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Salesforce CRM Helps Canon Marketing Japan

Integrate Data and Better Manage Opportunities

Full Case Study

Canon Marketing Japan Incorporated (Canon MJ), a core business of the Global
Canon Group, provides customer solutions in three areas—business solutions,
consumer equipment, and industrial equipment. In recent years, the company
has focused on transforming itself into a provider of information services. As part
of this transformation, Canon MJ implemented Salesforce CRM as its front-office
system. The company integrated key data from 36 million customers with
Salesforce CRM, and built a shared group database. Using this system, the
company has mobilized sales to focus on key customers and manage
opportunities with laser-like precision.

Salesforce CRM is Key to Responding Rapidly to Changing Business


In 2005, Canon MJ launched a company-wide project to reorganize its customer

response processes. One of the most important themes for this project was
building a customer database leveraging CRM and SFA.

“At our company, we keep enormous amounts of data on our multi-function

machine customers,” says Hiroaki Sasaki, business solutions administration
director, and project manager for Canon MJ’s business solutions company.
“However, that data was used for billing and maintenance, and did not satisfy the
demands of a shared group CRM/SFA system.”

In a market where competitive dynamics and business models are constantly

changing, information that helps solidify customer relationships is the foundation
of a business. If companies do not share information among different teams,
customer service suffers. Inefficient servicing is also problematic from a resource
distribution standpoint. For these reasons, managing customer data was a top
priority for the Canon MJ.

To create a customer database, the company had three choices--develop its own
application, purchase packaged software, or use a hosted, cloud-computing
solution. Developing its own application was not an option due to time
constraints. The company estimated it would take two to three years, starting
from gathering information on specific requirements to completing development.
Furthermore, it would be difficult to satisfy all the diverse needs of multiple
divisions within the company. Packaged software was also problematic because
the company would have to depend on numerous systems engineers for
customizations and ongoing fine tuning. The system would not be able to keep
up with business requirements. Canon MJ determined that the cloud-
computing model would best suit its needs; the company chose Salesforce CRM,
the cloud-computing pioneer. Salesforce CRM Enterprise Edition was the only
solution that had a flexible enough architecture to make changes for specific
users or company divisions.

“We chose Salesforce CRM for three reasons,” says Sasaki. “The first was to
satisfy many different business process needs. Although not immediate, we
expected the need for upgrades. Secondly, we wanted a system that would run
reliably. Lastly, we had an overwhelming number of users already, and wanted a
system which translated their knowledge and wisdom into new functions. For
these reasons, we decided implementing Salesforce CRM would be the smartest

“Each group company had created its front office system separately because
each had different business processes," recalls Kimihisa Kotegawa, director, IT
Systems, for Canon MJ. "In 2003, we integrated Oracle’s E-Business Suite
(Oracle EBS) and unified areas such as orders and accounting, and the
customer master database."

It was Salesforce CRM's ease of customization that accommodated those

different business processes. This was key for Kotegawa. Once he saw for
himself how easy it was to customize the application, he became a strong
advocate of Salesforce CRM. Says Kotegawa, “With Salesforce CRM, we can
share one database, and at the same time satisfy each user’s needs by slightly
adjusting the interface and logic.” The adjustments in interface and logic are a
standard customization function available to users, so the IT systems division
does not need to intervene.

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