the internar ‘rorguniru,ion or the use oi ,.rorr..s, was increasedproductiviq’ through ar,””r

“..”* to comprehensive client recofcrs; fasterresponse ro customer needs; better reporting ana ^

capabilities; reducingdupti c a ti o n o f e fro rts ; ^”

d il ;;;, “.;;;;;;,;# lr.i,io,u r,. r. :

THB CRM pnoyecr

In order to deal with the- complex issues of identification anclimplemcntation of ,r,. ,pprofrirr.^cnu pr'”grr-,’^ iiM trrkforce was formedconsisting or m1119eriri i.rr.i “-ptoy..r. wi.,it. ir;g;^;;_, have rhe resourcesrequired to buy comprehenrir,” ..,jtom svstems, ,r.r4r.. firms are often forcecl touse low cost, off-the–shelf p.”au.,r, -odify produ.i, a*”r”pecr for other firms,or build a sysrem in-house; ,”d l; Mu”tLir,r;;;rir” budgetary constraintsprohibited the outrigh, p.rr.hrr” o i^a fury-“gr;;;;:;;;.- sysrem. ,{n outsidecRN[ consurtant wai hired to,’i.r rrr. pr”‘gr;’rrii’rr.rp se]ect an off_the_shelf integrated sysrem for use trlro,rgho.l; ,r- ?Im. working with theconsultant’s input, the task force determh.a tn. :”;d;., the impremenradonprocess inciuding sofrware ,.qoir.-.rtr, r,endor ,Ii..tio.r, budget, projecttimeframe,,i-rn.r involved ;;;-;r.. training. Aft.r Lorrth, oi.._,mpuringprograms thar could be adaptecr to the unique leeds or-,r_,. companies withinMashkin, one was seiected ,i-,^, *^ successfu,y^- ,r. Ly a sim,ar, but rarger,firm’ Mashkin finany .”-*iii.a’io , .rror.n CRM ,yri._ and the softwarelicenses were purch^r.a. ,r. ii dJprrr*.r, ensured that arnerworks for thenew CRM prog.ram were in pt”… fi. new system was popuiated with currenrdata that was tia.,sfer..a rroirli-,-“

“ra ar,^u^J;. ;; ;;;J’,” minimize risk, the

lr1],.J:”-s were left in pir.”*,i

“rr, purnu.t with th. ,rewty instat.led cRM

Despite careful planning Mashkin faccd major challenses c’rrino rh^ ^-^:^^-implemen tation. rhe co s t o i the “.* cry,1,: ;; #ffiff ;i::i:.Hr.Tli.jbc subsrantialJl’ grcater rhan was budgetcd. conrrovcrsiar issoverruns began surfacing ar eve{, b;;r”J meeting. iues concerning cost In the process o_f dataffansfer tens-of thousands of client fires with contactnotes and crient prof,es were ,ru.,rr.r..d ura

^gu;;.i, ,iun.r, regard to theirchr, This rack ,f .hr,,n.,r.rg1.-..rn, users had r’scr’, through years ofnores ro iocare recenr enrries nnd ,iou. rhem near ,n” ;;;, rhe fire in order rorender them useabr5. .The nt., -o*’nrr..,.a *.r;’il”r”.

-Jr to.,g_,r_e crients,many of whom had. done b.rsin”ss *r,i ,f.. firm for 10 orclients had lengthv fires-that *;;;;j” .,.-b.r.o-. ,”i irin.I:i: ffi;:i:r;result of rhe data rransfer. a-“rg;hl’ri.r., tho,se doing heavy sares vorume ancrthose atrempting to grean useabr: ;;;r-;r, of the ,..rirul.i’ fires were afFecreclmost’ user efficienciis in this ,.rr-,rrr”].ptimal system declined further.





Intemational Business: Research, Teaching and Practice 2008 (2) 1

Another shortcoming was user training. The firm provided on-line training of sales personnel in the new CRM system, but the system $/as based on on- demand user training and there was no structure in place that ensured employees completed the training instead of merely employing it as a “Help” system. As employees left and new ones replaced them training deteriorated to an associate spending a few miriutes demonstrating the system to a new employee, who was ultimately left to figure it out on their own. While an integrated CRM application specific to the financial industry was implemented, financial advisots and salespeople were not utilizing it. The end users prefetted to rely on old technologies and iuggled different applications instead of using the newly installed, comprehensive CRM system. Ultimately, the outcome of the CRM implementation at Mashkin was completely the oppo$te of what management envisioned with end results of employee confusion, whsted money and lost time.

