• October 1, 2006
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

Surprises, Setbacks, and a Sleeper Hit

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Bold moves can be both a blessing and a curse, especially in relation to mergers and acquisitions. A move that had been conceived as a smart, strategic one may frustrate customers waiting for integration woes to be solved. Still, the prevailing theme in our 2006 CRM Market Awards issue is, change is good. Here's one reason why: We've made some changes of our own--you may have noticed that the name of the awards themselves has changed. The CRM Market Awards better reflects our growing industry coverage and is a result of the industry's evolution. That maturation set the stage for emerging companies and markets with complementary solutions; these companies are doing their part to help move the industry forward by helping end-user companies discover even more uses for their transactional data. For their efforts, we are introducing our Rising Stars section, honoring companies that further the CRM industry with application software that includes incentive management, enterprise feedback management, social networking, open source CRM, and demand-side management. Every person and company mentioned in this issue should be proud to have helped the industry experience its second consecutive year of growth since its post-Y2K malaise. Reports have stated that the CRM market has grown between 8 and 14 percent in 2005. The combined licensed and hosted CRM revenues grew to more than $5 billion last year. The 2006 Market Leaders landscape, consistent with previous years, has endured some repositioning. Most notably, Siebel regained its top spot from Amdocs in the Enterprise Suite CRM category. Salesforce.com for the first time landed on the Enterprise Suite CRM leaderboard, making it the only CRM vendor to appear on all three (small business, midmarket, and enterprise) CRM suite leaderboards. And, Maximizer Software, the sleeper hit of the year, displaced last year's winner, Salesforce.com, as the Small Business Suite category winner. A second reason why change is good: Customer companies are benefiting greatly from this industry competition. This year's Elite winners reveal some impressive CRM implementation stories--Glenmede Trust Company increased its operating margin by 100 percent in three years, Pacific Coast Feather expects more than $900,000 in revenue contributions, POS Supply Solutions realized a 40 percent increase in revenue, and Interval International saw an 84 percent return on investment within one year. I'd be remiss if I didn't acknowledge this year's Influential Leaders here. Their efforts not only helped to drive their companies and customers to succeed, but also helped the entire CRM market as well. We tip our hats to all the CRM Market Awards recipients. May you continue to drive your companies, customers, and the industry to new heights. David Myron Editor-in-Chief dmyron@destinationCRM.com
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