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About VRM

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

Project VRM is a community-driven effort 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. Some VRM community members are also active in Internet Identity groups such as Identity Commons and (where there is a VRM charter) and Project Liberty. It should be noted, however, that identity management and relationship management are overlapping but separate concerns. Here we work on the latter. In that context, we look for identity with VRM to be user-driven or user-controlled rather than user-centric.

ProjectVRM is headquartered at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and headed by Doc Searls, a fellow with the Center.

In addition to this wiki, ProjectVRM has a blog and a mailing list. Work is also currently underway to create a static home site, so this wiki can serve more as a work space.

Note: the shortest link to this page is

Read more about ProjectVRM on the About Page.

VRM Goals

  1. Define and advocate a clear vision for a VRM world
  2. Ensure the development and publishing of open standards and specifications for VRM services
  3. Create a lightweight and effective organisational structure
  4. Drive VRM usage
  5. Create and oversee VRM compliance program

VRM Committees


Conference Call archive and audio links have been moved to the Community Portal page.

VRM Events

VRM2008 took place in Munich on 21/22 April 2008

VRM Workshop 2008 July 2008 at Harvard University

Join Us!

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!