• May 11, 2006
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Gartner Hears CRM Accents Across the Pond

Gartner has released its "Magic Quadrant for European CRM Service Providers, 2006," reviewing the state of the CRM project market and identifying the top delivery partners. The lone leaders from last year, Accenture and IBM Business Consulting Services, maintained their relative positions. Capgemini and Deloitte, challengers in 2005, lived up to that status in 2006 by breaking into the Leader quadrant.

The study considers three main types of external service provider (ESP) operating in Europe: Full service CRM ESPs with a global presence; pan-European CRM ESPs operating in multiple, but not all, countries; and offshore ESPs, providing services from non-European countries like India. Focused local ESPs operating in three or fewer countries are not evaluated. To be considered for the study, ESPs needed a minimum of $20 million in enterprisewide CRM service revenue in Europe, excluding outsourcing and managed services.

Change in results from 2005 to 2006 appears largely to have been due to market expansion, according to the report. "The European market for CRM project-based services during 2005 experienced its healthiest growth since 2001," the report states. "Growth among CRM consulting and systems integrators was inconsistent, marked by wide variances." In particular, Gartner points out that many of the Indian pure-play ESPs grew at rates exceeding the market average, though their revenue bases are smaller.

Accenture placed highest in the leader quadrant, outdistancing IBM in both ability to execute and completeness of vision. The consultancy's aim, according to Gartner, is to be the number one partner to Oracle (specifically Siebel), SAP, and Salesforce.com, as well as work with specialists like Callidus and Unica. "Accenture grew far faster than the market rate in Europe during 2005, due to expansion in [the U.K., Germany, France, and Spain], the Nordic countries and the Netherlands." The study notes that Accenture is expanding rapidly in the disciplines of marketing analytics, brand value, marketing effectiveness analysis, and loyalty management. Its client satisfaction scores were the highest of all providers in the study, with customers viewing Accenture as committed to them, though expensive.

In contrast to Accenture, close competitor IBM BCS grew slower than the market despite its presence in all European countries. However, its CRM practice management team was the most consistent, according to Gartner, and is strong in telecommunications, government, banking, insurance, and retail.

Capgemini was another company that exhibited strong growth in its CRM practice in 2005, with 50 percent of practice revenue coming from Europe. Partnership is an important part of Capgemini's business, according to the report. "Capgemeni has the second-widest range of partnerships, with vendors such as SAS, Teradata, Unica, and Epiphany," the report states. "Of the largest ESPs, it's making the biggest move into SAP CRM work."

Deloitte, the final leader in the quadrant, has been growing its government CRM business, but also has a notable footprint in communications, banking, consumer goods, and transportation. The company has a relatively large presence in the United Kingdom and Belgium, but Gartner warns that Deloitte's French practice is a separate organization, which can cause conflicts in multinational engagements.

The Challengers and Visionaries quadrants had one resident each. BearingPoint retained its place as a challenger, experiencing leadership changes to its CRM practice but growing faster than the European market, especially in Denmark, France, Germany, and Spain. Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) moved from challenger to visionary, apparently due to demand for its CRM expertise exceeding supply. "CSC grew its CRM practice at above the market rate during 2005 and is approaching the point of being 'sold out' for CRM in 2006 in Europe," the report states. "CSC clients gave it a below-average score for satisfaction in Gartner's European reference checks."

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