Magazine article CRM Magazine

Consultancies

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Consultancies

Article excerpt

[TABLE OMITTED]

The Market

As the CRM market grows with additional solutions, so, too, does its complexity, which is fueling impressive growth in the CRM consulting industry as well.

While the largest consulting houses continue to dominate the market, a crop of new players has been emerging to help clients assess where, when, and how to take advantage ofnew cloud-based alternatives. Another crop specializes in social media monitoring.

In addition to specializations, many consulting firms have expanded beyond very basic services this year to include implementation strategies, training, release management, customizations, product upgrades and migrations, system testing, business intelligence and analytics, data integration, and product support and maintenance. Some have even aligned themselves with specific solutions vendors to ensure a steady stream of business.

The Leaders

All four of this year's leaders have been around for a while, and while some of them have changed their focus slightly, most have stayed true to what has placed them at or near the top in the category since CRM magazine began presenting its Market Leader Awards more than 10 years ago.

Accenture, for example, ably produces in its ability to execute, earning a score of 3.9. And while Jim Dickie, managing partner at CSO Insights, says the company continues to offer "the broadest practice for dealing with sales, marketing, and support issues," Leslie Ament, vice president and senior analyst at Hypatia Research Group, says the company's accomplishments will go far beyond. "Accenture has certainly made inroads into the customer management arena with its digital marketing offerings," she says. But that comes with a caveat: "Customers should carefully evaluate whether they require the full portfolio of resources that a management consulting firm brings to the table or whether a digital marketing agency or marketing services provider would serve as well," Ament says.

French company Capgemini's differentiator this year was customer satisfaction, where it racked up an industry-leading 4.0, roughly a quarter-point higher than its nearest competitor. Its largely European and multinational clientele is very happy with the level of services it provides, as the company rang up an above-average score of 3. …

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