Based on your reading of Chapters 2 & 3 of the text including the “Unit One Opening Case” entitled Apple – Merging Technology, Business, and Entertainment, using Porter’s Five Forces Model explain how Apple can deploy Cloud-based CRM to gain business intelligence in the context of their buyer-supplier value chain. Be sure to incorporate your personal experience and any learning regarding the Customer Experience Management lifecycle.
A cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system would give Apple the ability to quickly manage, analyze and share customer data throughout the customer lifecycle when compared to a traditional intranet based CRM system. Through a cloud based infrastructure, Apple would remove key physical and technical networking barriers that would allow it to easily connect cloud based customer services (i.e. iTunes, iCloud, etc.) and supplier systems with their internal CRM system. With these systems connected through the cloud, Apple would be able to efficiently gather and distribute information about its competitive environment; quickly understanding and learning as much as possible as quickly as possible about what is occurring outside the company to remain competitive (Baltzan, 2015).
In the context of their buyer-supplier value chain, a cloud based CRM would potential weaken the buyer and supplier power by allowing Apple to gain the competitive intelligence needed to remain a market leader. By quickly gathering customer information (possible in real-time), Apple could quickly acquire insight into their customers’ needs and wants, thus making better use of their R&D dollars to create a hardware and software ecosystem that continues to increases customers’ potential switching cost. In turn, as a market leader, Apple remains a significant customer to its suppliers, thereby strengthening Apple’s negotiation power. A cloud based CRM could also potentially improve buyer-supplier relationships and synergies by providing Apple’s suppliers with customer data that could help them better anticipate future product/component demand.
Baltzan, P. (2015). Business Driven Technology (6th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Education.