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Linkedin poll: “Which one of these CRM providers will be the leader in 5 years?”

Published in cloud-computing, crm by Radouane Kharbichi, 3/9/2012 (edited on 11/27/2014 ) 3

Many of you may have voted in the linkedin poll “Which one of these CRM providers will be the leader in 5 years?” sent by Rick Vargas Expert Direct and Database Marketing, CRM / Social CRM, Business Intelligence, Sales Force Automation. So far (7 days left), there has been 14526 votes and Salesforce is a long way in front with 40%, followed by Oracle CRM with 29%, then MS CRM with 25% and a long way behind SAP CRM with 6%. I think that in the next days the ranking will not change that much.

What I found funny is the people comments containing “with no doubt” or “without any doubt”. They probably have not read yet the excellent books from the mathematician and philosopher Nassim Nicholas Taleb “the Black Swan”and the editor in chief of WIRED, Chris Anderson “the Long Tail”. I warmly recommend them, I would say that they bring an interesting analytical framework that is very useful to understand the world around us.

So, to come back to the subject of the poll, for my vote I would not say “without any doubt” as there is always uncertainty in predicting how a market and its actors will evolve in the future. I have been working on SAP CRM for more than 10 years and I think that it is the most powerful CRM solution in an integrated architecture. Nevertheless, I would vote for MS CRM as Microsoft has the biggest desktop software installed base with Office suite, natively integrated with MS CRM, which will probably ensure a huge potential of development for MS CRM and will make Microsoft become the leading CRM vendor.


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by max.favilli - 3/11/2012 alle 12:26 AM
Well, if I look at the past growth of SFDC it was for 90% in the SMB market, yet I don't think they saturated that market, they have plenty of room to grow in the SMB market outside US. While they conquered the SMB market in the past 12 years, the enterprise players felt safe, but now it's clear to me SFDC is playing the same game Gmail played against MS Exchange and Google Apps are playing against MS Office; SFDC is the disruptive technology which gained traction and critical mass from SMB and now is winning and disrupting the enterprise market.
by Radouane Kharbichi - 3/10/2012 alle 2:53 PM
I agree with your analysis Max but how long SFDC will keep its competitive advantage ? It had a fantastic growth these last decade but it does not mean that they will keep their market share on the CRM market in the next 5 years...
by max.favilli - 3/10/2012 alle 1:06 PM
I think there's a little geographical bias in this poll, I guess demographics by continent is biased versus US software vendors. Anyway, I voted SFDC as well, its growth in the last 12 years show a clear focused vision, its selling points are strong (Cloud/PAAS), and it's still playing the underdog in the enterprise market. I think SDFC vs SAP is a perfect example of Clayton M. Christensen "disruptive innovation" vs an established firm. It doesn't matter SAP CRM scope is 100x SFDC, it doesn't matter it's integrated with ERP monopolist (SAP ECC)... But I think SAP is 2nd and there's no 3rd, it's a two player race game in my opinion; MS, Siebel, Netsuite, they just don't have the money, the marketing, the credibility, the weight, SAP has in the enterprise market.