In Gartner's Magic Quadrant for CRM Contact Centers, several companies showed what it takes to be considered a clear leader in the space, while innovation and emerging trends took a nosedive. 

CRM's Magic Quadrant  

In this cycle's magic quadrant for CRM Customer Service Contact Centers, a strong relationship between Web customer service and the contact center was the focus. According to Gartner, the growing complexities between those two components may require the inclusion of one or more of the following areas:

  • Information access: Low interaction complexity and low process complexity become the focus. Basic CRM capabilities are needed for account information, order information and contract details, but there is less emphasis on real-time analytics or offer management. The process supported may not be particularly complex; however, the information must be reliable, readily available and delivered in an easy-to-use graphical user interface (GUI). 
  • Service process optimization: This is an advisory center with low interaction complexity, but high process complexity. It focuses on the efficiency and repeatability of the process. There may be little value in complex analytics or offer management. The goal of the customer experience is focused on process efficiency, rather than profitability.
  • End-to-end industry process experts: These are complex and industry-specific centers which often demand that the customer service representative not be forced into following a specific process for some parts of the interaction, but be forced to follow compliance in others. 
  • Intelligent dialogue/real-time decisioning: The conversations in this contact center require access to richer information about the customer and product or service, as well as sales and marketing goals. These conversations also become more process-intensive and can be driven by business process management (BPM) software, guided by workflow, analytics and predictive features that can be customized based on personalization rules.

Further, Gartner says each of these four areas will be impacted by the need to accommodate social media engagement and interactions, such as Twitter and Facebook, and the need for the interface to be flexible enough to be extended to mobile devices and work-at-home agents.

The Winners

The Magic Quadrant for CRM Customer Service Contact Centers focuses on the business software used by the customer service agent when engaging the customer.


Leaders demonstrate market-defining vision and the ability to execute against that vision through products, services, and demonstrable sales figures. The development team has a clear vision of the implications of business rules, and the impact of social networking on customer service requirements.The vendor does not necessarily drive a customer toward vendor lock-in, but rather provides openness to an ecosystem.


Challengers provide mobile capability to consumers on a global scale. They understand their clients' evolving needs, yet may not lead customers into new functional areas with their strong vision and technology leadership. 


Visionaries have unique ways of delivering products through a heightened sense of innovation and delivery models. With a strong level of potential influence, they anticipate emerging/changing customer service needs and move into the new market space. 

Niche Players

Niche Players offer important products that are unique CSS functionality components or offerings for vertical segments. They may offer complete portfolios, but demonstrate weaknesses in one or more important areas. They could also be regional experts, with little ability to extend globally. They usually are focused on supporting large enterprises, rather than small and midsize businesses.

Added and Dropped

In addition to a big blank Visionaries category, there were no new vendors added to the 2011 roster. Instead, the quadrant lost a few names including Chordiant Software (now a part of Pegasystems), Jacada and Neocase. 

Check out the full report, including the strengths and weaknesses of each vendor, here