• September 1, 2007
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

CRM Continues Its Climb

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Depending on which research firm you ask, CRM spending grew between 8 percent and 12 percent in 2006--the third straight year of industry growth. Revenue rose to $12.6 billion, spurred significantly by continued interest in software-as-a-service and hosting, according to AMR Research. A closer look at the three leading CRM vendors confirms this. AMR tagged SAP as the largest provider of CRM software with an 18 percent market share (up from 16 percent in 2005). However, the industry juggernaut has been quiet over the last year when it comes to CRM. Even during SAP's largest annual pep rally, back in April, one of our editors expressed her surprise that the conference was noticeably bereft of CRM developments. The company's inactivity is reflected in our sixth annual CRM Market Awards, as SAP appears in two out of eight Market Leader categories, but recorded some of the lowest scores among the leaders in each of those two categories. Perhaps recent moves from formidable opponents will be enough to wake the sleeping giant. One of those opponents is Oracle, with its divisions PeopleSoft and Siebel Systems--both of which earned their own spots in the Market Leader awards because Oracle is still supporting each product line independently. As a whole, the conglomerate--which, thanks to its Siebel acquisition now owns 11 percent of the market (up from 4 percent in 2005), according to AMR--is starting to come out of its post-acquisition malaise. Siebel saw sizable improvements in its averages for company direction and customer satisfaction, which helped the company return to the midmarket leaderboard. Maintaining its industry prominence, Oracle (in one form or another) appears in three out of eight different Market Leader categories. Salesforce.com, which had about 4 percent of the market, up from 3 percent in 2005, proves that small oceans can still make big, big waves. This is Salesforce.com's most impressive showing yet in our Market Awards. The company appears in half of the Market Leader categories, topping the list in three of them. Two out of three CRM Elite winners are Salesforce.com customers. And chief executive officer Marc Benioff has earned, yet again, another Influential Leader award. Even in the Enterprise Suite CRM category, Salesforce.com gave category winner Siebel a run for its money. Looking ahead, the CRM industry is expected to fare pretty well--AMR Research expects the market will expand to $19.2 billion within four years' time. If vendors keeping delivering customers what they want, the industry should hit that mark with aplomb. Congratulations to this year's Influential Leaders, Hall of Fame inductee, Rising Stars, Market Leaders, and Elite winners. May your companies and the industry continue to climb.
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