Beagle Honors the Wizzes in the Biz
In an effort to prove that tech-smart can be cool, Beagle Research today released its third annual WizKids report. "CRM WizKids: Taking CRM to the Next Level" highlights current and emerging trends in the industry by honoring vendors and customer companies that have incorporated these trends successfully in their CRM development and implementation efforts. This year, eight vendors, both startups and well-known companies (Cast Iron Systems, Centive, and Sapias) were selected. Beagle Research sees these companies' innovations as spelling continuing growth and fast-paced development.
A prevalent trend noted in WizKids is the growth of on-demand vendors and the dwindling of new companies developing fresh on-premise solutions. The report calls SaaS the possible "new enterprise application paradigm." Its growth can be seen in the companies named WizKids this year. Salesforce.com, Apex, and AppExchange power many of the case studies. In fact, Salesforce.com was named a WizKid this year again for its AppExhange platform, which enables application development and integration. A case study between EA Games and Salesforce.com was included in the report, in which EA Games built its own hiring system using the Salesforce.com SFA tool.
Denis Pombriant, managing principal at Beagle Research and author of the report, says that another major trend underlined in the WizKids picks this year is integration. "I think there's always been an undercurrent of best-of-breed approach, which is always difficult to achieve for the reason that different applications are built by different vendors," he says. "I think we're beginning to see the evolution of a class of technologies which hides that complexity from the user." Cast Iron Systems, named a WizKid for its work with the PGP Corporation, provides an example of this integration capability, by delivering integration in an appliance. Skytide, chosen for its work with Netli, also plays on this integration trend in its efforts to incorporate and analyze unstructured data.
The report selects a number of vendors of all sizes and offerings. Pombriant notes that many of the innovators this year are smaller, niche companies. "Fostering on-demand integration makes it more possible for niche applications to remain independent," he says. Other companies honored are Centive for its work with Psion Teklogix, Echopass Corporation for its work with Secure Alert, Market2Lead for its work with Infoblox, Pragmatech with its work with Kforce, and Sapias with its work with NSTAR.
The report argues that, powered by innovative thinkers as well as collaboration and integration, front-office software functionality has been improving at a rapid pace and will continue to do so in the upcoming years. Pombriant says, "The idea of integrating end-to-end business processes with best of breed solutions is an important one and I think it may be a harbinger of things to come."
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