Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Ovum Sees the Next Wave of CRM

August 13, 2013

When customer relationship management (CRM) first debuted in the 1990s, it was a niche product for sales departments and related functions. It was huge, location-based and cost a whole lot of money. (Most of us remember those nightmare implementations described in the trade press about solutions that costs millions, took years to implement and wound up not being used.) Later, along came hosted CRM solutions with the usability bugs worked out, and CRM experienced a kind of rebirth.

Today, customer relationship management is a very different beast than either of its first two iterations. It can be premises-based, but it can also be cloud-based. It can have a small or large footprint, depending on an organization’s needs. It can integrate easily with other functions such as call center and sales management solutions. It can be successfully accessed and used on mobile devices. 

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While CRM is generally considered a mature technology at this point, analysts predict that growth in sales will continue, since many companies, far from searching out CRM for the first time, are into their third or even fourth generation CRM solutions. In fact, according to analyst group Ovum, CRM is about to enter a new phase.

 Ovum notes that organizations that have made “great strides in creating a seamless customer experience” are now scanning the horizon and seeing a concept known as “customer-adaptive enterprise (CAE)” in their futures, reported IT Wire.

“Such an organization has highly acute peripheral vision and can sense and respond rapidly to changes in customer demand and adapt at the right frequency to remain persistently relevant to its customers,” said Jeremy Cox, Ovum principal analyst of Software Enterprise Solutions. “Continuous, timely and relevant innovation is the hallmark of such an organization.”

Cox says that today, customer-facing organizations’ visions, whether focused on the customer experience or CAE, requires a portfolio of applications that can work together seamlessly and invisibly to allow sales and contact centers to deliver “context-aware, relevant information.”

Ovum notes that to this point, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Oracle Siebel CRM, and SAP CRM are the current market leaders. NetSuite CRM+, Oracle CRM On Demand, Sage CRM, SAP Business All-in-One, Sugar Enterprise, and Swiftpage Saleslogix are the market challengers. For more information, Microsoft, SAP and many others will be exhibiting at the upcoming ITEXPO in Las Vegas.

Edited by Alisen Downey