CRM Companies Have a Strong Presence in Deloitte's Fast 500

The Deloitte Technology Fast 500 has been released, ranking the North American companies with the highest revenue growth over the past five completed years. Twenty companies in the CRM space are included in the overall listing, more than 10 percent of the software companies honored. Software firms continue to lead the Fast 500, accounting for 38 percent of all firms this year, although that figure is down from 48 percent just two years ago, and only one software company appears in the top 10. "I think that's not [very] much a reflection on software... although I think a lot of clients are struggling with how to make all of the technology they bought through the late 1990s and early 2000s work better, as opposed to buying new applications," says Mark Evans, managing director of Deloitte's technology, media, and telecommunications practice. Included in the top 100 companies are WebEx, the online conferencing giant which has recently expanded its presentation management capabilities to include more powerful scheduling and conference participant reporting, Alpine Access, a contact center outsourcing leader, and GSI Commerce, a managed e-commerce provider. Rounding out the top half of Deloitte's list are customer service specialists eGain, SupportSoft, LivePerson, eDocs, and RightNow, portal developer Plumtree, incentive management provider Callidus, and configuration developers Selectica. Each company in the top 250 enjoyed at least 933 percent revenue growth from 1999 to 2003. In the second half of the list, Deloitte ranked customer contact provider Intellicare, contact center solutions developer Blue Pumpkin and Witness Systems, SMB CRM developer Sedona, marketing solutions developer Unica, service and billing developer Aria Solutions, marketing and suite developers Kana and E.piphany, and analytics specialist Omniture. Being in the bottom 250 is hardly a sign of poor corporate performance--each company in this list logged at least 332 percent growth. One high-flying name in CRM is missing from the Fast 500: Salesforce.com, which has shown strong revenue growth, but did not qualify for consideration because it recorded no 1999 revenues, and Deloitte requires at least $50,000 for first-year consideration. Curve-breakers like Fast 500 leader Google (over 437,000 percent growth) aside, the average growth rate among leaders is down compared with earlier years. "Companies are being much more measured about pursuing growth, they're doing it much more judiciously with an eye toward profitability, not just an eye toward grabbing market share," Evans says. Related article: CRM Magazine Reveals the Winners of Its 2004 CRM Leader Awards
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