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Crm buyers guide_2012


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Crm buyers guide_2012

  1. 1. 2012 CRM Buyers Guide A Comparative Analysis of the Top CRM Vendor SolutionsAn independent and objective examination of the Top 10 CRM software systemsdelivered via the cloud or software as a service (SaaS) deployment.Expert analysis by Vantive Media that delivers a balanced review to business andIT leaders seeking practical and transparent CRM software evaluation.
  2. 2.         Table of Contents Executive Summary ................................................................................ 3  Vantive Assessment ................................................................................ 4  Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 .................................................................. 5  NetSuite CRM+ ....................................................................................... 8  Oracle CRM on Demand ..........................................................................11  RightNow Technologies ...........................................................................14  Sage CRM .............................................................................................17 ......................................................................................20  Salesnet ...............................................................................................23  SAP Business ByDesign ...........................................................................26  SugarCRM .............................................................................................29  Zoho CRM .............................................................................................32  About The Sponsor Vantive Media ............................................................ 35  Additional Analysis, Interim Releases & Reader Comments This CRM Buyers Guide is published annually. Due to document size limitations, this advisory is limited to the primary CRM categories of sales, marketing, service and social CRM. For additional CRM vendor analysis—including categories such as mobile, hosting, technology, integration, customization, deployment, best fit and alternative products—visit the Vendor Directory and explore the deep dive analysis reviews. To view the interim updates between releases and as well as the reader questions and conversations regarding each vendor solution, visit, and join the Discussion.   A Research Report by Vantive Media exclusively for © 2012 Vantive Media LLC, All Rights  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    2    
  3. 3.         Executive Summary The CRM Buyers Guide is designed to help business and IT managers strike a balance between the significant time and effort of a formal software selection project and the speed and benefit of quickly identifying a short-list of CRM solutions most aligned with an organization’s top strategic objectives. Generic CRM software rankings identify market share leaders, but are less helpful in procurement decisions as they provide little to no alignment with any particular company’s objectives or business situation. However, the purchase process can be accelerated if top CRM solutions are broken out by differing key criteria, the examination highlights both positive and negative points, and buyers can self identify with those vendors most tailored to their needs for further examination. By identifying the most strategic differences among top rated CRM products, buyers can down select a manageable group of competing solutions to review in greater depth while balancing the incremental benefits of deeper evaluation with the costs associated to delayed deployment. There is little doubt that the cloud CRM industry is in store for some changes. Industry competition is significantly intensifying, market leaders are no longer matching the growth rates now achieved by challengers and industry stalwarts that previously sat on the sidelines are now fully committing. In fact, while the number of CRM software solutions is increasing, and several vendors are steadily increasing their market share, careful industry review quickly denotes that there are no runaway market leaders and no particular vendor dominates in a majority of evaluation categories. In fact the market is becoming increasingly competitive with a wide array of impressive solutions delivered from start-ups, stalwarts and software giant’s who have finally (sometimes reluctantly) embraced the cloud market. Undeniable market forces, such as social media and social CRM, are creating a new customer relationship paradigm that forward thinking organizations are taking advantage of. They are effectively facilitating the organizational transformations from operating as product centric to customer centric businesses. But make no mistake, companies need to do more than claim they are customer-centric to be rewarded by customers. This is no easy change and requires a revamp of business strategy as well as reorganizing resources, processes and systems. Companies must make customers their focal point and identify measures that deliver the highest value to customers; from the customers’ perspective. While not easy, the upside is immeasurable and businesses that can achieve competitive advantages based on how well they serve their customers will clearly outperform competitors who cling to their inward structures and product focus. Organizations that fail to adopt customer centric business strategies will simply lose market share to those competitors who excel at CRM. The payback from making an informed purchase decision is significant. When done right, these technology systems improve marketing campaign performance, increase sales win rates and boost customer  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    3    
  4. 4.         Vantive Assessment The CRM Software Cloud Market—A Competitive Landscape Positioning     SugarCRM Salesforce Zoho CRM RightNow SageCRM Microsoft SAP ByD Salesnet NetSuite Demand CRM on Oracle CRM+ CRM Vendor Cloud           Public Cloud           Private Cloud           Hybrid Cloud           Social CRM           Quote to Cash           Workflow Engine           PaaS Tools           App Store           Offline Edition           BI & OLAP           SLA           SAS70 & ISO 27001           Price Low High Mid High Low High Mid High Low  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    4    
  5. 5.         Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Despite being a late entrant to the on-demand CRM software market, Microsoft has acquired more CRM customers than any other vendor in its limited period and is using its momentum to alter the market in terms of platform capabilities, ubiquitous deployment and subscription pricing. Dynamics retains 8% CRM market share with a trajectory for continued increase. By 2009 Microsoft Dynamics amassed over 1 million users in just over six years; an accomplishment that took top rivals eight years to achieve. In April 2011, the company announced it has over 27,000 CRM customers making up 1.4 million users. We estimate Dynamics Online has approximately 25,000 subscribers—a low figure but one that is increasing at an accelerated pace. Microsoft’s product strategy is to deliver a complete CRM suite with accompanying platform support in a variety of delivery models and at an aggressive price point. For software-as-a-service (SaaS) CRM, Microsoft has raised the bar by lowering subscription pricing and backing on- demand software delivery with solid Service Level Agreements (SLAs) complete with financial guarantees. The company is clearly on its way to achieving its strategy, but seemingly likes to take the long way. Even with all its resources and might, the company’s innovation in the CRM industry is not impressive. The company lags much smaller competitors in key areas such as user experience, social CRM, mobile CRM, platform as a service (PaaS) and analytics. While Dynamics CRM 2011 is a serious step up and a competitive product, it’s likely that competitors will continue to out- innovate Microsoft leaving the software giant a follower in many CRM growth areas. Or perhaps Microsoft will find the will to lead. Microsoft discovers its best innovation when seriously threatened. Think back to Netscape or Linux or the current threat from Google. Now consider CRM threats from cloud leaders such as and open source pioneers such as SugarCRM. When seriously threatened, Microsoft shows the ability to rally the troops around a clear vision and come out on top. The company now shows that type of motivation for the cloud—primarily with Azure, a cloud platform as a service (PaaS) used to deliver scalable compute, storage and hosting of web applications from Microsoft datacenters. Whether the company’s traction in the cloud will carry over to online CRM solutions and market share growth remains to be seen. Sales Force Automation Sales Force Automation (SFA) is Microsoft’s core competency and the strongest module in the CRM suite. Unique ease of use facilitators include a familiar and contextual Windows ribbon bar for simplified and intuitive navigation, record pinning of key accounts for quick access, a bookmark of favorites, a listing of recent records accessed, simple user personalization, and an Outlook client that reduces the need for staff to switch back and forth from their CRM and their email or groupware programs. Dynamics most recent CRM 2011 release has brought comparable levels of functionality and feature sets with direct rivals such as Oracle CRM on Demand, and SugarCRM. Highlights of the current version which eliminate prior gaps include improved information visualization (extensive use of rich graphics and inline animation), stepped up business intelligence (including customizable dashboards built with SQL Reporting Services and delivering real-time display and drill-down viewing), competitive intelligence analysis (tracking of strengths,  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    5    
