Oracle is a clear CRM market leader while SAP should also be automatically short-listed for new deals. Chordiant, Infor, and salesforce.com are the three nearest challengers, but they have some way to go to catch up with the two market heavyweights.
These were among the findings of a new report from Datamonitor into the CRM applications market, in which its analysts base their judgments on three core criteria: user sentiment, technology, and market impact.
The user sentiment rankings of the various CRM players are especially enlightening. Datamonitor surveyed almost 300 users of CRM in North America and western Europe, asking them to rate their providers on eight different metrics: product quality, customer support, service capabilities, vertical specialisation, portfolio depth, service, financial stability, and client engagement (the effectiveness of the vendor's sales-force and the enterprise's perception of its channel to market).
Apart from Oracle and SAP scoring very highly overall, Datamonitor said, "Chordiant, Infor, and salesforce.com offer excellent alternatives to the market leaders, but will have to remain competitive if they are to continue to be considered as market leadership challengers."
As for Microsoft, RightNow, and Consona, Datamonitor said: "[They] could join the challengers should they enhance their profile among end users or deliver on the considerable promise of their forthcoming releases."
Not every vendor in the CRM market was analysed in the report. The research looked at Chordiant, Consona (formerly Onyx and Knova), Infor, Microsoft, NetSuite, Oracle (including its home-grown, PeopleSoft, and Siebel CRM applications), RightNow Technologies, salesforce.com, and SAP. These were considered the current crop of the most important players, taking into account revenue, market share, and technology.
The analyst firm said that another recent sentiment survey found that only financial applications are being more widely deployed than CRM applications, at least in terms of what most people classify as enterprise applications these days (usually taken to mean financials, CRM, HR, supply chain management, ERP, and the like).
Yet far from being saturated, there is still room for considerable growth in the market. Datamonitor found that the proportion of enterprises planning to invest in CRM is set to increase within the next two years.
Datamonitor also published growth forecasts for the CRM applications market as a whole between now and 2012, and among these results found that growth is predicted to be higher at companies with fewer than 100 employees, and those with 100 to 1000 employees.
For the full report with a detailed breakdown of the technology, user sentiment, and market impact data, visit www.datamonitor.com
Datamonitor is also the publisher of ComputerWire.