Apple may still be the world’s most valuable technology company, but with competitors breathing down its neck it is understood to be launching a new CRM programme, which will link all existing systems, and give the global giant a much broader and deeper view of its estimated 600 million customers.
The move is understood to be part of plans to increase the amount of revenue the firm can generate from each customer – getting them to sign up for iCloud storage and Apple Music, for example, which come with monthly fees.
Dubbed Apple CRM, the new system is based on SugarCRM and was originally scheduled to launch last autumn, but was delayed by the challenges of integrating all of Apple’s global systems.
Now scheduled to go live globally in April, it will link every part of Apple’s business, including its in-store, Genius bar, and online presences.
Apple CRM strategy was previously handled by Salesforce but more recently its developed its own CRM programme, before opting to create the new platform with SugarCRM.
SugarCRM has been quietly ramping up its presence in recent years; current customers include IBM, Mitsubishi, HTC, Agfa Healthcare, and audio specialist Sennheiser.
According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, there are over 1 billion devices in use. But many users own multiple devices. Analysts from Credit Suisse recently crunched the numbers and worked out the company had 588 million users worldwide.
However, the company has come under increasing pressure after revealing that in 2016 its global revenue fell for the first time since 2003, down to $215.64bn (£176.65bn) from $233.72bn (£192.35bn) the previous year.
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