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Magic Quadrant on Service Providers Provides a Boost for Accenture
Magic Quadrant '08: With calm but constant growth in the CRM service provider space, the largest firms still lead the way.
Posted Jul 4, 2008
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Accenture sets the gold standard for CRM service providers, according to Gartner’s recently published "Magic Quadrant for CRM Services Providers, North America." In addition to Accenture at the top of the list, the report also identifies Capgemini, Deloitte, and IBM Global Business Services as other "leaders" in the market, with 12 other companies evaluated and separated into "challengers," "visionaries," and "niche players." As the prevailing takeaway from the report, Gartner issues a strong warning to customers: Given today’s world of economic uncertainty, be sure to evaluate players of all sizes and shapes prior to investment.

Gartner found the CRM services market increased by 8.4 percent in 2007, a slight deceleration from the 9.2 percent growth the previous year. While many consultancies continue to expand, a number have failed to maintain market share due to inabilities meeting market rate. Offshore pure-plays, on the other hand, continue to grow rapidly in this space, due to a focus on high-level technology and vertical applications, according to the report.

Matthew Goldman, research vice president at Gartner and co-author of the report, notes that the way customers go about choosing service providers has changed in recent years. "There was a time when the basis of competition was price, references, or industry expertise -- but it was a bit general in evaluation." Today, Goldman cites a central trend in the marketplace: customers looking for "best for need." Rather than going with a heavily branded industry name, customers are seeking out a service provider deemed best to tackle a specific business problem. Prefacing the evaluation the report reads, "Do not simply select service providers in the leaders quadrant…vendors in the Challengers, Visionaries or Niche Players Quadrant may be more appropriate for your requirements."

That said, the leaders this year came out on top due to excellent ratings in their ability to execute as well as in their completeness of vision. The report explains that high performer Accenture has solid innovation and keen business insight with its strength in expansive, internationally reaching CRM initiatives. The report notes that Capgemini, recommended for IT-heavy deployments, has a good mix of business and technical knowledge, but at times "overreaches…failing to demonstrate an understanding of client’s needs." The report lauds Deloitte for its sharp focus on CRM, but notes that many customers perceive its price point to be too high. The final leader, IBM Global Business Services, excels in technology-driven initiatives, but has weakness surrounding user adoption and change management, according to the report.

The Magic Quadrant places the other evaluated providers in the following categories:

Challengers

  • Tata Consultancy Services
  • Wipro Technologies

Visionaries

  • BearingPoint
  • CSC

Niche Players

  • Cognizant
  • Business & Decision / Inforte
  • eLoyalty
  • Fujitsu
  • Hitachi Consulting
  • Infosys Technologies
  • Patni Computer Systems
  • Satyam Computer Services

In a crowded market with so many strong contenders to choose from, Goldman reiterates that customers must look at all options to find the best fit. "I encourage clients to look beyond the brand," he says. "Where do you get the best combination of the services you need at the price you want?"

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