The worldwide customer relationship management services sector is set for healthy growth in 2002 with revenues projected to reach $25.3 billion, a 15 percent increase from last year, reports Dataquest Inc., a Stamford, Connecticut-based research firm and a unit of Gartner Inc. Among the areas primed for expansion are business process management, including contact center outsourcing in support of CRM systems, and information technology management services. Those components will help keep the market robust, leading to $47 billion in revenues by 2006, Dataquest says.

Companies, meanwhile, will turn their focus from operational and tactical CRM to analytics and business intelligence, notes Debashish Sinha, principal analyst for Gartner Dataquest's IT Services program.

"The CRM services market will become increasingly challenging for most service providers, and continued success will depend on the vendors' ability to look beyond implementation services and focus on developing CRM strategy and architectures that map with specific process expectations," Sinha says. "Developing a total solution will continue to be a key requirement."

Small- to mid-size businesses, meanwhile, are set to expand faster than the broader market as large enterprises pause to re-evaluate their CRM strategies, Dataquest says. Contributing to the wider acceptance of enterprise CRM systems, especially by the upper mid-market, will be integrated enterprise architectures, new delivery models and an overall reduction in price points for application software, Dataquest adds.

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