CRM short list
The following short list of CRM companies may prove helpful for companies looking for CRM functionality. The list is a mix of traditional large software companies and fast growing CRM companies with a lot of momentum. The CRM short list is aimed towards medium- and large enterprise customers, and should be sufficiently long for 90% of the target group to find their prospective CRM supplier in this list, or better, to provide a starting point for a software selection trajectory.
Oracle (Siebel, Oracle CRM) On every corporate CRM shortlist, the name of Siebel can not be forgotten. Started by Oracle executive Tom Siebel, the company defined the CRM marketplace and became part of the hype in the dotcom era. Most large corporations have implemented Siebel in the past two decades. “If you want to get to know your customer, you must have Siebel”, was a boardroom statement in those days. After the dot.com hype was over and Siebel's momentum sagged, Tom Siebel sold his company to his former boss, Larry Ellison. Siebel is often said to be very extensive in functionality, laborious to implement, and comes at a premium price. Siebel is typically implemented by large corporations who wish to implement CRM across the entire corporation.
SAP CRM SAP never made any substantial CRM acquisitions like Oracle did. SAP CRM is mostly in-house developed and co-developed with customers. Smaller acquisitions, such as Wicom, have been made to fill specific functionality gaps. SAP CRM is usually not selected as a stand alone solution; it is mostly bought by customers who already run SAP ERP and who add SAP CRM for hopes of easy ERP-integration and the advantage of one-stop shopping.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Microsoft entered the CRM market in 2002. At the time, the package was targeted at companies with 50-500 employees, and the focus on SMB has not changed much. Since then. Although the name refers to the later acquisition of ERP company Dynamics, the core of the CRM technology actually came with Microsoft’s acquisition of Great Plains software in 2001.
Infor (Epiphany) Like Siebel, Epiphany (at the time: E.piphany) was one of the early CRM players that profited and consequently suffered dearly from the burst of the dot.com bubble. In 2005, the company was taken private by SSA Global, that was in turn acquired by acquisition-powerhouse Infor in 2006. In it’s early years, the company enjoyed a lot of momentum and wrote a lot of big names on its list of corporate customers. Now, Epiphany seems to lead a more peaceful life under the wings of Infor.
Salesforce.com Salesforce.com has quickly grown to be one of the world’s largest software companies. Of course, Salesforce.com says its not a software company: all functionality is offered as an online service, payable through subscription instead of upfront license charges. Salesforce.com started out as a CRM pure-player but is putting increasing emphasis on its ERP offerings, branded as Force.com cloud computing solutions. Both very big and very small companies use Salesforce.com. User friendliness and short implementation cycles (usually in weeks) are reported as main advantages. Note: companies requiring large-scale system integration and extensive customization should consider other options.
Netsuite CRM+ Netsuite is a medium-sized software company (revenues 152 mln USD). Like Salesforce, the company offers its applications over the internet. Besides CRM, the company is big in E-commerce, inventory management and financial applications.
SugarCRM An innovative young company that offers open source CRM software over the internet. Despite its youth, the company website mentions a lot of big enterprise customers already among its reported customer base of 50,000. As SugarCRM is based on open source code, it is easy for customers to build extensions to the code, such as connectors to existing in-company systems.
Conclusive remarks The above list is not meant to be a reflection of the full CRM market. It’s a CRM short list intended for use as a first glance of the market, early in the software selection process. We have listed the top players in terms of CRM revenue, and added the players with the most momentum in the market. Together the seven players mentioned cover about 90% of the market for new CRM implementations for medium- and large enterprises (our estimate). Players with low momentum (little new customers), players that focus on a niche market, and players that focus on small business offerings were all deselected. Players did not (could not) pay to get listed.
Additional research The Top 100 Research foundation provides objective information about the IT industry. For additional research, such as a tailor-made or longer list, or software selection assistance, please contact our research team.