  6. 6.         weaknesses, opportunities and threats), and code parity between the on premises and on demand versions. Marketing Software Marketing is the weakest module in the Dynamics CRM suite. It provides basic campaign management, straight-forward integration with SFA and simple reporting. For more advanced lead management requirements—such as digital marketing, lead acquisitions, lead scoring, nurture campaigns and rich marketing analytics—a third party product will be necessary. Fortunately, several Microsoft partners such as Aprimo, Eloqua and Pardot offer integrated lead management and marketing automation solutions at reasonable costs. Customer Service Customer service is advancing with each new version release. Service has also received boosts from MS Unified Communications Manager, which routes calls and displays inbound caller pop-up windows as well as accelerators—freely available add-on solutions—such as eService or the Customer Care Accelerator which aggregates data across disparate applications into a single desktop view for agents. Interesting from a Microsoft perspective, the Customer Care Accelerator and other add-ons are freely delivered as open source software solutions from the CodePlex Open Source Project Community. Unfortunately, support for Accelerator products is a question mark. Dynamics service is best suited for help desk type environments looking for basic asset control and case or ticket tracking. Dynamics should be considered for simple call centers; however, with only basic functionality in areas such as web self service and knowledge management, sophisticated or high volume contact centers will likely find the service solution limited. Social CRM Like many traditional enterprise software publishers who don’t seem to have truly figured out social CRM, Microsoft is much more talk than walk when it comes to taking advantage of social media and social CRM. With CRM version 4, the company released a social networking accelerator to monitor social streams, engage sources and convert social incidents to leads or cases. It was a start, but limited in scope and social network coverage. Further, it appears accelerators do not come with support and have questionable implications during upgrades. For its inherit weaknesses, the social network accelerator provided the beginnings of social listening and follow- up. Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, an updated version of the social network accelerator was not yet available for CRM 2011. It is expected relatively soon, but no dates are provided. Mobile CRM Dynamics Mobile CRM solution is optimized for, and somewhat limited to, the Windows Mobile platform. To support other mobile devices and platforms, such as the popular Android, BlackBerry or iPhone, Microsoft takes a lowest common denominator web browser approach. The user experience for these non-Windows mobile devices is functional but may not satisfy users seeking a more native Android or iPhone experience. Offline Operation To provide SaaS CRM users information when not connected to the Internet, Microsoft uses the Outlook client as an offline edition. The offline Outlook client functionality is made possible by utilizing Outlook, a SQL Express database to store the offline CRM data and IIS on the laptop to render the web pages. The sync process is flexible and permits users to setup local data groups, apply filters and choose which CRM records should be available offline. The synchronize process then updates contact CRM data, tasks and  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    6    
  7. 7.         Dynamics CRM Strengths Dynamics key differentiators include choice (on-demand or on-premise), value (total cost of ownership), productivity (seamless integration with other commonly used desktop programs) and its partner ecosystem. Dynamics customers frequently choose this product for its native Outlook user experience, quick deployment, flexible tools and affordability. Other key advantages include the following:  A top Dynamics CRM strength is its feature rich yet easy to use SFA module. The SFA software optionally operates within an Outlook client and mimics an MS Office environment promoting a consistent look and feel and increasing ease of use for Windows savvy users.  Strong Business Intelligence. Flexible wizard-driven inline visualization workspaces, support for PowerPivot and Excel cubes, time-based queries, and easy to create dashboards empower business users to analyze information without IT support.  Dynamics CRM offers the most flexibility among software delivery alternatives—including on premises, SaaS or partner hosted. The Dynamics online and on-premise versions share the same code base thereby also permitting customers to change delivery models. Further, Dynamics is hosting agnostic, permitting customers to choose among a plethora of hosting providers or bring the software in house.  Dynamics includes robust customization and deep platform software integration tools which collectively increase product flexibility and extensibility while delivering technology efficiencies. Dynamics CRM highly leverages the MS SQL Server stack, including Reporting Services for reports, Analysis Services for data warehousing, Windows Workflow Foundation for business process automation and the .NET framework for integration. SharePoint integration offers a powerful and integrated content management solution. Such top to bottom leverage tends to facilitate straight-forward IT efforts in terms of reducing complexity, time and cost.  A global CRM solution that provides localized functionality in 40 regions, 41 languages and covers all the ‘multi’s’ – such as multiple company, multiple currency, multiple languages and multiple time zones.  With a combination of impressive features sets and the lowest subscription pricing among all short listed CRM vendors, Dynamics offers the best value proposition in the market. Dynamics CRM Weaknesses  Microsoft’s mobile CRM strategy is to support all devices which can render HTML pages. This lowest common denominator approach provides wide support, but fails to take advantage of the unique strengths of any particular device.  The marketing and customer service modules are improving however do not keep pace with the SFA module. Fortunately for Microsoft, with the exception of Oracle CRM on Demand and RightNow, most competitors also do not possess impressive marketing and customer support functions.  Microsoft also offers four market leading accounting and enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications—Dynamics AX, NAV, GP and SL. While front to back office integration is powerful in delivering company-wide visibility of the customer relationship, such vision has been hampered. None of the ERP systems are native cloud applications and integration among Microsoft’s ERP and CRM software systems is available, however, has always been clunky and unnecessarily complex.  Microsoft does not provide Dynamics Online coverage for several prominent countries, such as Argentina, China and Taiwan.  Dynamics CRM does not provide ubiquitous browser support. CRM only runs on Internet Explorer 7, 8 or 9, with Windows XP or later.  The company does not provide sandbox environments for testing or  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    7    
  8. 8.         NetSuite CRM+ NetSuites product portfolio includes NetSuite (accounting, ERP and CRM suite), NetSuite OneWorld (multi-company financial consolidation), NetSuite CRM+ and various platform products such as NS-BOS (a platform as a service development framework). The NetSuite CRM+ suite includes the traditional CRM pillars of sales, marketing and service, as well as extended software functionality for sales order processing, incentive management, project tracking and partner relationship management (PRM). NetSuite’s CRM+ is available as a standalone front office suite or as part of NetSuite’s integrated e-commerce, accounting and ERP solution. Sales Force Automation The core tenants of Sales Force Automation—account, contact and opportunity management— cover the basics and are largely undifferentiated from SaaS CRM competitors in terms of feature sets or flexibility. Where NetSuite does begin to break out from the pack is with capabilities such as up-sell and cross-sell, quoting, sales order processing and commissions. These capabilities tap into NetSuite’s back office accounting and ERP software to provide benefits that cannot be matched by CRM-only solutions. Back office integration also contributes to one of the most cited objectives for Customer Relationship Management—the 360 degree view of the customer relationship. When CRM is integrated with ERP, sales reps view of the customer relationship grows dramatically to include payment terms, credit limits, available credit, outstanding receivables, purchase history as well as visibility to transactions such as sales orders, invoices, returns, credits and payments. NetSuite delivers very strong order to cash process functionality within the context of the CRM solution. Sale opportunities can be extended to quotes, which can be extended into sale orders. Back office staff then convert sale orders to invoices. The entire process is seamless, automated and gives the sales rep complete visibility throughout the order fulfillment stages so that he or she can close deals, set customer expectations, or take action to avoid disappointing customers. Customer purchase history can be mined in order to provide highly relevant up-sell and cross-sell promotions. Partner Relationship Management (PRM) is tightly integrated to SFA. PRM accommodates joint campaigns, lead distribution and registration, sales forecasting, sales order processing, and partner commissions and royalties. Partners are empowered to submit their own sales orders and the brand owner can automate partner commissions based on the same parameters as employee commissions, including calculating commission based on sales, quantity, inventory, profitability, inventory total profit, and more. Marketing Management Marketing is too often the weakest of modules with cloud CRM solutions, and NetSuite is no exception. NetSuite Marketing is largely a tracking function that provides little in the way of automation. It supports the setup of traditional campaigns, attributes leads by source, distributes leads based on rules, tracks status and resolution of marketing derived leads, and delivers basic campaign reporting. Three marketing functions that are worth mention are NetSuite’s ability to base campaigns on customer purchase history for up-selling and cross-selling, its ability to leverage expense data and revenues to calculate ROI for campaigns, and its keyword/PPC (pay per click) tracking. For this last item, NetSuite campaigns can be integrated with Google adwords to track paid  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    8    
