Companies are beginning to fall in love with customer relationship management (CRM) all over again – but this time the rose-tinted spectacles are off.
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Learning from the mistakes of over-ambitious projects, UK firms are taking a more pragmatic approach to CRM investment, according to research by Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC).
This time round the emphasis is no longer on optimising internal processes, companies instead “focus on creating value for and around the customer”, says Pricilla Stanley of PAC France.
Businesses now expect smaller scope and more realistic contracts with clear-cut ROI calculations. Small and medium-sized companies are also enticed by the promise of simple and user-friendly solutions offered by CRM on demand.
Despite the interest in on-demand CRM, the market is still carved up by the major players. Oracle (with Siebel) is still the leading choice for large firms, while Sage holds sway among small companies. Long term, PAC expects the market to be dominated by a few main suppliers and some very specialised niche players.