Hot Seat: What CRM trend will have the biggest impact in 2005?
Janice Anderson, chair and CEO, Onyx Software
"Integrating business processes across departments and channels. Companies talked a lot about it. Now it's high on the radar screen [for putting into action]."
Joe Bergerra, senior vice president and general manager, Contact Management Solutions, Best Software
"The major trend in 2005 overall will be consolidation. The consolidation among CRM players will continue unabated. So customers will go with the companies they see as having staying power."
Divesh Sisodraker, president and CEO, Pivotal
"Today people understand that CRM is a business strategy. People know that technology is an enabler for that. I think people understand that when you're making fundamental changes to your business, you don't do it just once--it's ongoing. So they want to understand how flexible the software is and how it can adapt to their changing business."
Karen Richardson, CEO and director, E.piphany
"The single biggest trend that's going on in CRM is this passion that CIOs and business leaders have about getting more value from what they're already doing. It's not, I'll get a new widget to replace the old; it's, how can I incrementally eke more out of the systems we have? People have realized that transactional automation is table stakes."
Michael McCloskey, CEO, FrontRange Solutions
"[Organizations] are going to spend money in 2005. They will be more customer service focused. Not just with tools, but with best practices. [CRM users] are also looking for value. They're price conscious. They're looking for best practices built into the tools. Value is everything. They want to go in quick and get a quick time and low cost to benefit."
Patricia Sueltz, president of sales, marketing, and technology, Salesforce.com
"On-demand CRM. You'll get this whole life cycle of on-demand, where it integrates well with the back office. CRM architected specifically for on-demand will continue to change things."
Bill McDermott, CEO and president, SAP America
"I see two main trends. Many midsize and small companies are getting into CRM. Integration has caused a lot of projects to fail; today even companies buying
CRM alone have to have a vision path for integration."
Wes Hayden, president and CEO, Genesys
"One of the technologies that in 2004 was adopted readily was speech self-service. A lot of people did pilots in 2004 to see that people really like working with a voice IVR. Those pilots have gone well, so companies will make significant investments in enhancing their self-service in 2005. And the leading edge will blend self- and assisted service. The net effect is an overall better customer experience."
Jon van Duyne, senior vice president and general manager, Mid-Market CRM Solutions, Best Software
"I see eight major trends, but the number one is the increasing pressure on smaller players in the space. Unless they have compelling technology and a robust business model they're not going to survive. The market will continue to consolidate around big players."