VRM, or Vendor Relationship Management, is the reciprocal of CRM or Customer Relationship Management. It provides customers with tools for engaging with vendors in ways that work for both parties.
CRM systems for the duration have borne the full burden of relating with customers. VRM will provide customers with the means to bear some of that weight, and to help make markets work for both vendors and customers — in ways that don't require the former to "lock in" the latter.
The goal of VRM is to improve the relationship between Demand and Supply by providing new and better ways for the former to relate to the latter. In a larger sense, VRM immodestly intends to improve markets and their mechanisms by equipping customers to be independent leaders and not just captive followers in their relationships with vendors and other parties on the supply side of the marketplace.
For VRM to work, vendors must have reason to value it, and customers must have reasons to invest the necessary time, effort and attention to making it work. Providing those reasons to both sides is the primary challenge for VRM.
Project VRM is a community-driven effort, led by The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University, to support the creation and building of VRM tools. ProjectVRM carries forward thinking by various parties around the world. These include ideas brought up by Doc Searls and his fellow Cluetrain Manifesto authors, work of the Buyer Centric Commerce Forum and other allied efforts in the U.K., and many sessions at Internet Identity Workshops.
ProjectVRM is headed by Doc Searls, a fellow with the Berkman Center.
Read more about ProjectVRM on the About Page.
- Relationships are voluntary.
- Customers are born free and independent of vendors.
- Customers control their own data. They can share data selectively and control the terms of its use.
- Customers are points of integration and origination for their own data.
- Customers can assert their own terms of engagement and service.
- Customers are free to express their demands and intentions outside any companyâs control.
These can all be summed up in the statement Free customers are more valuable than captive ones.
In a broader way, the same should be true of individuals relating to organizations. With VRM, however, our primary focus is on customer relationships with vendors, or sellers.
- Define and advocate a clear vision for a VRM world
- Ensure the development and publishing of open standards and specifications for VRM services
- Create a lightweight and effective organisational structure
- Drive VRM usage
- Create and oversee VRM compliance program
VRM Current Topics
This is a catch-all where we can point both to ongoing conversations and current development work. These include (but are hardly limited to)...
- Media Logging
- Listen Log (the general topic) and ListenLog (the development project0
- Personal RFP
- FCRA: Access to credit data
- Vision Committee
- Marketing Committee
- Standards Committee
- Organization Committee
- Usage Committee
- Compliance Committee
- ProjectVRM mailing list
- ProjectVRM blog
- VRM [Twitter stream http://twitter.com/vrm]
- Project VRM committees
- VRM and -related events
- VRM Initiatives
- VRM Principles
- VRM Process
- VRM scenarios
- VRM technology
- VRM coverage in blogs
- VRM discussion in podcasts
- Questions raised by VRM
- VRMcompanies — A list of VRM or VRMlike comnpanies
- Expressions of Relationships (notes from VRM meeting)
- Random Notes from Jan 25th VRM Developers Meeting (stream of consciousness / ears and brain to fingertips and keyboard)
- Other related efforts
Conference Call archive and audio links have been moved to the Community Portal page.
- AUDS (user driven services... name still in the works) agreement -- contains a lexicon
VRooM Boston 2009 will take place on 12-13 October 2009
VRM Hub Monthly Meetings in London
VRM2008 took place in Munich on 21/22 April 2008
VRM Workshop 2008 took place in July 2008 at Harvard University
VRM at SXSW 2009 March 2009, Austin, TX
VRM West Coast Workshop 2009 May 15-16, Palo Alto, CA
VRM East Coast Workshop 2009 will take place on 12-13 October at Harvard University
Looking to contribute to the Project VRM Wiki? Sign up for the Project VRM mailing list, send an email to the owners, and we'll get you up and running!