The Best of the Best in CRM Vendors

By Geoffrey James

Which CRM vendors are the best? It’s a popular question, but one that’s not easily answered. The arguments over the relative merits of the different approaches of the multitude of CRM vendors are endless, which is why it’s sometimes a good idea to see what the king of CRM consulting has to say about the subject. Every year Barton Goldenberg, founder and president of ISM, announces the top CRM software vendors in two major categories: Enterprise and SMB. The ISM software lab rates each package according to 217 selection criteria including 110 business functions, 49 technical features, 36 implementation capabilities, 5 real time criteria and 17 user-support features. Goldenberg then releases the winners in alphabetical order.

This year the ISM Top 15 CRM Enterprise winners are:

  1. Amdocs CRM v. 6 from Amdocs Limited
  2. Pivotal CRM Suite v. 5.7 from CDC Software
  3. C2 CRM v. 7.08.08 from Clear Technologies, Inc.
  4. Firstwave CRM 2005 from Firstwave Technologies, Inc.
  5. CMS 9.0/ONCV 5.1.2 from Oncontact Software Corporation
  6. Onyx Customer Management from Onyx Software Corporation
  7. ExSellence 4.9 from Optima Technologies, Inc.
  8. PeopleSoft CRM from Oracle/PeopleSoft, Inc.
  9. mySAP CRM 4.0 from SAP AG
  10. Saratoga CRM 6.5 from Saratoga Systems, Inc.
  11. Siebel 7.8 from Siebel Systems, Inc. (now part of Oracle)
  12. growBusiness Solutions v. 3.0 from Software Innovation ASA
  13. SSA CRM from SSA Global
  14. Tibco Process RM v. 9.0 from Tibco
  15. marketing.manager 7.0 from update software AG

This year the ISM Top 16 CRM SMB winners are:

  1. Ardexus MODE v. 5.0 from Ardexus, Inc.
  2. Powertrak v. 7.1 from Axonom, Inc.
  3. C2 CRM v. 7.08.08 from Clear Technologies, Inc.
  4. Goldmine v. 7.0 & HEAT v. 8.37 from FrontRange Solutions, Inc.
  5. Salesplace CRM for Lotus Notes & BlackBerry 2005.3.2 from Interchange Solutions
  6. Maximizer Enterprise 9.0 from Maximizer Software Inc.
  7. NetCRM v. 10.6 & NetSuite v. 10.6 from NetSuite, Inc.
  8. CMS 9.0/ONCV 5.1.2 from Oncontact Software Corporation
  9. Relavis v. 6.5.1 from Relavis Corporation
  10. RightNow CRM v. 7.5 from RightNow Technologies, Inc.
  11. Sage CRM 100/200 v. 5.8 from Sage Software
  12. Sage CRM SalesLogix v. 6.2.3 from Sage Software
  13. from the eponymous
  14. SalesPage v. 4.7 from SalesPage Technologies, LLC
  15. Siebel CRM OnDemand v. 9.0 from Siebel Systems, Inc.
  16. StayinFront CRM v. 9.3 from StayinFront, Inc.

In addition to naming the winners, Goldenberg identifies two major issues facing CRM vendors:

1. Meeting the demands of a new generation of users. Vendors are placing increased emphasis on self-service and Web-enabled CRM packages that appeal to customers who are more willing to use the Internet to interface with their suppliers. To leverage this trend, CRM vendors are moving their architecture from client/server and partial Web-enabled solutions to fully architected Web-based applications.

2. Addressing the needs of SMB users. AMR Research (a firm that tracks global IT trends) predicts the SMB market will reach $44.1 billion in CRM sales within the next nine years, and consequently, the SMB market has become increasingly attractive to CRM software vendors, according to Goldenberg. He sees vendors making changes to their technology and marketing approach in order to address the unique needs of this sector.