• February 24, 2004
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com

Gartner: Best Software Tops SMB CRM Market

According to recent research from Gartner, Best Software is the market share leader in the small-and-medium business CRM marketplace. Gartner estimates that Best Software, makers of ACT! and SalesLogix, has amassed 25 percent of the worldwide CRM market in the small business space, besting companies like FrontRange and Salesforce.com, which are vying for the same space. Currently, the ACT! customer base has reached nearly 2 million registered users, whereas SalesLogix has garnered 5,400 current customers worldwide in small and medium-size markets. According to company reports, Best's CRM sales grew 13 percent during 2003. This outpaces the overall annual small business CRM market growth, which Gartner estimates to average 5.5 percent. Even more impressive, the Gartner ranking does not include the pending acquisition of ACCPAC International, from Computer Associates International. The acquisition, which was valued at $110 million, brings Best Software, a hosted CRM solution that competes with the likes of NetSuite, RightNow Technologies, Salesforce.com, Salesnet, and Siebel Systems. The acquisition bodes well for Best: Wendy Close, CRM research director for midsize enterprises at Gartner and author of the report, predicts 25 percent of small and medium business will use an ASP by 2006. This ASP buzz hasn't gone unnoticed by competitors. IBM, for example, partnered with Onyx to provide a hosted solution. Siebel acquired CRM-hosting provider UpShot last fall, and since then has received "tens-of-thousands" of inquiries for its hosted solutions, and has signed up "hundreds of customers within one month," says Ken Rudin, vice president and general manager of Siebel OnDemand. Additionally, Siebel acquired Ineto Services, a hosted contact-center solutions provider, to build out its Siebel CRM OnDemand. The ASP hosting model is generating more buzz for other licensed CRM solutions, says Jon van Duyne, senior vice president and general manager of Best Software's midmarket CRM solutions. "It's awakening a price-sensitive sector to CRM." In addition to hosted CRM, the ACCPAC acquisition brings Best Software a fully integrated front- and back-office solution. It's concern that Close says will be top-of-mind for small and medium business owners as they look to integrate the two: "We believe that by 2006, 50 percent of small and medium business will have done integration with the back-office, or other front-office applications."
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