META Group, Inc. announced the availability of its newest METAspectrum evaluation for the CRM services market. This market comprises both commercial businesses and non-profit organizations seeking to improve client or constituent relations (loyalty/retention) and/or gain new clients or constituents. CRM services usually include strategy formulation, software selection, software implementation, business process improvement, team/ end-user training and deployment.

"We expect more success in CRM projects through 2004 and a parallel maturation of clients' understanding of CRM. Clients that deferred CRM evolution in the last couple of years will be more inclined to move ahead, resulting in CRM services growth of 10-12 percent in 2003 and 20 percent in 2004," says Michael Doane, vice president with META Group's Professional Services Strategies advisory service. "In the near term, it is up to CRM consulting firms to capture and demonstrate business value through CRM."

Best-in-class IT organizations understand that CRM excellence is not predicated on software implementations alone. Strategy, integration, deployment and value measurement are key issues, and META Group research indicates that companies can have greater success when they tap outside consulting services for these areas. The CRM services market is now in a business-based vendor/project maturity stage, in which value capture and operational economies are at the heart of enlightened CRM endeavors.

This evaluation looks at nine vendors: Accenture, BearingPoint, CGE&Y, Deloitte, EDS, Extraprise, Headstrong, IBM BCS and Inforte. Following are some of the key findings:

  • As CRM consulting services firms mature, the greatest challenge they face is client immaturity, which leads to a higher relative importance of presence criteria (versus performance) as clients seek "known quality."
  • CRM leadership requires an ability to move beyond value measurement and into long-term value capture for clients while still adhering to time and cost limitations.
  • All challengers are strong at software implementation and are gaining in organizational viewpoint.
  • There are no followers in this market – nearly all the firms covered in this METAspectrum have refined their message and methods to leverage field experience and directly address client concerns.

To learn more about the METAspectrum methodology, visit or call (800) 945-META [6382].

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