SAS Wins IDC Affections

Analytics tools unearth customer secrets buried in CRM-acquired data. And these secrets can be rolled into new sales opportunities and better customer satisfaction rates. It's no wonder CRM analytics is a high-growth market, even in today's difficult economy, according to a report by market researcher IDC, entitled Worldwide Analytics Applications for Customer Relationship Management Software: Competitive Forecast and Analysis, 2002-2006. The overall CRM analytics application software market increased by 12.5 percent in 2001 to $461 million. The big winner: SAS, which posted a revenue increase of 43.5 percent last year. "SAS leads the analytical CRM field by revenue for the third year in a row and now leads the CRM analytical applications market with an 18.1 percent share," said Robert Blumstein, director of CRM analytics at IDC, in a statement. "This growth demonstrates that companies continue to invest in analytical CRM technology, even with the current economic slowdown." To qualify as a CRM analytic application, software products must demonstrate business process support, the separation of function, an use time-oriented, integrated data from multiple sources, according to IDC. The key to analytics is injecting real-time features into the analytics process and, ultimately, a customer's online experience. "With budgets tight and marketers forced to do more with less, analytical CRM has become a powerful initiative for companies in all industries, including retailers, telecommunications companies and banks as they try to make the right offer to the right customer at the right time via the right channel," stated Jim Davis, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at SAS. CRM analytics is a bright spot in the otherwise gloomy market outlook. For instance, IDC reported earlier this month that the CRM applications market has hit the brakes in Europe. The European CRM market is expected to post a less-than-stellar growth rate of under 8 percent this year. On the upside, IDC projects a rebound during 2003 and 2004. "CRM solutions have taken a tremendous hit over the last 12 months," Blumstein said. "However, end users still believe that there is good reason to invest in this technology area, albeit more cautiously than before."
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