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CRM is becoming a critical component of resellers in the small- and midsize-business (SMB) market, according to a recent Aberdeen Group report. A survey of SMB resellers conducted for the report, titled "Mainstream CRM: Through the Lens of the Partner Channel," found that 33 percent of resellers felt that CRM was already important to the SMB market, 23 percent thought that it would become so within the next 12 months, and 28 percent predicted the next 12 to 23 months. Only 1.2 percent responded that CRM would never become important to the SMB market. The Indian IT-services market will grow at least 30 percent during 2004, according to a new IT trends report from Forrester Research. Offshore customer service and technical support will focus even more resources on accent neutralization, English-language proficiency, and both product and customer service training to eliminate service complaints by customers, the report states.
SAP AG is the most popular ERP vendor in terms of brand recognition, according to a recent Yankee Group study. However, Jon Derome, program manager for Yankee group's business applications and commerce advisory service, says that there is still a great opportunity for competing vendors to take a commanding presence in terms of brand awareness in the space. Nearly 80 percent of former J.D. Edwards customers are happy with the new PeopleSoft look and feel of their applications, according to a new report from IDC. Only 9 percent of J.D. Edwards customers polled said they have a less favorable view of PeopleSoft than they did of J.D. Edwards. Another IDC report says that business process outsourcing (BPO) is becoming more and more vertically specialized to meet market demands. The firm researched BPO trends across various industries, and notes that the financial services sector will be attracting the most BPO business in the next year. CRM license revenue will increase by only 5 to 10 percent through 2005, according to a new Forrester report. The reason for the sluggish growth is severe cost cutting measures, as well as the fact that the days of the huge CRM deal are gone, according to John Ragsdale, research director in the CRM practice at Forrester. Ragsdale also says that the growing popularity of hosted CRM solutions is making a dent in the total number of license sales. Thus, he posits, the CRM industry may be growing, just not in the area of large license deals.
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