  9. 9.         campaigns at the keyword level in order to measure leads, conversion rates, conversion costs, customers, revenue and payback by keyword and search engine. Customer Service The customer service module delivers the customary case management functionality of incident creation, assignment, escalation and closure. Continuing NetSuite’s core strength of back office integration, customer service representatives (CSRs) can investigate order fulfillment issues, escalate customer cases to non-customer facing staff such as warehouse or accounting personnel and use the customers purchase history to improve up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. Service escalation rules can be configured to make sure that most valued customers receive prioritized support. Service also tracks time so managers can understand how CSRs are apportioning their time. CSRs have access to a basic knowledgebase and customers can access a self service portal which permits case creation, existing case status and visibility to customer transactions such as sales order status, shipment tracking or returns processing. For simple call centers or help desks, service includes basic routing and computer telephony integration (CTI) with inbound screen pops. More sophisticated contact centers requiring multiple channel support and advanced contact center functionality such as unified communications, hosted automated call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), call routing based on workflow rules, call recording and interaction tracking and various other tools essential for contact center operations will likely not find this service suite adequate. Social CRM NetSuite continues to find its way with social media tools. So far the company’s social strategy has been to integrate with third parties. NetSuite created SuiteSocial, a tool that works with Yammer and permits users to subscribe to activity streams occurring within NetSuite. For example, a user can subscribe to a customer, contact, opportunity or other record, and when those records are updated, the updates will display on the user’s personal landing page. This solution is of course a replica of’s Chatter, but at this early stage lacks some capabilities such as filtering streams in order to separate the ambient noise from the critical updates. The SuiteSocial solution also doesn’t do anything to engage prospects and customers who regularly communicate on social networks, thereby missing the potential of social CRM (SCRM) and failing to contribute to an overarching social strategy objective. Business Intelligence NetSuite has strengths and weaknesses when it comes to business intelligence (BI) and analytics. The dashboards are best in class. They are very configurable, role-based and permit drill-down for more investigative analysis. The packaged reports are middle of the road. There are plenty of canned reports and like most systems, customers will likely use a few and ignore the rest. The company offers a custom report writer. It works for the basics however falls short in terms of creating reports beyond simple column displays, such as cross-tab or multi-dimensional reporting. NetSuite does not offer data warehousing or OLAP (online analytical processing), which is unfortunate as this last form of information analysis is by far the most helpful in terms of interrogating and modeling volumes of data as well as developing predictive analytics. Online third party ecosystems are a critical success factor for business apps cloud or SaaS players. NetSuite’s is an evolving marketplace of cloud products, development tools and services to help NetSuite customers simply and quickly extend their solution and investment. It doesn’t yet have the momentum of competitors such as or Microsoft Dynamics, but it clearly gaining  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    9    
  10. 10.         NetSuite Strengths  NetSuite’s tight ERP integration delivers a comprehensive 360 degree view of customer data and interactions, including visibility into financial transactions. Giving sales or support staff visibility to quotes, orders, invoices, credits, credit limits and outstanding receivables separates NetSuite from the CRM-only software crowd.  NetSuite’s order to cash process is second to none in the SaaS industry. The order fulfillment processes are feature rich and extend throughout the front office CRM suite. This is particularly helpful for sales teams engaged in order processing as well as making sure orders get delivered correctly and timely.  While the majority of NetSuite’s vertical market solutions are largely re-configurations of the horizontal product, NetSuite’s acquisition of OpenAir in 2007 gives it a very strong leg up in the highly competitive professional services market. This solution is uniquely strong and should be considered by IT consultants, legal and accounting firms, government contractors and other professional services workers.  The NetSuite OneWorld product provides global business management and financial consolidation to mid-sized companies with multinational and multi-subsidiary operations. This solution can be configured to manage multiple subsidiaries, business units and legal entities from a single NetSuite account and handle the issues such as varying currencies, languages, tax jurisdictions and global financial reporting requirements. From a CRM perspective, parent organizations can consolidate or view multi-entity customers, quotas, forecasts, revenues, campaigns and cases.  While still a small company, NetSuite is driven by talented management, is fiscally sound and is growing. Continued execution will make this company a midmarket global player. NetSuite Weaknesses  A rather bland user interface doesn’t engage users and contributes to a reputation that does not include ease of use.  NetSuite’s offline edition is weak and in need of an upgrade.  The system incurs high customer support costs. Charging additional recurring fees of 22.5% to 37.5% for users who need to email or speak with help desk representatives is significantly higher than competitor cloud systems.  NetSuite gets very mixed reviews in customer service. Customer churn has gotten better, but remains an issue. Moving customer support to Manila incurred quality issues and it’s unclear if these have been resolved. NetSuite’s evolution from small business to middle market, and now to enterprise, has necessitated the publisher to leave smaller, less profitable or unprofitable customers behind. However, retiring those customers in an amicable fashion has not been easy.  An area of frequent customer frustration is NetSuite’s pricing and licensing structure. The number of product add-ons which require additional fees, and knowing when add-ons are required, is less than straightforward.  NetSuite’s emphasis on enterprise-wide software and broad end to end business processes dilutes product depth, particularly in CRM. The product does not possess the same level of feature sets and deep functionality as many competing CRM solutions. In fact, NetSuite often declines to participate in “CRM only” sale opportunities choosing instead to focus on deals which involve the complete enterprise-wide  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    10    
  11. 11.         Oracle CRM on Demand With nearly 5 million users and over 5,000 customers in 145 countries using 27 language sets, Oracle makes its claim as the top CRM software provider. Of course that top position claim is also made by rival SAP. However, despite their competing claims they both recognize the days of CRM software mega-purchases are in decline, the enterprise software market is largely saturated and they must advance to new markets and new revenue streams to keep their growth plans alive. To continue growth and find new competitive differentiation, Oracle is using its Sun acquisition to deliver tightly integrated and optimized hardware and software products as well as continuing to expand its vertical market solutions and its applications business with the long awaited Oracle Fusion Applications—all of which offer the flexibility to run on-premises, on-demand or both. When it comes to software as a service CRM, the market has watched Oracle exhibit a near schizophrenic position regarding the validity and opportunity for software as a service (SaaS) in the business software marketplace. In fact even after inheriting the Siebel on Demand solution as part of the 2005 Siebel Systems acquisition, the SaaS product languished with no major upgrades for 18 months. Nonetheless, despite some initial reservations, Oracle has made up lost time, secured market share and advanced their Oracle CRM on Demand solution to earn a competitive leadership position in the cloud marketplace. Sales Force Automation CRM on Demand’s sales capabilities are fairly traditional when it comes to account, contact and opportunity management as well as administrative functions such as calendar and task management. Forecasting does deliver somewhat advanced functionality in that multiple simultaneous forecasts can be created using up to four different forecast types across products and services. However, where the sales