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CRM Vendors To Focus On Vertical-specific Apps: PwC

The next wave of innovation by current and emerging management vendors would be to unite the analytical and operational aspects of the customer relationship management (CRM). With the vertical markets set to play new role, the CRM vendors would continue to introduce new applications specifically for sectors such as financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, telecom and retail & wholesale, claims the consulting firm Pricewater houseCoopers in its recent report on future technologies.

The areas to attract CRM are cross-channels, from back office to front office and from operations to analysis, the consultancy major said further. Within the enterprise applications, CRM is becoming more of a strategic tool for retaining customers and attracting new customers. CRM is moving from a departmental to an enterprise initiative, the report added. According to the report, the worldwide CRM software sales would grow from $9 billion in 2002 to $14 billion in 2005, exhibiting a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 17 per cent.

Quoting sources, PricewaterhouseCoopers said that the services market, consisting of professional consulting and maintenance services, would touch $64.3 billion worldwide by 2005. Particularly the e-CRM revenues in sales, service and marketing/ analytics would increase steadily through 2004, with marketing or analytical revenues training those of sales and services. By 2004, the market alone for the e-CRM is expected to touch the $10 billion mark, the report predicted.

Seeing the emergence of CRM-only vendors across the world, many ERP vendors have entered the CRM market to compete with CRM major like Siebel and more recent challenges. However, the ERP vendors do not have enough time to build applications impressive enough to attract the customers who are not using ERP products, claims the report.

The acceptance of CRM as a strategic necessity for enterprises has fueled a lucrative services market, which already surpassed the software market in size. The report also says that application vendors now position CRM suites to serve the company’s comprehensive strategic needs rather than its short-term departmental requirements.

The migration to e-business (B2B and B2C) and the need to link back and front offices have prompted companies to replace single-function products with integrated enterprise CRM suites that can coordinate disparate applications more cost-effectively and uniformly.

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