• October 1, 2005

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  • SAP's New Hosted Model? SAP is being tight-lipped about its plans to unveil a new offering, possibly with a hosted option, within its mySAP CRM family later this year. The company's unofficial announcement in August might have been a way to keep its installed customer base intact as that delivery model gains popularity, according to Chris Selland, principal analyst at Covington Associates. "The main read that I have is, [SAP is saying] they're going to have something so don't run off and buy the competition like Salesforce.com, because they want to protect their installed base," Selland says.
  • Online Travel Reservations Are Missing the Boat The travel industry is out of step with about half its customers when it comes to online reservations, according to a new study by Forrester Research. "Who Isn't Buying Travel Online?" reveals that 47 percent of leisure travelers in the United States don't make reservations online through the numerous Web self-service portals, and part of the blame rests with the industry's attempts to package online travel buying as a game for the young and mobile.
  • Epiphany Is Snatched Up by SSA While Unica Goes Public SSA Global in August announced plans to acquire Epiphany and Unica made its initial public offering, signifying power shifts in the marketing side of the CRM industry that could mean the disappearance of Epiphany from the space in which it was once dubbed a leader. Unica filed to become a public company late last year and began trading on Aug. 3, 2005, under the Nasdaq ticker UNCA, with an initial offering price of $10.00 per share of common stock and 4.8 million shares. Meanwhile, Epiphany, which serves 35 percent of the Fortune 100, finds itself moving in the other direction: Its most recent financial quarter resulted in an 18.1 percent decrease in revenue compared to the same period the previous year, a period that also resulted in losses for the company. Six-month figures showed a similar trend, with revenue declining 19.2 percent.
  • The CRM Industry Is Here to Play The CRM applications market turned increased user organization into positive growth during 2004, according to a newly released report from IDC. Total market revenues reached $8.8 billion, a gain of 8 percent over 2003, and customers' intention to implement CRM and focus on CRM initiatives remain high in 2005. IDC's report, "Worldwide CRM Applications 2004 Vendor Shares: Let the Games Begin," examined 153 providers of commercially available applications delivered through sale, rental, lease, or as a service, including marketing automation, sales automation, customer service, and contact center applications. Siebel Systems maintained its position as market-share leader, garnering 10.7 percent of the market in 2004, with Oracle's 6.8 percent share giving it the second spot, supplanting SAP.
  • Siebel Takes Fiscal Short Steps Forward Siebel Systems announced its official second-quarter 2005 financial results on July 27. Siebel's underperforming license revenues jumped slightly from Q1 2005's $75 million to its second-quarter posting of $78.3 million, but suffered a major decline from last year's Q2 license revenues of $94.8 million. CEO George Shaheen said he was disappointed--but not discouraged--by the company's inability to deliver a better Q2 license revenue.
  • Email Authentication: A Report From 2005's Summit Email security tech folks and marketers met in July to address concerns about the effect of spoofed email on consumer confidence and corporate reputation. Reports indicate that more than 3,000 unique phishing sites exist; 95 percent of all phishing comes from spoofed or forged email. Spam comprises 75 percent of all sent email, and the aggregate result of identity theft and lost confidence is estimated to be inhibiting U.S. e-commerce growth by 1 to 3 percent. (For the full stories and more news, visit destinationCRM.com)
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