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A recent study by International Data Corp. (IDC) puts a new CRM industry trend in black and white: If vendors want to succeed in the rapidly expanding CRM market, they had better form strategic partnerships with other companies. According to IDC's report, Cashing in on CRM: A Partnering Approach, because of the complexity of CRM solutions, few individual vendors are capable of meeting the demands of unique customer implementations by themselves. Says IDC vice president and report coauthor Stephen Graham, "Vendors attempting to go it alone in the market will quickly find it is nearly impossible to compete effectively against the breadth of skills that can be offered by a strong network of partners."

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