Despite the challenges of the downturn, large and medium-sized companies will continue to implement CRM initiatives.
A recent survey by Dataquest Inc. (a unit of Gartner, Inc.), reveals that large and medium sized companies will continue through 2002 to implement big-name CRM suites using top-tier consulting and system integration companies In fact, some 65% of respondents plan to have CRM initiatives deployed in their companies by then.
Top tier dominate
Dataquest senior analyst Debashish Sinha predicts that, given their position among the top and upper mid-market companies, the top-tier consulting and system integration companies are in the best position claim leadership in the CRM services market. According to Sinha, "After 2003, based on continued growth in their customer relationships, they will effectively own the CRM services space."
Share the load
One of the major challenges when implementing CRM is a lack of coordination between different departments. This, together with the fact that that CRM initiatives are becoming more complex and often need to be introduced in stages, involving the ongoing management of several individual projects with a common strategy, suggests that it may be sensible to consider using Tier 2 service providers (for example, systems integrators) for the smaller projects. This would not only be less expensive, but the smaller companies involved may have a more focused approach to the business process issues, and more domain-specific skills and software relationships.
That would leave the top-tier providers to focus on overseeing the convergence of the client's business and IT strategy, to help develop the standards for the CRM solution, and to implement its core components and manage its coordination.
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