Member Since: 25th Sep 2000
Paul Greenberg is founder & Managing Principal of The 56 Group, LLC, an advisory firm, focused on customer-facing strategic services, including CRM, customer experience and customer engagement strategies.
His book, CRM at the Speed of Light now in its 4th edition, is in 9 languages and been called “the bible of the CRM industry”. It has been used by more than 70 universities as a primary text.
He is also the Chief Customer Officer of Playaz Productions Network (PPN), an influencer focused digital broadcasting network launched in 2022 along with his CRM Playaz partner and best bud, Brent Leary.
Paul sat on the Global Advisory Board of the SEAT Consortium as the only non-sports professional of a sports business professionals organization. Prior to this, Paul had been the EVP of the CRM Association, the Chairman of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management CRM Centre of Excellence Board of Advisors, a Board of Advisors member of the Baylor University MBA Program for CRM majors, & co-chairman of Rutgers University’s CRM Research Center.
Paul works both with customer-facing technology vendors and practitioners to craft go-to-market strategies, engagement programs, product development road maps, marketing/messaging & outreach among other things.
Paul is considered a thought leader in CRM and often called “The Godfather of CRM.” He has been published in numerous industry and business publications over the years. He was elected to CRM magazine’s CRM Hall of Fame in 2010 – the first non-vendor related thought leader in its history. He also writes on customer-facing matters for MyCustomer.com, a leading site for all things customer-facing whose audience spans the globe. He has won dozens of industry awards over the years in CRM, marketing, sales, and customer service as an influencer and thought leader.
He released his last book on customer engagement entitled “The Commonwealth of Self-Interest: Business Success through Customer Engagement” in mid-2019.
Paul currently lives in Manassas, Virginia with his wife of more than 40 years and 6 cats – and to be entirely clear – is a HUGE New York Yankees fan.
Managing Principal The 56 Group, LLC
What's interesting to me is that while I agree that the Big 4 are "the Big 4" at the moment, we shouldn't ignore the fact that the customer ecosystem (i.e. the experience economy) calls for a new model of relationship to customer - involving customer value at the core. What that means is that companies that are traditionally focused around CRM aren't necessarily the CRM leaders of the future - though of course, rightfully, financial viability is always an issue. But that said, leading forces like Google or Yahoo have something to say about how customers work with companies (its one reason for the Microsoft Live initiative) these day as do the services providers and applications developers that understand co-creation of value. In the world of IT/high tech, those CRM focused companies who might become leaders are out there in the platform space - which both salesforce.com and SAP are heavily vested in - and companies like Rearden Commerce are making a splash. I would neither underestimate the need for considering far less comfortable choices than Oracle, SAP, Microsoft and salesforce.com (they like it lower case) and at the same time recognize that SAP is making a play to be a platform leader, as is salesforce as is Microsoft and to a lesser extent, Oracle at least now. But the impact of technologies like Ajax and architectures like service oriented architecture is yet to be fully felt. What is fully felt is that the business models that the new generations of customers demand (which center value with them, not the companies, products or services) are non-negotiable, leaving the landscape less in the hands of the "Big 4" than before (with salesforce.com being the innovator though) and more uncertain as to who may join that Big 4. Even the Big 4 were a small 4 and non-force at some point in their existence. So while I personally agree with Gartner and Stuart per se, I think it limits the uncertainty of the Big 4's future as that Big 4. Its a lot less certain even though the replacements or additions are not clear on the horizon with the exception of possibly Google or Yahoo. These are non-traditional times with a radically different set of customer demands in a new ecosystem and the old business "logics" don't hold anymore.
Thanks for the rant space. :-)
Paul Greenberg (Author, "CRM at the Speed of Light," 3rd Edition; blog: www.the56group.typepad.com)