The following is an excerpt of Dennis Pombriant’s analysis of CRM in the latest Aberdeen Group Perspective: After years of being labeled as a solution that didn’t quite work, solid evidence from a variety of quarters is painting a very different story about e-business and customer relationship management.

Over the last few years, CRM – both its vendors and the solution set – drew significant heat from the industry’s self-appointed CRM gurus for lacking evidence of benefits, which has usually meant ROI (return on investment). Although they were generally sincere, many pundits failed to cover their bets with primary research, preferring instead to recycle each other’s hand- wringing opinions about how many CRM implementations would likely fail. Now, the evidence is rolling in and it tells a very different story. In May 2003, BusinessWeek magazine and others published special sections on e-business, CRM and related topics. And Aberdeen has published the first comprehensive study of a large CRM client base. Documented in each case is the wisdom one should acquire in Business 101 – you can’t build a $15 billion industry out of something that doesn’t deliver value.

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