RightNow and Salesforce.com Get Top Marks for On-demand ROI
Nucleus Research, an analyst firm that specializes in ROI profiling, has published a Market Scorecard for on-demand CRM based on ROI computations from customer case studies and its evaluation of each firm. The report evaluates seven on-demand CRM providers: ACCPAC CRM (now a unit of Best Software), Entellium, NetSuite, RightNow, SAVO, Salesforce.com, and Siebel On-Demand.
"What we were looking at were the key common factors across a deployment that can deliver ROI," says Rebecca Wettemann, research vice president at Nucleus and author of the scorecard. "We looked at the specific business problems they can solve, and the functionality to give them the right match [to user requirements.]"
Fast rollouts and easy-to-use browser interfaces have long been considered key ROI strengths for on-demand CRM. Nucleus also highlights the "ongoing engagement" aspect of on-demand providers, which by the very nature of their business models must constantly deliver new value to customers to prevent cancellation of the service subscription. The relatively low switching costs between on-demand providers have made for strong incentives for continual service improvement.
In its ROI analysis Nucleus calls RightNow and Salesforce.com the only two top-tier vendors, averaging 4.0 or better on a five-point scale that examined the ROI contributions from ease-of-deployment, adoption, support, business impact, and strength-of-vendor.
Nucleus cautions that it is not recommending customers simply bypass any vendor without a top score for ROI. Instead, Wettemann says, potential clients should seek additional assurances if a vendor is flagged for a latent shortcoming. "If you're looking at [a vendor] with a lower score for deployment, make sure you have careful milestones around deployment and the costs associated with deployment."
Wettemann writes in the scorecard report that more mature vendors are better positioned to deliver long-term value, because they can integrate their CRM technology with other business systems. "The real value grows when multiple information sources about customers can be integrated and used for sales support and decision-making."
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