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The Best Enterprise CRM Software and Solutions: The 2019 CRM Market Leader Awards

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THE MARKET

The global cloud-based CRM market is expected to grow by more than 14 percent compounded annually through 2023, according to the latest market research by Technavio, and enterprise clients with deep pockets are among the biggest drivers of this industry.

Eager to get what they paid for, enterprises have some of the highest expectations when it comes to CRM. They won’t fall for gimmicks and buzzwords. If a vendor promises to leverage artificial intelligence, for example, enterprise customers expect that AI to deliver real ROI, not just to check a box of the latest hot technology.

THE LEADERS

Though bpm’online primarily targets midmarket customers, analysts awarded it a 4.4 in customer satisfaction for its enterprise offering. “Bpm’online offers sales, marketing, and customer service applications that aim to be easy to implement, use, and change via configuration or customization—embodying its vision of enabling business agility,” says Kate Leggett, principal analyst at Forrester Research. The vendor received a 4.0 in both direction and depth of functionality.

Last year’s winner, Microsoft, has aggressively grown its partner ecosystem, and its most significant moves were with Adobe, which “has helped Microsoft at the enterprise level in terms of marketing automation,” says Brent Leary, cofounder and partner at CRM Essentials. But that has been a dual-edged sword for Microsoft, with Leggett arguing that “Microsoft’s nascent B2B marketing capabilities, where it relies on its Adobe partnership for more advanced scenarios, are a weakness. It also lacks a native CPQ engine and only has e-commerce capabilities for retail.” Additionally, “much needed improvements in core CRM functionality have stagnated over the past two years,” says Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research.

While known more for its enterprise resource planning (ERP) products, Netsuite has “done a great job with commerce, subscription billing, and a basic CRM suite that integrates well with the core ERP,” Wang says. And while the company, which is a subsidiary of Oracle, says it wants to deliver a 360-degree customer view via a unified front- and back-office solution across point-of-sale, in-store, mobile, contact center, web, and sales rep touchpoints, “its innovation is much more heavily weighted toward the back office than toward its CRM,” Leggett says. That’s perhaps why Netsuite received only a 3.5 in company direction.

With unrivaled breadth and depth, Oracle’s CX Cloud has all the bases covered for enterprise users, according to Leary. The vendor received its highest mark, 4.5, in depth of functionality. Oracle also earned a 4.2 in company direction, thanks to solid leadership under new executive vice president Rob Tarkoff, who is “stabilizing the overall product direction, innovating around data-as-a-service, and accelerating the rollout of adaptive intelligence across the suite,” Wang says. Oracle’s road map is impressive too, Leggett points out.. “It plans to introduce new clouds (for example, a subscription management cloud), deepening capabilities within those new clouds and intelligence infused across the CX suite,” she says.

THE WINNER

Salesforce.com remains the CRM vendor to beat, with a whopping 4.6 in depth of functionality and a 4.4 in company direction. “The Einstein AI features and the rock star team assembled have pushed CRM to the edges, and customers appreciate the industry-specific focus,” Wang says. Leggett says its strength lies in “its broad end-to-end portfolio that caters to both B2C and B2B organizations.” Salesforce also got credit for what many analysts have called a smart acquisition strategy. Its Tableau and MuleSoft purchases “really show how foundational Einstein is to the success of Salesforce and its ability to deliver a platform that eases integration, automation, prediction, and prescription,” Leary says.

ONE TO WATCH

Pegasystems, a clear rising star in the space, is finally getting much deserved recognition for what analysts are calling a powerful engagement platform underpinned by extensive expertise in robotic process automation. The vendor earned its highest score, a 4.0, in company direction, as analysts are excited about its future. “Pegasystems’ CRM road map is focused on increasing the breadth of intelligence scenarios, which improves when and how CRM users interact with their customers,” Leggett says. “Customers have taken a renewed interest in Pega as intelligent process automation and AI take hold,” Wang adds.

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