• May 26, 2005
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Research Cuts to the Heart of the CRM Market

Siebel CRM Enterprise Edition has maintained its position atop the mountain of big-business deployments, while Salesforce.com lost ground to other hosted-CRM providers in the market it created, according to a pair of reports released by Nucleus Research this week. With competition among vendors percolating, Nucleus's On-Demand CRM Market Scorecard and Enterprise CRM Market Scorecard may help potential customers find their best ROI, or may raise further questions about where true value lies. The reports rank the leading CRM vendors in each segment on five points: deployment, adoption, support, business impact, and vendor rating; each uses a five-point scale. Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of research for Nucleus Research, says that Nucleus "contacts customers that we find among our client base from customer references on the vendors' Web sites and from customers the vendors themselves provide. We encourage vendors to share references with us but identify them on our own, as well." There are a number of changes to note in the on-demand CRM market, one of which is a thinning of the field. The Nucleus 2004 scorecard included seven companies with a range of rankings from 4.2 to 2.6, a fairly broad span. This year, the race has tightened to four companies, in two pairs of tied rankings. RightNow and Siebel CRM OnDemand lead the list with a rating of 4.4, while Salesforce.com and NetSuite are locked together with a 3.6 rating; ACCPAC was acquired by Sage Software, and is no longer ranked, while SAVO's SAM suite and Entellium have dropped off the list. Wettemann says the key differentiators in the on-demand market are adoption and business impact: "This year's study shows that deployment and support are pretty even across the on-demand vendors. Customer service, Web self-service, and strength in marketing and sale force automation are what distinguished RightNow and Siebel OnDemand." Wetteman also notes, "It's exciting to see an area that continues to evolve and change. Two years ago Salesforce.com was the only game in town for hosted CRM." Wettemann was more interested in the lack of movement in the enterprise CRM market at the top, where Siebel CRM Enterprise Edition maintained its overall lead. "Siebel...continues to deliver the best business impact." Microsoft Great Plains and Oracle share second place with a 4.0 ranking, mainly because they are "enterprise applications with CRM functions," Wettemann says, whereas Siebel's primary focus is the customer part of the business equation. The enterprise report suggests that things to watch in coming months include whether George Shaheen will execute his service strategy as CEO of Siebel, and how Oracle will develop both its eponymous product and PeopleSoft CRM. For on-demand, Nucleus's statement that "NetSuite is the one on-demand CRM vendor...that has moved beyond the traditional CRM areas of sales, service, and marketing to provide on-demand financials, order management, and other key ERP areas" would seem to indicate NetSuite deserves attention in the next few quarters. Related articles: It's Not Business As Usual
As the CRM industry reinvents itself, 2005 promises both new opportunities and new challenges. The Age of Fluff-Free ROI RightNow and Salesforce.com Get Top Marks for On-demand ROI
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