Upgrading Your CRM: The Problem with Vodafone’s CRM

Vodafone’s recent problem with their CRM is proof that CRM software is not without its problems. For those unfamiliar with the situation, Vodafone had a brown-out of its services in the land down under because of the implementation of a CRM upgrade. The down-time of Vodafone’s Siebel CRM system, made it so that Vodafone was unable to provide new products or services including voicemail, moving customers to new plans, change rate plans, or churn customers from pre-paid accounts. Viodafone’s serious down-time in Australia inspired me to write up some Basic tips that you should follow for a successful upgrade of your CRM system.

Upgrading Your CRM: Tips for Success


1. Check Your Hardware First

The first step when upgrading your CRM is to do a hardware evaluation. It’s pivotal that you ensure that your hardware will be able to run all of the new features and functionality from the upgrade. The software must be able to run on the existing servers and computers, and this is often a forgotten step when you upgrade your CRM. I was once a part of a CRM implementation where my company was upgrading our ACT! sales software, and needless to say the roll out was a complete bust. The existing hardware wasn’t able to run the upgraded version of ACT!, and the load times to run the software were so slow that you could go do a 5 minute coffee run and the contact info still wouldn’t be done loading.

2. Know Your Problem Areas

When you’re upgrading your CRM software, it’s crucial to make a plan that identifies any problems or issues that you expect to run into. If you plan for it, then you’ll be better prepared for anything that comes up. Every organization has a different system with different customizations and add-ons to their software, so knowing that these areas may cause you problems can save you time when you upgrade your CRM.

3. TEST!

Testing your CRM upgrade is by far the most important step. Before you take down your old CRM and upgrade to the new version, you need to make sure you won’t run into any devastating problems. Testing the upgrade first ensures that you can find solutions to any problems before the actual upgrade, and when you’re actually upgrading your CRM you can minimize any downtime.


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  1. L. David says:

    I also heard some rumors regarding additional Siebel / Oracle telecom failures in Echostar and TMO US. Anyone heard something about it?

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