Best of CRM: May 4th


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Every week, we recount some of the best buzz around CRM and data integration. We’ll review our favorite articles and share the most pressing findings or key takeaways from each.

Denis Pombriant (@DenisPombriant)
Denis delves into the high-level takeaways from the recent Gartner CRM market size report. Along with listing the top five CRM vendors, which include, from top to bottom, Salesforce, SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and IBM, Denis takes a step back to think about the greater meaning – or lack thereof – of the report. Questions and considerations to ponder range from how these companies measure their CRM revenue (some have “fuzzier” definitions than others), how Gartner came up with these rankings in the likely absence of hard numbers, how they estimated the size of the entire market and what metrics/timelines they used to measure it. All these questions suggest that while these five companies are undoubtedly the top players, ranking them from 1-5 holds limited meaning, and companies should consider all five as equally serious contenders when looking for a CRM solution.

Is Big Data Going to Be the Secret Weapon for CRM?
Paul Anderson
CRM is all about using customer data to better market to that customer, and big data helps companies make sense of high volume and velocity data. It seems obvious that the two were made for synergistic benefits. By integrating big data into CRM strategy, companies can greatly improve customer understanding, improve customer experience, support better decision making, understand trends and set benchmarks. I know through experience that these benefits occur when integrating CRM with other business system, and big data brings on a level of scale necessary to improve the results and bottom line even more.

Gartner: Worldwide CRM Revenue Grew 12.5 Percent in 2012
Chris Kanaracus (@chriskanaracus)
Providing yet another take on Gartner’s CRM Market Size report, Chris focuses on the overall growth of the market in 2012 (12.5%), pointing out the fact that the growth rate was three times that of all enterprise software segments on average. The report also uncovers the extremely high rate of acquisitions over the past few years, with over 50 companies acquired in the CRM space between 2009 and 2012, solidifying the top players’ hold on the market. However, despite their dominance, small players also saw rapid growth over the past year – Zoho grew CRM revenues by 81.2%, and others saw similarly high growth. 2013 will be an interesting year to watch as the large vendors fight for market dominance while some small players creep up and either steal market share or face acquisition.

Why Companies Using the Cloud Are So Happy
David Linthicum (@DavidLinthicum)
Many companies deploying cloud solutions – especially in the CRM space – face a great deal of fear and uncertainty, frequently delaying or changing their plans based on these concerns. To allay their fears, David analyzes the results of a recent survey from RightScale on cloud adoption, and the findings point towards increased success the more mature a company’s cloud solution is. One important finding from the survey is that 80 percent of advanced-level respondents enjoy faster time to market, while only 25 percent of beginners see those results. Moreover, 87 percent of advanced respondents see faster access to infrastructure, as opposed to 30 percent of beginners, showing the importance of either hiring employees knowledgeable about cloud solutions, or working with an experienced partner to experience cloud benefits as fast as possible.

The Data-Driven Enterprise Marketing Revolution
By Russell Glass (@glassruss)
As any marketer knows, in this day and age there are a million ways to reach the customer, which also means there are a million ways your customers can be distracted by other messaging and content. With customers at the helm of the buying process, marketers must use CRM as the customer data repository, integrating all systems to bring in the most relevant data and then analyzing this data for truly relevant one-to-one communication with consumers. The future of marketing relies on integrating and making sense of the nearly infinite customer data needed to create value for consumers in an increasingly distracted world, and CRM will (and already does) play a central role in navigating and acting on this mass of information.

We hope you had a great week! We’ll see you again soon with a roundup of all the movers and shakers in CRM and data integration news.

Peter Chase
Peter founded Scribe Software along with Jim Clarke in the beginning of 1996. As Executive Vice President, Business Development, Peter is responsible for establishing and growing partnerships with other leading technology companies in support of Scribe's overall market and product strategy. Prior to founding Scribe, Peter held senior positions in sales, product marketing, and finance at SNAP Software, an early pioneer in CRM software that was acquired by Dun and Bradstreet. He has published numerous articles and whitepapers and is a frequent speaker and panelist at industry events.


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