AMIR LrurtBo AMIR, a British financial conglomerate with a large telecommunication

division, was interested in further expanding its business operations and was investigating opportunities in the former Soviet Union for its financial services division. AMIR’s Board of Directors sought information on the current state of CRM practices in Russia with particular intetest in any specific challenges that might be faced in implementing CRM strategies in Russian ftms.

James Williams, a senior project advisor with AMIR’s intetnational division was tasked with developing a presentation on CRM in Russia for the Board of Directors. Prior to joining AMIR, Williams had been program manager

^tMashkin and a member of the task force that had steered the unsuccessfi.rl CRM project.

l7illiams was given the following report ptepated by a manager at AMIR’s telecommunications division who had been given a similar tesearch task focusing on the communications market.

, ,’ it’ ,, i 1.,, i-,r,




Srnce fhe collapse of the Sovief Union in 1991, market reform in Russra has resulted in dramatic changes in the business crmafe. Economic reform resulted in a massive transfer of government ownership to the private secfor (Hisrich, 1996). The economic restructuring reform promoted economic growth ln Russra by making a transition from central government control to a market-based economy with large opportunities for foreign capital and investment,


Curtis, Barrere & Griffin CRM Case Study

There is an indication that foreign and Russran parTners have different views of underlying busrness principles. Due to the emphasts of Russian management on collectivistic approaches fo buslness and reliance on capital and functional aspecfs over human assefs (Katsioloudes and lsichenko, 2007), a large number of foreign investment companies sfarted joint ventures with Russian companies. Ihe Russian market’s orientation had previously focused on processrng inventory with emphasis placed on supply rather than on consumer demand. As a result, Russlan companies largely ignored the consumer (Hisrich, 1996). ln the changing economic conditions, many firms ln Russia were forced to create new methods of dolng busrness.

CRM, a relatively new concepf ln Russra, started to gain recognition in

early 2000. The finance and telecommunication industries are the largest secfors currently employing CRM strafegies. Wagner indicated, “Contemporary Russian marketing practices cover only a narrow spectrum of the diversity of marketing practices observed in other nations, and overall intensity of marketing activities ls low in comparison with international benchmarks” (2005:1 99).

Io address the needs of the accelerating Russian’CRM market, the CRM Association was founded in July 2004 to:’:bonduct CRM forums, conferences, and discussions; fo assisf organizations with training; to distribute publications in order to increase auvareness about CRM buslness practices; and to conduct research. The overall goal of the CRM Associafion is to build CRM awareness and share the best technologies and practices, Ihe first CRM congress was held in Moscow in December 2004, where the besf Russian CRM projects were presented and new CRM systems and approaches were dlscussed. More than 350 top managers from Russia n and international companies participated in the congress. lndustries included financial serulces, pharmaceutical, marketing, telecommunication, and others. ln March 2005, Microsoft Corporation, together with DataArt (a provider of high-end software outsourcing serulces with headquafters in New York), conducted a CRM sysfems seminar in St. Petersburg, Russia fo address the development of new CRM so/ufions. The leading global busrness technology event, the lnterop Moscow Exhibition, supported by the American Chamber of Commerce in Russia, was held in April 2008, and provided opportunities for international companies to examine fhe Russian market and to display the latest technologies available in the CRM area. According fo speciallsfs, Russla currently represenfs large investment opportunitiesi’for foreign CRM technology and consulting companies, ” ”!:


fntemational Business: Reseatch, Teaching and Practice 2008 (2) 1

EXAMPLES OF CRM PROJECIS Although academic research on CRM developmenf ln Russla is minimal, the implementation of CRM practices are evident in the example of two telecommunication providers: Svyazinvest (a national provider); and MegaFon-MoscoLv (a regional provider).

