Magazine article CRM Magazine

Analysis of the 2015 CRM Market Awards

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Analysis of the 2015 CRM Market Awards

Article excerpt

IF YOU GIVE yourself the opportunity to geek out over this year's CRM Market Awards, you'll likely spot some pretty cool industry trends.

First, let's begin with the more obvious developments. This was a banner year for Microsoft. Analysts praised the company for building an integrated platform that enhances customer engagements through multiple touch points. As a result, Microsoft won the top spot in four out of our nine Market Leader categories. Some analysts questioned its commitment to its Dynamics CRM product when, in October, Microsoft enabled Salesforce.com's CRM solution to connect with Microsoft Office 365 and Windows devices. But Microsoft was hardly cashing in its CRM chips; it followed up by partnering with a few more CRM vendors, including Adobe, NetSuite, Marketo, and others.

The second most obvious development is the termination of our Open-Source CRM category. Earlier this year, when SugarCRM CEO Larry Augustin visited our office, he claimed that he'd rather not begin conversations with prospects about the benefits of open-source CRM. Yes, his company is an open-source CRM provider. And, yes, his company has led our Open-Source CRM Market Leader category every year since its inception. But he's happy letting Drupal, Joomla, and others fight the open-source fight, while he focuses conversations on CRM and sales force automation. We agree. The open-source label creates an extra hurdle for open-source vendors to overcome, because it can too easily steer discussions toward the value of open-source technology and not what a product has to offer from a CRM perspective. It has taken some time for the industry to catch on, but it has, evidenced by SugarCRM's appearance in our Midmarket CRM Suite category and the Sales Force Automation category.

Now, for the less-obvious developments: Digital marketing is on the verge of exponential growth. …

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