Mobile CRM Is Making Moves
The mobile CRM market will surpass traditional CRM growth rates, representing 20 percent of total CRM revenues by 2010, according to research firm visiongain in a report, "Mobile CRM: Re-energising the CRM." It offers assessments of application and middleware vendors, and analysis of the current and future state of the mobile CRM market. The burgeoning market should reach "reasonably robust" global status by 2007. Up till now the market accounted for less than 10 percent of total CRM revenues, according to the study.
Despite its ability to boost productivity and efficiency for sales forces and field service-and-support staff by making customer data available, as well as by providing real-time communication, early concerns surrounding mobile functionality, including security and usability nuisances, may have hampered adoption rates. "Making CRM available to employees who spend most of their day outside the office is one more incremental improvement to the system," states Marcia Kaplan, telecom industry analyst at visiongain and author of the report, in the executive summary. "It is not a radical idea, but it has encountered a good deal of ambivalence. In 2001, extending enterprise applications to a wireless environment was touted as the 'next big thing' and nothing happened. At that time, security, usability problems with handheld devices, and costs were the major impediments."
Little by little, however, "companies welcomed handheld devices into the corporate world and email pushed to wireless devices became the first killer wireless application," Kaplan says in the summary. "After investing in the necessary technology and outfitting their field personnel with mobile devices, businesses are looking to maximize their investment and mobile CRM [as] the next rational step."
Although mobile CRM is still a young sector, traditional CRM vendors, including Onyx, SAP, and Siebel Systems, have thrown their hats into the ring. Destinator Technologies and Good Technology are also looking to stake their claims in the mobile CRM market. A traditional CRM deployment usually involves only the ISV and the end user, but with a mobile deployment the number of participants is more extensive, typically including the ISV, a middleware vendor, possibly a systems integrator, a device manufacturer, and a wireless operator according to visiongain. This complexity, Kaplan contends, makes partnerships crucial to success in this market. However, "the market in the U.S. will be considerably larger than the European market, which is slower to adopt handheld device solutions for enterprise applications."
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