force automation software delivers unique value is with its sales coaching, closed loop lead management and embedded analytics. The Sales Process Coach is a simple tool to embed process support and even best practices at the point of execution. At any point in the sales cycle, the application can present relevant information, enforce the collection of salient data, or automatically create activities for a member of the sales team. The coaching tool permits sales managers to improve process consistency, replicate the activities of top performers and deliver virtual sales-stage specific coaching. Quota management is another effective sales management tool. Sales managers can design quotas with real time performance visibility to keep sales pros focused on their personal goals. Quotas can be defined as monthly, quarterly, or yearly goals and managers can prorate quotas for sales pros joining a plan already in progress. Quota performance visibility includes plan progress to date compared to closed revenue, expected revenue, and forecasted revenue. Partner Relationship Management (PRM) is a natural extension to SFA for businesses with indirect sales channels. The Partner Portal supports key PRM features such as unique themes and layouts for different partner types, a Solutions repository for content sharing, a tabulation of training and certifications, deal registration and an approval process for special pricing requests. The co-op or MDF (Marketing Development Funds) financial management permits brand owners to budget and approve funds for partners. Based upon configured business rules, partners may draw down those funds pursuant to automated requests or an approval process. Partners may then submit claims with proof-of-performance to be reimbursed for approved expenditures. Brand owners have the ability to control approvals at each step in the process. Lead management functionality permits brand owners to route leads to internal sales reps, channel reps or partners. Leads routed to partners can be sent to a named user, an entire  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    11    
  12. 12.         organization, or a lead pool consisting of multiple partners that claim leads on a first-come, first- served basis. Brand owners can monitor distributed leads for follow-up actions or reassign if no action takes place. Once leads are qualified, partners can convert them to registered deals. Marketing Software Marketing is a key strength for Oracle CRM on Demand. As published in separate Vantive Media advisories, with the exception of RightNow Technologies, most SaaS CRM suites give little credence to marketing automation making this the weakest component among CRM suites. Oracle has elevated the marketing function to keep pace with sales and service as well as outpace the rest of the cloud CRM competitors in this category. Release 18 delivered advanced lead management and integrated sales and marketing not found in other on demand CRM suites. In fact for SaaS CRM competitors to achieve comparable lead acquisition and management capabilities requires a third party product such as Aprimo, Eloqua, Marketo or Pardot. In reality, these third party lead management solutions may exceed Oracle’s standard marketing capabilities in some areas so customers must determine just how much marketing automation is right for them. Oracle’s lead management stems from its 2010 Market2Lead acquisition and includes tools for landing pages and microsites, digital prospect tracking, progressive profiling, lead scoring, email marketing, nurture campaigns, automated distribution of sales-ready leads to the sales team and marketing analytics. With a single vendor SFA and lead management solution customers achieve cost savings, tighter integration, a unified revenue pipeline and a single data repository for sales and marketing reporting. Customer Service Service accommodates incident resolution with traditional case or ticket management functionality. Flexible assignment rules route service requests to designated agents who can then use scripts or knowledge base access to retrieve solutions. Incident escalations can be flexibly configured using the workflow tool. The knowledge base uses search and a solution scoring feature to rank relevance among multiple answers and help ensure the most useful responses gravitate to the top for future inquiries. Service pros can add their own solutions to the knowledge base in order to expand the breadth and depth of the repository over time. Service includes customer satisfaction surveys to monitor customers’ service experience and ensure that managers receive early warnings to take corrective actions when necessary. Social CRM Oracle has diverse social CRM tools but developing a holistic social strategy and equipping its various CRM products with social tools is a slow process. CRM on Demand social CRM capabilities include contact integration with social network streams such as Facebook or LinkedIn through feeds and RSS subscriptions. This is useful for sales pros that want to keep current with the online activities of their prospects. The company has released Fusion social apps as well as apps that run on its enterprise social networking platform. Separate from the CRM On Demand solution for now, these apps are purpose-built to help salespeople within a company collaborate and close deals based on shared information. For example, Oracle Sales Prospector searches reams of sales-data and purchase-history information to guide sales pros to the most likely prospects for a product or service. It informs salespeople with a graphical view on those potential deals most likely to close within specific time frames, and estimates the likelihood to close, time to close, and the expected revenue. It’s an impressive component, but not part of the CRM on Demand suite. Comparatively speaking, the CRM on Demand product lags other SaaS CRM solutions in the social  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    12    
  13. 13.         Oracle CRM on Demand Strengths  Oracle is the first SaaS CRM player to embed sophisticated marketing and lead management automation, including landing pages, digital tracking, lead scoring, progressive profiling, nurture campaigns and distribution of sales ready leads. Campaign automation permits marketers to schedule multiple-channel, lights-out campaigns using a visual business process design tool.  Similar to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Oracle On Demand uses Microsoft Outlook or a mobile device as an offline client to accommodate sales staff who are not in the office or without Internet connectivity.  CRM on Demand delivers the best Business Intelligence (BI) suite in the SaaS CRM industry. Dashboards are configurable and offer drill down for investigative analysis. In addition to role-based dashboards there are industry editions, such as Insurance and Life Sciences, as well as Partner Relationship Management (PRM). The Answers on Demand ad-hoc analysis tool provides users with a solution for creating custom reports, and includes capabilities such as interactive charts and pivot tables. But where Oracle CRM on Demand leaves the competition behind is with its data warehousing and OLAP (online analytical processing). Volumes of data can be reviewed among many dimensions, manipulated and analyzed in real time for learning and insight that just isn’t going to be derived from packaged reports.  Oracle offers choices when it comes to hosting its CRM on demand product. Customers can take the default multi-tenant option or can elect an upgrade to a single-tenant option for an increase in price. Further choices among multiple single-tenant versions give customers flexibility to determine planned maintenance windows and software upgrades in order to minimize risk and business interruption.  CRM on Demand offers the best enterprise information security in the cloud CRM industry. Nearly all cloud CRM solutions employ reasonable security for data in motion, most notably using the maximum level of SSL encryption permitted by the user’s browser or geographical location. However, Oracle leverages its database roots in order to add security layers to data at rest—and permits encryption down to specified columns and rows or an entire table space. Oracle’s hosting IT infrastructure—including its security governance, people, processes and tools—is one of the most impressive we’ve reviewed. These added levels of security will be appreciated by security and data privacy conscience organizations and industries such as financial services, government and public sector.  Oracle on Demand offers a compelling total cost of ownership (TCO). Its subscription cost is one of the lowest in the on demand CRM industry. Oracle CRM on Demand Weaknesses  The user interface (UI) and user experience doesn’t compete favorably with SaaS CRM competitors who have more creatively embraced consumer technologies. While the UI is efficient and satisfactory, it’s far from engaging.  The On Demand product lags competitors in social CRM capabilities.  The Oracle CRM on Demand business partner channel is small and it lacks a mature ecosystem of third party plug-in solutions. While Oracle is steadily growing their indirect partner channel, it remains a fraction of what competitors offer to the marketplace.  Mobile solutions are good, however, support limited devices. The Mobile Sales Assistant operates on RIM Blackberry and iPhone, while the Mobile Sales Forecast only operates on the iPhone.  Certain functions (i.e. Email Marketing) only support the IE browser while others support only IE and Firefox  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    13    
