The451 believes a strong market opportunity is emerging for customer relationship management (CRM) analytics software – an emerging market that will see rapid technology development, acquisition and consolidation over the next 18-24 months. These findings are outlined in a 451 Special Report – “CRM Analytics: Have the BI vendors missed the boat?” – which is being released today by the451, an analysis firm covering the business of emerging information technologies.

There is significant, unmet enterprise demand for marketing analytics software. Enterprises need software that is robust but user-friendly, that doesn't require a PhD in statistics to operate and that can derive both ROI and higher-level business value from existing investments in CRM software suites. Four vendor segments – business intelligence (BI) vendors, application suite vendors, marketing automation vendors and pure-play analytics companies – are competing to own this emerging market; however, none of the more than 30 companies reviewed by the451 for this report are quite there yet. This report provides clear recommendations for vendors on what steps they must take to seize this market opportunity.

"Despite previous user disappointments, there is still great interest in CRM," write the451's analysts in the report. "Analytics allow the CRM investment to be maximized. As user spending slowly moves away from a near-100 percent focus on cost control and back toward revenue generation, then suddenly analytics can look like a very attractive investment."

The451 has found that vendors of BI software, which were potentially in the best position to deliver these CRM analytics capabilities to their customers, have largely failed to meet this emerging market demand.

"They seem to have thrown away the opportunity in CRM analytics," the report continues. "The BI vendors have tended to pay only lip service to analytics for so long. Most only support CRM analytics at a high level – typically customers must create finer-grain models and metrics using standardized templates for marketing analytics. Key lessons to be learned by the BI vendors are that they must focus on developing CRM analytics capabilities, must develop applications and not tools, must provide much greater ease of use and must look at acquiring leading sector pure plays." Vendors of application suites, meanwhile, have a strong opportunity to capitalize on this marketplace gap through focused product-suite enhancement and technology acquisition.

Further driving demand, the passage of recent privacy and accountability legislation in the United States means that CRM analytics may not be optional for larger enterprises in the future. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act mandates higher- order scrutiny of enterprise spending, particularly marketing and sales activities that might be considered "off-books" transactions. Do-not-call lists and HIPAA will have a similar impact. CRM analytics are tools that enterprises can use to effectively manage compliance with government rules, while also driving both revenue and profitability growth.

To learn more about this report, or to discuss developing a client relationship with the451, contact Simon Carruthers via phone at 212-505-3030 x- 103.

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