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It's now a law to have a CRM solution?!

Interesting article from Fox News last night/early this morning: New Rules Make Firms Track E-Mails, IMs.

As part of the Patriot Act, US Companies that deal with federal litigation are now to have at least seven (7) years worth of company correspondence and other corporate employee data at hand. The other corporate employee data encompasses such data as "digital photos of work sites on employee cell phones and information on removable memory cards". The seven (7) year retention policy is what interests me the most - why have a time-limit? I can understand the cost in data storage, but what about the logical business need to maintain an archive of your corporate history? Curious on the readership's thoughts on the subject.

I know that the majority of companies that deal with federal litigation, or anything to do with the government, typically catalog such information via CRM solutions. Would this mean that CRM solutions, in some incarnation or another, are now mandatory for such companies? How long until we see this mandate reach the SMB market?

Having a business myself that falls under the SMB-sphere, I find having a catalog of such information invaluable. I can, within moments, know exactly what's going on with a particular customer, vendor, or business partner now or what was going on with them 1, 2 and theoretically any number of years ago - from my first interaction with them to the present. Despite the costs involved in the archiving and storage of the data (which for the SMB-sized customer might not be all that bad in truth), why wouldnt' a company want that powerful a business tool? Me having a company that produces a CRM solution, I understand I can be a little biased - so comments welcomed!

About the author: Chris Toohey

Thought Leadership, Web & Mobile Application Development, Solutions Integration, Technical Writing & Mentoring

A published developer and webmaster of, Chris Toohey specializes in platform application development, solutions integration, and evangelism of platform capabilities and best practices.

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