Svyazinvest is a telecommunication investment joint stock company that was formed by consolidating shares owned by the federal government

in regional telecom operations during the priuatization of the telecommunications secfor. lt is considered one’ of the largest telecommunication holding companies in the wotd (Svyazinvest, 2008). Svyazinvest incorporates seven large mega-regional telecommunications operations, and national domestic long-distance and international operations. The holding company’s subsidtaries operate public telephone networks with capacity exceeding 32.4 million telephone lines. ln 2005, Svyazinvest, together with IBM and Amdocs (fhe provider of billing and CRM products and seryices for integrated customer management), began the largest CRM billing modernization projectin Russia (GlobalTechnology Unit, 2005). This project was desrgned to replace more than 180 of Svyazinvest’s billing sysfems across seven regions with Amdocs products,

and included the implementation of new voice and data services for ifs subscribers. The CRM project was conducted in several phases, including

the introduction of a single billing system across Svyazinvest operations. The new CRM sfrafegles and technologies eventually will provide Svyazinvest with the ability to connect different operations located in different geographic regions under one umbrella. This will give employees the ability to get a single comprehensive view of consumers. Overall, the implementation of new technologies is expected to give the company a competitive advantage by developing the efficient, ald’,effective network infrastructure in order to provide a high-quality telecoiimunication servrce fo lfs subscrlbers. i’l

MegaFon-Moscow, a division of the MegaFon Group telecommunication company, and one of the first Russian mobile operators in the Global Sysfem for Mobile communications (GSM,), was formed at the end of 2001 due to reorganization of severaltelecommunication companies (MegaFon-Moscow, 2008). MegaFon-Moscow ls one of the three telecom providers responsib/e for the wrreless network coverage of the Moscow region. The cell phone market has experienced tremendous growth in recent years in Russra. Currently MegaFon-Moscor,v has more than five million subscribers. ln March 2005, company management made a decision to implement the Amdocs CRM technology (MegaFon-Moscow, 2005). The new Amdocs automation resulted in many advantages, such as


i ,,.,,J

Cuttis, Bartete & GriIlEfi CR-tuI Case Study

time saving for consumers calling the call center, an increase in the number of customer’s cal/s taken, and a better call routing structure. New CRM technologies allowed MegaFon-Moscow to link call centers with its sfores, and to provide better access to customer information data. Amdocs CRM was able to consolidate MegaFon-Moscow data into a single unified platform, which is fully integrated with existing billing systems. Customer seruice employees receive fasf access to customer data, giving them the ability to respond quickly to customer’s reguesfs and provide a high level of customer seruice.

l7illiams finished teading the report and reflected on the manager’s analysis of CRM practices in Russia and his own experiences at Mashkin.

QursrIoNs Fon DrscussroN: Assume you are James $7illiams developing a presentation on CRM in Russia for the Board of Directors of AMIR limited:

1,. Identify strategies for the CRM project implementation. 2. Identify reasons contributing to thd’:’failure of the CRM

implementation at Mashkrn. Discuss the current state of CRM practice in emerging markets using the example of Russia. What additional challenges might companies in Russia face in implementing CRM projects?

RBrpnpNcss Hisrich, R. D. (1996) The Russian distribution system: Problems for entrepreneurs and

new venture efltrance’, Manageruent Rttearch News, 19(8) : 1 – 1 8.

Global Technology Unit (2005) IBM and Amdocs undertake Russia’s largest wireline billing ptoject’, [www document] ltl/gru/success/amdocs.html (accessed 15 March 2008).

I(atsioloudes, M. L & Isichenko, D. (2007) ‘International joint ventures in Russia: A recipe for success,’ Man age m e n t Re s e arch l{ e tt s, 30 (2) : | 3 3 – I 52.

NlegaFon-Moscow (2008), [www documcnt] generalf (accgss3d 20 Apri12008).

MegaFon-Moscow (2005) ‘MegaFon-Moscow to implement Amdocs CRM solution’, [wwv, document] http://u’ f oewsf crm/EEplpFykVkkEN{wltbc.php (accessed 25 February 2008).

:-.;, .




Intemational Business: Research, Teaching and Practice 2008 (2) 1

Peppers, D. & Rogers, M. (2004) “Roots of Customer Relationship Management”, in Managing Customer Relationships: A Sttategic Framework, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.: Hoboken, pp.5-8.

Srryazinvest (2008), fwww document)http:/ / (accessed 25 April, 2008).

\X/agner, R. (2005) ‘Contemporary marketing practices in Russia’, European Joantal of Marketing 39(1. /2): 1.99-21.5.


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