21/06/21Interview with Matthias Tratz, Head of Product & Solution Design at CAS Software AG

Over the past year, the office and work routine has changed drastically for most of us. At the same time, we have embarked on new course into the new digital workspace with CAS genesisWorld and version x12. Can CRM support the digital transformation? And how can the new, digital and virtual collaboration succeed across spatial boundaries? We talked to Matthias Tratz, Head of Product & Solution Design at CAS Software AG, about this in a personal interview.

Matthias Tratz, Head of Product and Solution Design at CAS Software AG

How do you perceive the changes in working environments? Have companies' requirements for CRM software changed?
Matthias: Every change is always an opportunity: Right now, the course can be set for a sustainably successful future, and many companies are taking advantage of these opportunities. For example, we are currently experiencing a much stronger digitalization push. Compared to the past – where many processes were still organized in a classic paper-based, telephone or e-mail manner – companies are now virtually being forced to use the digital possibilities for virtual collaboration. This is not just to successfully master crises or challenging times, but in particular to remain competitive in the medium term. In my perception, the requirements have changed at the moment to the effect that digital processes are now the top priority for greater profitability, and personal communication is taking place on additional, some new channels.

What trends have you personally noticed due to the changed working environment and the familiarization with virtual interaction?
In my opinion, the trends have not changed that much in the last year, but rather the necessity and speed of following the trends and digitalization. The innovations of our solutions, such as the networking of all information in a central CRM/XRM platform, the integration of collaboration tools and intelligent assistants in marketing, sales, and service, and the options for flexible, customer-specific adaptation of the solution are now being used even more intensively. The more intensive use is an incentive for us to continue to develop CAS CRM solutions consistently – in both breadth and depth together with CAS CRM partners and customers. CRM/XRM solutions have become an indispensable tool for making every day work more efficient regardless of your location. Individual dashboards and graphical views provide users with a quick overview of current key figures and information so that they make the right decisions and take appropriate action. Thinking wizards help to organize these constraints on processes in a structured way and to design targeted communication. At the same time, data protection is a fundamental issue: we are also increasingly feeling the demand for digital sovereignty, GDPR compliance and independence from applications that do not meet these requirements. Here, too, a CRM solution like CAS genesisWorld is the best companion.

What is the Product & Solution Team currently working on?
We are currently working on many functions, all of which are aimed at mapping efficient processes in all areas of the company and improving collaboration in virtual teams from different locations. We are always working on making CAS CRM solutions even better so that CAS CRM customers can better manage their relationships with customers, partners or suppliers and thus be consistently and sustainably more successful. But also to offer each user an individual, optimal user experience, so that they can design their own digital workspace according to their individual needs and requirements and thus simply work better and more efficiently. At the moment, we are working flat out to complete our next major version, CAS genesisWorld x13, which will be released in the summer.

What can we look forward to in the coming months?
I do not want to give too much away yet, but here is a little preview:
Video conferences are currently one of the most common meeting formats for communicating with each other, making decisions or working together on documents, projects and tasks. Facilitating collaboration across physical distances is an important concern for us. That is why we have further developed the functions around collaboration in particular. For example, we have optimized the Microsoft Teams connection and developed a new Kanban view to make joint work on projects and topics even more transparent, regardless of location and across departmental boundaries. This means that workloads can be distributed more effectively and teams can work together remotely from the digital office on tasks, sales plans and the like more efficiently.

We have also graphically revised the business profile and significantly expanded its content to provide CAS CRM customers with even more background information on companies for informed decision-making. In addition, we have expanded CAS genesisWorld's interfaces to third-party solutions so that the CRM can be integrated even better into CAS CRM customers' existing IT system landscape – this enables continuous, smooth processes and saves duplicate as well as erroneous data maintenance, so that their systems grow together into the information hub that offers them the best possible benefits and cost-effectiveness. This is why we have significantly strengthened CAS CRM connections to the Evalanche marketing automation solution from CAS CRM cooperation partner SC-Networks, for example.

That is enough for now, I am not going to give anything else away, you will just have to wait until it is released – let us surprise you.

What do you think will be possible with CRM in the next few years?
We are going to see more acceleration of digitalization, but also the networking of systems. In the future, all company-relevant data from a wide variety of sources will converge automatically in XRM systems. The system will take over data maintenance as well as checking data quality and completeness. Finally, intelligent algorithms evaluate the data and perform automatic actions to provide users with company-, customer- or user-specific recommendations for further actions. For instance, in the future, your customer experience assistant could tell you to contact your customer, Mr. Schmidt, because the digital assistant wants to send him an offer today. The offer is to be sent because the CRM has determined that the customer has started a new business field and hired new employees – so demand has increased. Such recommendations for follow up actions are mapped transparently and strengthen the automation of processes; manual routine tasks are now outdated. Furthermore, I believe that the use of a CRM/XRM solution via voice control will be even more popular and enthusiastic in the future.

Would you like to give the readers a final piece of advice?
Yes, gladly. Take the time to analyze and implement the right tools for the individual workplace. And dare to take the first step or the next: start digitalizing your processes and expand them step by step. An investment in a CRM/XRM solution is sustainable and worthwhile, because CRM grows with your company, your challenges and the changing requirements. CRM therefore not only optimizes your current processes, but also accompanies you in your company's success. Let us walk the path together, I would be happy to shape the future together with you.

Test now: How quickly does CRM pay off?

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