Magazine article CRM Magazine

What's Hot, What's Not, and What's Next: At Year End We Evaluate the Impact of SaaS, Siebel, and Knowledge Sharing and Analytics

Magazine article CRM Magazine

What's Hot, What's Not, and What's Next: At Year End We Evaluate the Impact of SaaS, Siebel, and Knowledge Sharing and Analytics

Article excerpt

THE CRM INDUSTRY continues to be anything but boring--mergers and acquisitions, innovative product announcements, and advances in technology platforms abound. Several major trends in 2005 are worth making note of. Here, some highlights.

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What's Hot: SaaS The accelerating interest in Software as a Service (SaaS) caught me off guard. In assessing the preliminary results of our most recent sales effectiveness marketplace study, it is clear that Salesforce.com is the SaaS solution provider generating the most attention in the CRM suite marketplace. The company is not alone, as we also found increased buying of NetSuite, Entellium, RightNow, and Siebel OnDemand SaaS offerings. There have been recent SaaS announcements by CRM suite vendors like Sage Software, Microsoft, and Maximizer, as well as other types of CRM players (Involve Technology in the sales knowledge space, Centive Systems in compensation management, Auto Task for customer service).

The initial conventional wisdom was that SaaS would be a solid model to support SMBs, but we're seeing 1,000-plus-seat deals with companies like ADP, Heartland, Avnet, Staples, and Kaiser. These demonstrate that SaaS may also have a place in the larger enterprise world; based on these trends, 2006 should see even more firms choose this alternative to meet their CRM needs.

What's Not: Siebel, the Company We witnessed a major turning point in the CRM world with Oracle's acquisition of Siebel Systems. While the products will continue to live on in some form, the firm that really made CRM a marketplace will fade away.

The writing started to appear on the wall in 2004, when user satisfaction ratings plummeted to all-time lows for Siebel during CSO Insights' benchmarking efforts. It is to be hoped that CRM software vendors have taken the lesson that the vision of a brave new world may get you sales to heart, but long-term success depends on delivering that promise. …

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