Magazine article CRM Magazine

Incentive Management

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Incentive Management

Article excerpt

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The Market

Incentive management (IM) is heating up."This is a very hot area, with lots of innovation and merger activity going on," says Jim Dickie, managing partner of CSO Insights. The economy is putting pressure on companies to find smarter, cost-efficient ways to motivate their sales teams as well as help them uncover and track more leads. The year was marked by a number of major consolidations as companies seek ways to invest in their employees. In addition, gamification has become the latest industry buzzword, and forward-thinking companies are turning to game mechanics to influence employees' and customers' behavior.

The Leaders

The newly acquired Merced Systems has once again earned a spot on the leaderboard. Late last year, NICE Systems , a company based in Israel that provides analytical tools for recording service transactions, announced that it would buy Merced Systems for approximately $150 million. Analysts approve of the acquisition. Dickie notes that integrating Merced with NICE's capabilities gives customers a "more robust [sales performance management] solution." Ray Wang, principal analyst and CEO at Constellation Research, says the acquisition "adds a broader vision" to the range of solutions in Merced's portfolio.

After receiving the 2010 One to Watch title, Softscape disappeared last year, only to reappear on the leaderboard as part of SumTotal Systems. After acquiring Softscape two years ago, SumTotal Systems, a provider of human capital management solutions, integrated Softscape's talent and performance management solutions into its offerings, providing a software suite that covers key human resource functions including training, performance, compensation, social collaboration, hiring, planning, analytics, and more. SumTotal's offerings point to a growing trend in companies investing in more HR technology, according to Wang.

One of the earliest vendors to enter this space, Synygy holds steady as an IM leader. Along with SumTotal, Wang notes that Synygy appears on a lot of short lists "because of its wide range of industries and depth of functionality." Last year, it announced partnerships with Kane Bank Services, a retail bank consulting and sales training practice, and talent management solutions provider StepStone Solutions. Synygy reported 35 percent total revenue growth for Q1 of 2012 compared to the same quarter last year, and a 56 percent rise in managed support subscriptions. …

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