Last month in CRM Software – CRM market news review for November 2012


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In summary: Microsoft’s Q4 release guide leaves a few questions unanswered, SAP gets powered by HANA, and a SugarCRM IPO in 2013?

Microsoft kicked the month off with the publication of their much anticipated Q4 release guide for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, following the last minute postponement of the key features of its Q2 release in July. Customers and implementation partners may have been left with a few questions however, as the guide refers only to its cloud-based offering.

It appears that the main features of the Q4 release, with the exception of cross-browser support, won’t be available on-premise until 2013’s Q2 release, with some speculation that it will now only release annual on-premise updates, while maintaining the twice yearly schedule for its online users.

Microsoft also appears to have quietly dropped the mobile functionality that was a core part of its CRM Anywhere strategy, in favour of developing its own mobile clients, with ones due to ship for Windows 8, Windows 8 Phone, and the iPad by mid-2013.

Despite the apparent fog around what will be available on each platform and when, the availability of features such as the integration into Skype and its recent Yammer acquisition, suggest the company is looking to better combine its platforms and seems to bode well for the rapid assimilation of October’s surprise acquisition of marketing software company, MarketingPilot.

SugarCRM announced that it had acquired 650 new customers in its last quarter, and achieved revenue growth of 45% year on year. An interview with SugarCRM CEO, Larry Augustin, suggested that the company was considering an initial public offering as soon as 2013.

The main potential brake on Sugar’s growth I suspect will be how easily the company is able to recruit the implementation partners that have the skills and experience to deliver the bigger and more complex projects that are the hallmark of the enterprise space which the company is increasingly targeting.

Good implementation partners are few and far between and are often welded to more established products like Sage, and Microsoft. Persuading them to incur the training costs associated with taking on new products can be a hard sell, and, with announcing that it plans to significantly grow its partner network, it will be in an increasingly competitive environment. confirmed that its own torrid growth rate continues unabated. Its Q3 revenues of $788 million were up 35% year on year, albeit with a net loss of $220 million for the period. The company is expecting revenues to reach $4 billion in fiscal 2014.

Finally, SAP made some waves at its Sapphire Now conference, held in Madrid, with the announcement of HANA powered CRM and SAP 360 Customer. The use of HANA’s in-memory database technology to power SAP CRM apparently reduces the size of the database by 50% because indexes are no longer required, enhancing performance and scalability. SAP CRM powered by HANA is currently in pilot, with general release in three to six months.

SAP 360 Customer is an extended packaging of SAP CRM, bundling a range of SAP applications, including social media analysis and its Jam collaboration platform, a number of which will be powered by HANA.

This seems a smart move by SAP and provides a strong point of differentiation with other CRM offerings, and will potentially allow it to extend its reach into accounts which are HANA technology users, but not necessarily SAP application customers.

Anyway, that concludes my take on the news for November. If I’ve missed or misunderstood anything significant please feel free to comment!

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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