  14. 14.         RightNow Technologies Founded in 1997 and headquartered in Bozeman, Montana, RightNow Technologies (NASDAQ: RNOW) is the maker of SaaS CRM and customer experience solutions. The company aspires to help organizations deliver great customer experiences, and in fact, lives by a compelling mantra to rid the world of bad experiences one consumer interaction at a time, 8 million times a day. RightNow is recognized as a CRM manufacturer who practices what it preaches. The company pioneered the concept of a Customer Success Indicator (CSI) in order to measure customer utilization and then advance and optimize each customers usage and value from their CRM software investment. Interestingly, the company is gravitating away from the ‘CRM’ moniker in favor of ‘customer experience solutions’. It’s an interesting tact driven by the company’s CEO and supported by a line of impressive products which run along a continuum from CRM software (including its traditional pillars of sales force automation, marketing and service) to social CRM tools to customer experience management (CEM). Whether this messaging is designed as a positioning statement to find unique ground in a crowded market or marks an authentic product evolution and positions them to become a new category leader is not totally clear. However, what is apparent is that while much of the industry at large would like to evolve to a new moniker, for the good or bad, the customer marketplace takes comfort with the CRM acronym, the growing $14 billion CRM industry is not a bad place to be and RightNow continues to play a direct and significant role. Sales Force Automation CRM software suites are often born from either sales force automation (SFA) or customer service—and that origin application becomes the manufacturer’s hallmark —with other modules arriving later and without the same strength and competitiveness. RightNow was born from customer service and that aspect of its software is clearly its core competency. RightNow has a varying history with SFA software. The company developed an SFA system with mixed results. After failing to gain traction, the company acquired Boston-based SaaS SFA company Salesnet in May 2006 for $9 million in order to bolster its SFA capabilities. However, a change in product strategy that deemphasized sales in favor of customer support ultimately jettisoned Salesnet to become an independent operating unit—headquartered far from Bozeman in the Atlanta area. Today, Salesnet and RightNow are separate entities with separate applications that are not integrated. Each company stands on its own and targets its slice of the CRM software market. RightNow Sales Automation (SA) is an SFA-like product that accommodates basic account/ contact/activity/opportunity management and delivers standard reporting such as pipelines and forecasts. Not surprisingly, Sales Automation is closely linked with the contact center. While the basics of SFA are covered, RightNow is not known for its SFA software, and in fact rarely pursues software opportunities where SFA is a driver. The RightNow CX application is better positioned where SFA is a component of a larger customer service or customer experience engagement. Contact Center Experience As the software name suggests, the Contact Center Experience is a case driven application designed to consistently deliver superior customer experiences across phone and multi-channel interactions. However, the Contact Center Experience is not your typical case driven customer support application. Sure, it’s designed to record, track, escalate and resolve customer issues, and as importantly to increase agent productivity, lower costs, and drive revenue through  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    14    
  15. 15.         and cross-sell opportunities. But while the tactics and mission resemble competitor products and address management objectives, the methods and tools are much more unique. Multi-channel support is more than simply creating an incident record from differing channel sources. Prospects and customers use varying channels and even cross channels mid-stream— and agents must be able to sync these records, view them in a holistic fashion and leverage all available information to provide accurate responses. RightNow is particularly strong in its core capability to assemble all customer interactions in a unified thread to ensure a consistent cross- channel customer experience. With a comprehensive customer view, the RightNow technology aids agents with a SmartGuide troubleshooting tool, SmartAssistant keyword searching, decision-tree style scripts, a rich knowledgebase, customizable workflow processes and contextual menus and forms. Also, scripts and guided agent solutions are not just for resolving customer issues, but can be dynamically applied to facilitate up-selling and cross-selling. RightNow’s Computer Telephony Integration (CTI) and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) tools are among the best in the contact center software industry—and are tightly integrated with the Dynamic Agent Desktop. The Communications Enabled Desktop offers packaged integration to popular call center tools (such as Avaya, Cisco, Genesys, Interactive Intelligence) for desktop call control, screen pops, and multi-channel queuing and routing. Social CRM RightNow brands their social CRM solutions under the Social Experience product banner. Social Experience consists of social monitoring and online communities. The RightNow Cloud Monitor scans social networks and online channels to identify conversations about your company or its products taking place on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, your RightNow online community, and other RSS feeds from the blogosphere, so you can listen, join the conversation and engage customers. Sometimes called social listening, the Cloud Monitor permits brand owners to discover where their prospects and customers are talking about them—and what they’re saying. With this information, businesses can learn from customer sentiment and then respond intelligently. Social monitoring is also helpful for voice of the customer (VOC) programs. The social web spurs many conversations that can help or harm your brand. Only when you know of these conversations can you influence the outcomes. RightNow online communities consist of Support Communities and Innovation Communities. Support Community is an online peer-to-peer community tool to help customers help each other. The Support Community includes important functions such as a reputation engine to reward customer participation and expertise, Q&A pairs, moderation intervention, escalation rules and single sign on. Integration points with RightNows Agent Desktop and Customer Portal, and syndicated widgets, contribute to a smooth transition across channels. Innovation Community harnesses the ideas of your most vocal, loyal and opinionated customers into organized ideation and innovation processes. Customers are both knowledgeable and critical about the products and services they buy and use. Channeling their enthusiasm and opinions in a jointly constructive manner can help you prioritize and refine ideas, improve your products, identify new products or business opportunities, guide your product roadmap and maybe lead you to the next breakthrough product—all while reducing R&D time and cost. The missing social component for RightNow is an internal collaboration platform that brings together social streams in a secure, private  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    15    
  16. 16.         RightNow Strengths  RightNow is a market leader for B2C and B2B companies seeking customer service and support CRM applications. The company’s products excel in multi-channel support, case management, knowledge management and overall customer experience management.  Strong social and collaborative tools permit businesses to create customer and partner communities, promote user to user engagement, attain information from social networks and social streams, and configure mash-ups to merge data from multiple sources.  The dynamic agent desktop steps agents through tasks and customer interactions to deliver guided assistance through a series of progressively more detailed questions and answers which systemically direct agents to the most appropriate resolutions in the shortest time. If resources become exhausted, very flexible escalation and routing rules aid seamless transitions to successive tiers of support. When complete, satisfaction surveys can conclude the process automation, or flag an incident believed to be closed as dissatisfied and escalate the issue as appropriate.  Despite a weak sales force automation (SFA) function, the marketing software is impressive with deep functionality and notable predictive analytics.  The Natural Language Search gained from the Q-go acquisition offers a unique best-in- class semantic search technology. The natural language search applies algorithms against industry specific linguistic dictionaries and local language sets to decipher query intent and return more relevant responses.  The application offers unique voice enablement capabilities. A suite of voice-enabled CRM products include a voice interface to knowledge base, incident management, locator, status applications, password reset, survey, and one number routing. This has particular value for government and public sector section 508 disabilities compliance.  Multi-national companies concerned with global online performance (i.e. latency, jitter, packet loss, etc.) or data at rest location may find advantages as RightNow hosts its CRM software from five data centers in four countries and three continents. From a performance standpoint alone, customers in areas such as Australia and New Zealand suggest data center location is influential in their decision making. RightNow Weaknesses  An uneven CRM software suite. Sales force automation (SFA) is not nearly as strong as service.  No offline client is available to access the application or at least limited data while disconnected from the Web.  No third party ecosystem or online marketplace of integrated third party products.  A smart/fat client technology and heavy client side downloads are not conducive to thin client, browser-based, software maintenance-free computing.  RightNow’s messaging to throw CRM under the bus does a disservice to the industry and customers. Citing high CRM software failure rates and trying to carve out a new category confuses the market. Yes, CRM software failure rates have been historically high and they’re not coming down fast enough or far enough, but they are coming down and the CRM industry is a growing $14 billion industry in large part because of the immense value it providers in building customer  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    16    
