Enterprise CRM Is Three Sheets to the Wind

Forrester doled out quarterly evaluations of enterprise CRM vendors today to find out who is best in class and who has been slacking off in the back row. "The Forrester Wave: Enterprise CRM Suites, Q1 2007" finds Oracle's Siebel CRM and SAP's mySAP CRM to be the top performers in the space, but the report asserts that despite sweeping market consolidation, there are still a large number of other solutions that stand as viable options for CRM adoption. Companies should identify functionality and benefits most crucial to their business plans and review a large number of vendors and products to find the best fit for them. "There's been an awful lot of turmoil over the last 24 months" in the enterprise CRM segment, says William Band, principal analyst at Forrester Research and author of the report. It highlights large acquisitions, such as Infor Global's purchase of Epiphany and Oracle's of Siebel, as well as the growing proliferation of software-as-a-service as two main disrupters in the market. In the face of any shakeups, the report says that CRM adoption is still on the rise with worldwide revenues for CRM solution providers reaching $8.4 billion for 2006 and expected to jump to $10.9 billion in 2007. The study explains that customer companies' desires to improve customer experience, make better use of customer analytics, streamline business processes, and increase the bottom line are all drivers for this market's expansion. The market is expanding both up and out, according to the report, with good solutions becoming better and more solutions being mixed into the pot. Forrester names Oracle's Siebel CRM and SAP's mySAP CRM as the two clear leaders in this space for the completeness of their functionality and the breadth of their features. The report notes, however, that they do not represent the best choices for companies who wish to get up and running quickly. Forrester also cites a number of strong performers. For ERP customers, the report names Oracle's E-Business Suite CRM and PeopleSoft CRM as strong options due to their ease of integration. The report cites the top SaaS players, known for their short implementation time and ease of use, to be Oracle's Siebel CRM On Demand, RightNow Technologies, and Salesforce.com. Microsoft Dynamics CRM also differentiates itself with growing functionality and its ability to mesh with the Microsoft platform, while Amdocs and Pegasystems provide solid BPM capabilities. Band says that due to the tumultuousness of the market, companies should look carefully at all sides of vendors' capabilities to best understand how current offerings match with their companies' needs. Formerly midmarket-focused vendors are gaining traction from enterprise companies, while many enterprise-focused vendors are developing SaaS capabilities to sell downmarket. Band says that usability, customer process management, and business process support are top concerns for many company customers today, however, he says, "people have to be clear about what their real needs are." Related articles: Forrester's Top ERP Vendors
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