Corepoint - an obituary
by editor Niels Kjellerup July 31st 1999.
IBM's independent CRM software company Corepoint was closed down on July 1st 1999 and its suite of Front-Office Application software was rolled back into IBM's Application Integration Middleware unit. No official announcement, only existing customers and employees were informed. IBM's Q2 earnings statement doesn't mention the closedown of its $+200 million investment in Corepoint. The first & only published mention comes from independent Gartner Group in a GartnerFlash 9 July 99 (click here).
Corepoint was officially created June 11th 1998, as an IBM independent CRM software House with a global presence.
" Recognising a deficiency in current customer relationship management (CRM) solutions, Corepoint Technologies today delivered a new definition for CRM. Corepoints "true CRM" definition focuses on building long-term customer loyalty as opposed to traditional CRM solutions that often focus only on improving efficiency by addressing a point-in-time segment of the customer relationship" as one official Corepoint press release succinctly stated.
It has not been possible to get any official IBM explanation. Attempts to reach Corepoint CEO Scott Webber or Chairwoman Linda S. Sanford , IBM General Manager Global Industries were unsuccessful.
Given only a 13 month life-span the failure of Corepoint is quite dramatic, but also indicates how an invigorated IBM Board is willing to act decisively and quickly on major strategic issues.
Anecdotal evidence seems to indicates that the demise of Corepoint was caused by too narrow a focus on CRM without embracing the overall IBM E*Commerce strategy, creating internal channel conflict with other very successful IBM business units
This view is supported by the Forrester June 1999 report ' The demise of CRM'. In the report its suggested that a new concept eRM will become the prevailing solutions. eRM is defined as ' A Web-centric approach to synchronising customer relationships across communication channels, business functions and audiences.'
The Corepoint case supports Professor Clayton Christensen's views of ' technological discontinuity' described in his book 'The Innovators Dilemma' (Harvard Business School Press, ISBN 087584851)
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