  17. 17.         Sage CRM Sage CRM is used by over 10,000 organizations and 3.1 million users in 70 countries in both on- demand and on-premise deployments, making it a strong contender in the small and midsize business CRM market. Sage Group, with its broad portfolio of CRM, ERP and business software products, retains over 6.3 million customers worldwide. Sales Force Automation The SFA user interface is comprehensive without being intimidating. It’s a classic browser-based interface with tabs across the header, navigation menus with images down the left margin and good use of flexible panels to display key metrics such as account lists, opportunities, tasks or calendar appointments. The dashboard panels are better than many CRM competitors—they are customizable by user, display a mix of table and chart views, permit in-panel navigation (such as searching, page sequencing or taking record actions) and most permit drill-down to view expanded data sets. The UI clearly maximizes ease of use and minimizes user learning curves. Unfortunately, there is a functional gap between the CRM on-demand and on-premise editions. The Sage CRM on-demand Advanced Edition is missing useful feature sets such as the interactive dashboards, keyword search, customer self service, importing and exporting from Excel, and user administrative management capabilities such as user password policies, field level scripts, table scripts, and the component manager used for adding new entities. The CRM on-demand Standard Edition is further missing the marketing and customer service modules—limiting this edition to contact management and standalone departmental use. Customers can grow from the Standard Edition to the Advanced Edition when they are ready to achieve cross-departmental or organizational CRM objectives such a 360 degree customer view. As Sage is one of the top two SMB accounting and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software vendors, it’s no surprise that its CRM software offers advantages in sharing back-office data with customer facing staff. Both the on-premise and on-demand software versions support quotes and sale orders with integration to product management. The On-Premise CRM edition displays additional customer information such as orders, invoices and receivable agings as well as inventory information. Unfortunately, these back-office data points are not delivered with the On- Demand CRM software. Marketing Software As is common in the SaaS CRM software industry, the Sage CRM marketing software is light. It includes basic campaign management functionality such as campaign profiles with various attribute information, simple budgeting, customer segmentation, list management and target list generation, dynamic and static group management, broadcast email distributions, mail merging, document drop capabilities, outbound call handling and basic campaign reporting. The release of Sage CRM version 7.1 in June 2010 upped the marketing capabilities, to include enhanced email marketing, such as email campaigns with a new 3 step marketing wizard, new web forms for collect reader feedback, over 90 email templates to draw from, advanced scheduling of email distributions and a results tab for displaying email delivery metrics such as emails opened, clicked-through and bounced. The marketing software is largely a campaign tracking function that provides little in the way of marketing process automation. The marketing application is missing some fundamental functionality such as PPC (Pay Per Click) integration and flexible lead  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    17    
  18. 18.         Customer Service The customer support software provides customary case management functionality of incident creation, assignment, escalation and closure. Case listings display incident severity along with a color coded indicator signifying conformance or risk of non-compliance with service level agreements. The case management process is streamlined for heads down data entry efficiency, permits flexible escalation rules and includes a keyword-based knowledge base for search and resolution assistance. A customer self-service portal is available for incident creation, status monitoring and access to pre-defined content. For simple call centers or help desks, the On Premise edition includes basic routing and computer telephony integration (CTI) with inbound screen pops. More sophisticated contact centers requiring multiple channel support and advanced contact center functionality such as unified communications, automated call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), call routing based on workflow rules, call recording and interaction tracking and various other tools routinely used in contact center operations will likely not find this customer support software adequate. Social CRM The Sage CRM dashboards include a panel to retrieve LinkedIn contact information for prospects or customers. Sage uses simple social feeds to display social content such as contact information from Twitter and LinkedIn profiles embedded in an I-Frame. More advanced social CRM tools such as social monitoring, peer to peer online communities, internal or private social networks and flexible social networks integration are not available with Sage CRM. SageCRM versus Sage SalesLogix Sales prospects continue to have some difficulty in deciphering the target market and product differences between SageCRM and Sage SalesLogix, and determining which product is better suited for their needs. Both products address an overlapping small and midsize business (SMB) customer market and are available on premise or in the cloud, so identifying more specific criterion are necessary. is a more globally friendly CRM solution. It’s offered in more languages and outsells SalesLogix on a global basis. It’s also more cloud friendly, with a multi-tenant architecture, native thin client delivery and an underlying develop environment using multiple web languages including Java/JavaScript. SageCRM possesses a smaller functional footprint than SalesLogix, and therefore often caters to the smaller half of the SMB market, while SalesLogix steps up to accommodate larger middle market businesses. SageCRM is also positioned as part of an integrated suite which includes Sages ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) products. In fact, SageCRM offers packaged integration with Accpac ERP, Sage MAS90 ERP, MAS200 ERP, Sage 100 (France), Sage 1000 (UK), Classic Line (Germany) and Office Line (Germany). For Sage customers with these ERP software solutions, SageCRM should be the first CRM system to review. SalesLogix is the North America flagship product and outsells Sage CRM in the U.S.—Sage’s largest market. SalesLogix typically targets middle market customers with 50 to 500 user seats, and is also a popular choice for divisions of enterprise companies. The product is known for deeper functionality, more configuration options and is more readily adaptable to software customization. While SalesLogix CRM integration to back office ERP software products can be accommodated, it is not delivered with the same near seamless bundling as is SageCRM. SalesLogix can be delivered in the software as a service model, as a single-tenant CRM application hosted on the Amazon EC2 public cloud. However, SalesLogix is more ‘cloud-enabled’ than cloud native. SalesLogix is better suited for companies seeking best of breed CRM functionality without needed integration to back office Sage ERP  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    18    
  19. 19.         Sage CRM Strengths  Sage Group plc is a strong and viable company with a 30 year track record, making it a relatively safe buy.  is a low cost, low risk and quick to deploy CRM solution.  The SageCRM user interface is easy to learn and easy to use. Information and feeds from within Sage CRM, other websites and integrated Sage ERP systems can be displayed in real-time in a single workspace or through dashboards.  Sage CRM offers choice in both hosted and on-premise deployment models. Because both deployment models use the same CRM code set, customers can also migrate from one delivery option to the other.  Packaged integration between and Sage ERP products enables cross- departmental and end to end business process support. This is particularly helpful for sales reps and CRM staff that generate quotes, take sale orders or require access to back- office customer or financial information.  The Solo offline synchronization solution works well for users who travel or reside in locations with sketchy Internet connections. With Solo, the user can download their database, work offline, and synchronize with their updates when they re- establish Web connectivity.  The product suite includes a useful Workflow Management function, however, only the On-Premise CRM edition grants the more powerful workflow functions such as the ability to run escalation rules, SQL statement executions, stored procedure actions, custom scripts or workflow previews. Without these capabilities in the On-Demand CRM editions, workflow is very limited. Sage CRM Weaknesses  Narrow feature sets, particularly in the marketing and customer support software modules, limit the CRM application to small and midsize businesses.  A lack of social CRM tools will hinder companies looking to leverage social monitors and engage prospects and customers in social networks and other online social channels.  The Sage CRM brand is not well marketed and is not a strong brand—particularly in the U.S. This may result in Sage CRM continuing to fall behind cloud CRM competitors such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Oracle CRM on Demand, and SugarCRM.  A single data center location in Dublin inherits risk of downtime. Most SaaS CRM vendors operate multiple, live production data centers in parallel, with active/active data exchange between them for real-time fail-over in the event of disaster or business interruption.  Sage mobile CRM takes a lowest common denominator approach which only delivers HTML and JavaScript to the users web browser. This facilitates usage across mobile devices, however, fails to take advantage of any particular mobile operating system or device. This approach may be helpful to IT shops wanting to support multiple mobile devices for their staff, however, will likely result in push back from users who have become accustomed to the native user experiences provided by their Blackberrys, iPhones and  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    19    
