Forrester's SFA Wave Reveals Changing Tides
Sage Software scored big in Forrester Research's Wave report of leading providers of on-premise midmarket and small business SFA solutions. The report evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the eight leading midmarket on-premise SFA products (with Sage CRM and Sage SalesLogix considered as two separate solutions) across 151 criteria. Joining Sage in the midmarket leaders category are Siebel Systems and Pivotal, while FrontRange Solutions and Maximizer Software join Sage in the small business category. Other companies evaluated include Onyx and Microsoft. The evaluation complements the April 2005 Forrester Wave of the hosted SFA vendors.
According to Liz Herbert, report author and analyst at Forrester Research, midmarket companies, or those with 100 to 999 employees, had significant, obvious differences from SMBs, or those companies with less than 99 employees. "In the upper midmarket, the ability to integrate, be very customizable, and have a workflow-driven solution is what really drove the leaders," she says. "For smaller businesses, costs, out-of-the-box functionality, and being a prepackaged solution is what they're looking for from a vendor."
In the midmarket product evaluation, Siebel Professional Edition, Sage CRM SalesLogix, and Pivotal's MarketFirst were ranked as leaders, FrontRange's GoldMine, Maximizer's Enterprise, Sage CRM (formerly ACCPAC), and Microsoft CRM all finished closely as "strong performers."
In the small business category Maximizer, FrontRange, and Sage (Sage CRM SalesLogix) finished as leaders, while Microsoft, Sage (Sage CRM), Siebel, Pivotal, and Onyx were all listed as strong performers. Microsoft and Sage were the best all-in-one-solutions, because they both have acquired strong ERP providers.
Herbert says Onyx, Pivotal, and Siebel are best suited for the upper midmarket thanks to their customizable, workflow-driven solutions while Maximizer and FrontRange are best for smaller firms and divisions looking for "a less expensive solution that provides strong functionality out of the box yet still provides customization and integration tools," she says.
As for 2006, Herbert says the market will continue to merge hosted and licensed options, so much so that next year, Forrester won't divide the categories into two separate reports. "We've seen examples of this with companies like RightNow Technologies and Sage CRM, plus there have been rumors about what Microsoft has been doing with its live services," Herbert says. "Today, there are still fundamental differences between hosted and on-premise solutions, such as hosted solutions are weaker on integration and customization. But moving forward, we'll see more of a convergence and it will simply become a deployment option."
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