The “Nexus of Forces” may sound like something out of J.J. Abrams’ new Star Trek movie, but it’s a term that market research firm Gartner is using to describe the convergence of social, mobile, cloud computing and information technology. And, according to Gartner vice president Joanne Correia, “CRM is at the eye of the Nexus of Forces Storm.” New research from Gartner shows that CRM is outpacing other enterprise technology verticals. During 2012, the CRM software market share expanded by 12.5%, CRM vendors raked in $18 billion, in revenue as opposed to 2011’s $16 billion.
“Competition among CRM software vendors really heated up in 2012, as major players continued to vie for broader market penetration internationally and more widespread adoption within midsize to large enterprises,” said Correia.
Gartner’s research also shows that Salesforce.com is the reigning monarch of the CRM market, with over $2.5 billion in revenue and 14% of the total CRM market share. They recently deposed SAP, which now boasts 12.9% of the CRM market share and $2.3 billion in revenue.
As CRM vendors like SAP and Salesforce.com look for new ways to edge out competition, it’s fair to expect some large acquisitions going forward. “With corporate cash at all-time highs, many vendors are willing to pay high premiums to acquire specific technologies and expertise in an increasingly dynamic and competitive CRM market environment,” Correia stated.
Many of the new solutions being unveiled by CRM titans revolve around social marketing and listening tools. Salesforce.com, for example, recently launched Social.com, which offers ad tracking, campaign monitoring and analytics to measure the impact of social ads. The increasing emphasis on social CRM makes it fair to surmise that Salesforce.com’s acquisition of Buddy Media, as well as Oracle’s acquisition of Virtue’s social marketing cloud, may just be the beginnings of an arms race for CRM vendors looking to provide their clients with the deepest bag of tricks.
In addition to CRM giants like Salesforce, Oracle and SAP, there have been an influx of new CRMs competing for market share. Some of these new solutions hope to lure in new clients with mobile CRM features. Some of these solutions might make sense for small businesses that have yet to align with a CRM provider, but many enterprises are—understandably—reluctant to abandon the systems that they have already invested in. That’s why RingDNA has set out to make Salesforce.com even more useful to CMOs, CSOs and others in the C-suite that rely on it.