  20. 20. is both the pioneer and poster child for the SaaS CRM movement. Founded in 1999 in a small San Francisco apartment, the company has become the category leader that other on-demand CRM providers seek to challenge. Because of its current size, it no longer leads the industry in terms of revenue growth, however, in absolute terms of SaaS revenues, customer acquisitions and user subscriptions the company is the clear market share leader. has steadily been transitioning from a best of breed sales force automation (SFA) software as a service (SaaS) provider to an application development platform as a service (PaaS) company. The cloud company leads the combined SaaS and PaaS markets with a consolidated offering that includes a SaaS CRM application, an online storefront (AppExchange) of integrated third party applications and a suite of platform development tools and technologies. The company has markedly been successful in both strategy and execution for over a decade. Sales Cloud This cloud most notably includes the sales force automation (SFA) module—the company’s namesake solution which was its first product introduction and continues to represent the highest revenue contribution. SFA functionality is not materially different than other SaaS CRM products. In fact, in many areas it has fewer feature sets than several competitors. However, what makes this solution competitive and gives it differentiation in a crowded market is its simple and rewarding user experience. The application user interface (UI) is uncomplicated, intuitive and leverages consumer technologies. This is an innovative UI that was designed to satisfy users, and not data management goals. Several CRM competitors are steadily mimicking the user experience in their own CRM applications, however, nobody has matched the original at this point. Sales includes traditional account/contact/activity/opportunity management along with basic marketing campaign management. Unfortunately, marketing is limited to basic subsets of SFA. Marketing includes simple campaign capabilities such as account segmentation, target list generation, lead source tracking and packaged reports. marketing is competitively weak in the SaaS CRM industry. To achieve lead management or marketing software capabilities such as digital prospect tracking, lead scoring, progressive profiling, nurture campaigns or rich marketing analytics requires a separate product acquisition. Many customers revert to third party marketing automation software products from vendors such as Aprimo, Eloqua, Marketo or Pardot. Sales Cloud also includes basic Partner Relationship Management (PRM). This application sync’s communication between brand owners and indirect channels and gives brand management performance visibility into both direct and indirect channels. PRM includes routine process support for lead distribution, deal registration, content sharing, partner attribute data tracking and partner portals. Unfortunately, more advanced PRM functions such as partner capacity planning, lead routing based on partner scoring, approval processing for special pricing requests, automated partner approved discount thresholds, co-op or MDF (Marketing Development Funds) financial management, partner reimbursement for approved expenditures, configure/price/quote (CPQ), partner sales order processing and the like are not available. While PRM delivers process consistency, automation and information in largest part for brand owners, actual implementation is a double edged sword. Delivering PRM through the cloud removes the need for partners of varying sophistication and resources to deploy hardware, software and staffing simply to communicate with their brand providers. Nonetheless, getting partners to actually use the brand owners PRM system, particularly when they already have  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    20    
  21. 21.         own CRM system, is a significant cultural challenge that often trumps good intentions. PRM is therefore ideally suited for partners who already use Service Cloud As the growth of online SFA has slowed, looks to customer service as the next billion dollar opportunity. This cloud focuses on customer service delivery, is designed around traditional case management processes and includes key support features such as live chat, knowledge base, customer portal, online communities and industry-best social tools. The Service Cloud allows agents to answer questions on a company’s Facebook page as well as convert Facebook wall posts and comments into cases within Service Cloud. The same functionality exists for Twitter and allows agents to create cases and share knowledge from Tweets and conversations. Service Cloud 3 allows companies to embed the Social Agent into their web site for live chat between agents and customers. Service Cloud best fits B2B (Business to Business) contact centers seeking to reduce labor intensive human services with more diversified—and more timely and less expensive—channels such as customer self service, online communities, public knowledge-bases and crowdsourcing. Social tools such as Chatter, Ideas, Answers and social network integration provide new methods and channels for engagement between agents and customers. The soon to be included Radian6 will add additional value in social monitoring and give uplift in more automated social customer engagement over more channels. Service contracts and entitlement capabilities can align customers with designated levels of service. However, this functionality will generally fall short for inventory-carrying organizations whose service contracts must specify product SKUs or who require serial and lot tracking, product registration, warranty management or service level agreements. Social CRM continues to demonstrate innovation with its social media and social CRM releases.’s approach to social media is to embed tools and capabilities within its platform and application software. The result is that social is both synergistic and indistinguishable from the core applications. Making social integral to core systems, as opposed to linking or integrating to third party social products, delivers a more seamless user experience and avoids the risk of layered complexity. Chatter was released in June 2010 as a real-time internal collaboration platform that brings together people and data in a secure, private social environment. Rather than making people search for data and documents, information is proactively fed to them via a real-time activity stream. Users can subscribe to follow important sale opportunities, top customer accounts, open support cases and other coworkers to receive broadcast updates as they occur. Users can form groups and post messages on each others profiles to collaborate on projects and even subscribe to Twitter and Facebook feeds to track comments about the company or a prospect. Ideas is an online community application that allows members to submit, discuss and promote ideas and empowers the community organizer with the frequently cited but seldom achieved wisdom of the crowds. Participants can comment, share, rank and vote on ideas. What Ideas lacks in collaboration and functionality when compared to standalone ideation tools, it makes up in integrating the experience with the rest of the CRM suite. This is useful tool for companies which seek to harvest user generated content for innovation and other  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    21    
  22. 22. Strengths  The company is a proven innovator. This strength alone separates from much of its competition and provides increased payback for customers.  promotes a vibrant user community. The company uses its own Ideas solution to solicit community input, actively monitors social networks and provides online venues for customers to make themselves heard. Too often CRM companies don’t actually practice the Customer Relationship Management they speak of; however, clearly walks the walk.  The user interface maximizes consumer technologies to deliver a simple and rewarding user experience. This has delivered a profound effect in achieving user adoption.  The company’s combination of, PaaS tools and AppExchange lead the SaaS CRM industry in terms of cloud integration, software customization and third party extensibility.  The Visual Process Manager creates workflows and approvals to deliver greater control over routine activities, eliminate redundant tasks, automate approvals, and encourage widespread adherence to your business processes. This is a useful tool to reduce manual activities and improve process consistency. Weaknesses  As continues its transition from a CRM company to a platform company, several CRM competitors have superseded Salesforce’s CRM features, functions and capabilities.  marketing is competitively weak in the SaaS CRM industry. To achieve lead management or marketing capabilities such as digital prospect tracking, lead scoring, progressive profiling, nurture campaigns and rich marketing analytics requires a separate product acquisition. Many customers turn to third party marketing automation software products from vendors such as Aprimo, Eloqua, Marketo or Pardot. Salesforce has haphazardly tried to position Radian6 as the basis for a Marketing Cloud, but such positioning is not credible and satisfies few or none of the previously listed lead management or marketing automation requirements.  is also without sophisticated business intelligence (BI). Customers seeking data warehousing, data mining, online analytical processing (OLAP) or predictive analytics will be required to procure third party solutions from AppExchange or elsewhere.  When reviewing features to features its apparent that is the highest priced product in the SaaS CRM industry.  becomes less competitive when looking beyond CRM as a point solution. For companies seeking broader business software suites, including back office accounting or ERP systems, the inconsistency and relatively shallow integrations delivered with third party AppExchange vendors do not stand up well to single vendor solutions from competitors such as NetSuite and SAP Business ByDesign.  Surprisingly, generally doesn’t provide a Service Level Agreement (SLA) unless the customer requests and negotiates it. Even then, the SLAs are inconsistent from customer to customer and fall below uptime guarantees of primary SaaS CRM competitors.  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    22    
  23. 23.         Salesnet Salesnet is a RightNow Technologies (Nasdaq: RNOW) independent operating unit and provider of cloud CRM software solutions for small and midsize businesses. Founded in 1997, and beginning production operations in 1999, Salesnet was one of the original SaaS CRM pioneers that has since taken an unconventional company evolution. In May 2006, Salesnet was acquired by RightNow Technologies for $9 million in an effort to shore up RightNows sales force automation offering. However, a waning interest in the B2B market and a steady change in product strategy by RightNow that de-emphasized SFA in favor of customer support and customer experience jettisoned Salesnet in September 2008 to become an independent operating unit—headquartered far from Bozeman, Montana in the Atlanta area. Salesnet was transitioned to a new joint venture to be managed by a prior Salesnet partner, SFA Strategies. The partner turned publisher had been a Salesnet VAR since 2003, and was clearly one of the most credible and largest distribution partners for the former Salesnet. Since the change in management, the new Salesnet continues to stand out for delivering powerful sales force automation software but has also placed new emphasis on an enhanced user interface (UI) and improved user experience. Combined with additional upgrades delivered in the most recent release, such as enhanced analytics, workflow improvements and a revamped Outlook integration, the company is better positioning its solution for more mature sales users and organizations—that is customers who are looking to go deep within sales and marketing as opposed to staying broad across a wider software suite. Sales Force Automation Sales force automation is the single greatest core competency of Salesnet. The SFA product is feature rich and designed to facilitate and enhance effective sales processes and best practices. Salesnet SFA strikes a good balance between ease of use and a wide suite of features, and in turn is clearly one of the more well received SFA applications by sales people. A Keep It Simple approach enables good configuration selection while at the same time permits much of the unused functionality for a particular customer to remain out of sight, and consequently out of mind. The Process Builder workflow automation tool is particularly strong for ensuring consistent sales processes are applied to each account and sale opportunity. This tool is also quite flexible and allows administrators or sales managers to define different processes for different sales reps or mix processes based on the sale opportunity. Process Builder also allows managers to grant usage based on workflows specific to each position, team or user. Applying best practices and consistent sales processes to every sale opportunity is often the single greatest method sales staff and sales managers can do to increase the sales win rate. Salesnets strong facilitation in this area makes it a clear SFA leader. On the downside, win/loss analysis is light and competitive analysis is missing. The only other functional component missing in the SFA software is the ability to create quotes. The sales reporting is more deep than broad but covers all the basics and provides good pipeline and forecast reporting. A unique and helpful feature that we dont see in other CRM systems is the Report Snapshots—which record point in time snapshots of your subtotal report outputs and make the comparison to prior periods or historical data a whole lot easier. In fact, the comparisons viewing can contrast two report snapshots in a color-coded comparison report to gain an easy visual perspective on how your sales pipeline is  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    23    
  24. 24.         Offline access to CRM information is achieved with an offline client. This permits users to access and update their CRM records while offline and then synchronize to the central system when Internet connectivity is re-established. Users have full flexibility to add, edit, and delete accounts, contacts, opportunities (including opportunity steps), notes, appointments and tasks. The offline client uses a lightweight MSDE database; however, a scheduled upgrade plans to convert to the SQL compact/express database. This next version upgrade also plans to encrypt the CRM data on the laptop or mobile device. Marketing Software Like most SaaS CRM marketing software modules, the marketing application revolves around campaign management with campaign profiles including user-defined attributes, target list generation with account segmentation, broadcast email distributions, mail merging and basic campaign reporting. Simple budgeting and actual cost data provide the basis for campaign level financial performance and ROI calculations while response rates and conversion factors deliver campaign effectiveness reporting. Campaign list generation can be applied to leads, contacts or opportunity record sets. Email documents may be created from templates and a rich text HTML editor within the application. For compliance with the CAN-SPAM act, users can create unsubscribe forms for opt-out responses. The Salesnet XDC (eXternal Data Capture) can be used as a flexible web-to-lead form to automatically transfer website inquiries into the leads database. This tool also permits configurable lead routing, client redirection and assignment options. Campaign generated leads can be maintained in a queue and assigned to sales reps via round robin or other sequencing. The marketing software is missing some fundamental functionality such as PPC (Pay Per Click) or Adwords integration and email response metrics such as open, click and bounce rates. Salesnet Pricing The Salesnet CRM product is bundled in two editions—Standard and Enterprise. The Salesnet Standard edition is priced at $30.00 per user per month. This bundle includes the flagship sales force automation product along with most tools, including the Process Builder, Outlook integration, dashboards, reporting and more. Software feature sets not included in the Standard Edition, but offered in the Enterprise Edition, can be individually purchased with the Standard Edition if desired. The Salesnet Enterprise edition is priced at $70.00 per user per month, and offers additional feature sets such as the leads database, marketing software, offline client, mobile CRM, external forms to capture and insert records and the API. The Enterprise edition also includes telephone  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    24    
  25. 25.         Salesnet CRM Strengths  An easy to use sales force automation (SFA) system with impressive business process automation, mobile CRM support and reporting.  A feature rich CRM system capable of supporting business requirements of middle market companies.  Business process automation is uniquely strong in Salesnet. The Sales Process Workflow System is perhaps the most impressive workflow design tool among SaaS CRM solutions. Its also distinctive enough that its backed by its own patent. Workflow processes can be created by non-technical staff using a simple structure of steps and activities. This is a powerful tool for both tailoring and automating business processes in order to achieve improved consistency, reduced cycle times and better staff productivity.  Mobile CRM permits users to access their sales and marketing data regardless of location. Salesnet mobile CRM helps remote staff manage leads, accounts, contacts, opportunities, appointments and tasks using their smart phone with any standards-compliant browser.  Offline access to CRM information is achieved with an offline client. This permits users to access and update their CRM records while offline and then synchronize to the central system when Internet connectivity is re-established. Users have full flexibility to add, edit, and delete accounts, contacts, opportunities (including opportunity steps), notes, appointments and tasks.  A quick to deploy CRM software system.  A unique alternative when your CRM requirements go beyond data management and focus on business process automation.  A flexible CRM software company, willing and able to accommodate customer requests and deliver packaged or custom professional services. Salesnet CRM Weaknesses  A lack of social CRM and social media tools.  No support for quotes or sale order processing.  No customer service module.  No data center hosting service level agreement (SLA).  Salesnet faces significant competition from large and mature CRM software technology companies such as, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Oracle and SugarCRM. Carving out the unique space or niche markets where it will surpass these competitors remains a work in  The 2012 CRM Software Buyers Guide    25