In the first part of this examination of Forrester’s Wave: CRM Suites for Large Organizations, Q3 2012 earlier this week we saw that organizations are struggling to define a CRM strategy for their organization. Even still, the CRM market is one with seven companies making it into the Leaders section.

Those "Leaders," if they don’t have a clearly defined CRM strategy, do have clearly marked roadmaps. They include: Oracle Siebel CRM, SAP CRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM,, Oracle CRM On Demand, RightNow and Pegasystems.


Before taking a peek at the Leaders, let’s examine what Forrester looked for in assessing the vendors that made it into the Wave. The three main areas that were considered:

  • Current Offering: Global capabilities and reach, adoption to specific industries, data management and analytics ability as well as usability.
  • Strategy: Product strategy and vision and how the vendors differentiate themselves in the market.
  • Market Presence: The vendor’s customer and user base in the large organizations market and the resources available to develop the product in the market.

All vendors (identified below) that made it into the Wave were able to demonstrate the following attributes:

  1. Multifunctional CRM applications suite: All of the above had a minimum of three of the following functionality areas: marketing, sales force automation, customer service, field service, partner channel management, e-commerce, customer analytics and customer data management.
  2. Offers solution for complex needs: Suitable for large organizations with complex requirements, including scalability on a global basis, end-to-end business processes and the ability to integrate into complex legacy environments.
  3. Offers a solution suitable for midsize organizations: Some vendors also offer solutions that are for smaller departments, lower TCO, easier deployment and out-of-the-box functionality.
  4. Provides a solution targeted to multiple industries: Offers solutions that can work in a diverse range of industries and business models.

In all, 17 vendors and their products were included in the overall assessment:

Forrester Wave_ CRM Q3 2012.jpg

By looking for these criteria, Forrester says it uncovered a market where:

  1. SaaS solutions are really beginning to gain traction, especially those from Microsoft, Oracle, and The Sage CRM products have also been redesigned to include on-demand offerings. Forrester says that the attraction in the SaaS space is the low upfront costs, flexibility and usability.
  2. While Oracle has expanded its portfolio, the complexity has increased. Along with its established products, Oracle also introduced Oracle Fusion CRM in early 2012, bought into adjacent spaces like ATG’s e-commerce platform, and business intelligence through Endeca. This has left customers confused about product road maps, and concerned over the level of investment in each solution.
  3. SAP CRM has substantially increased its user base. The company is now reporting 7.5 million users with in the B2B, SAP ERP installed base. This, Forrester says, is the result of continued investment in its CRM solution by SAP, whose usability has improved dramatically with the investment.
  4. Pega CRM, Sword Ciboodle and CDC’s Pivotal CRM benefit from increased BPM interest. Many companies are finding that CRM will not resolve all their problems, but need process-centric, rules-based, more dynamic solutions, that can provide processes across enterprise silos. These companies have made a market out of this.

Forrester Wave Leaders

So who made it into the Leaders section of the wave? In alphabetical order they are:

1. Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Forrester says Dynamics CRM offers value combined with strong usability. Its user base has been growing quickly and offers users on-premises, on-demand or partner-hosted deployments. It has strong functionality around sales management, marketing, business intelligence and customer data management capabilities, and is built with a familiar Outlook UI look and feel. Offers strong support for mobile CRM and supports organizations across international boundaries. Dynamics CRM appeals to organizations that have made a commitment to a Microsoft infrastructure.

2. Oracle CRM On Demand

The primary target for Oracle CRM On Demand is customers that are already committed to Oracle technology. Its goal is to provide well developed business responsiveness with a combination of industry-specific solutions, business intelligence, and prebuilt integration with other Oracle products. Demand offers great financial value compared with traditional on-premises CRM. Oracle also knows where it wants to take this with a very strong roadmap within the Oracle environment.

3. Oracle Siebel CRM

Supports one of the largest user-bases in the market. Users are also sticking with Siebel CRM with 79 percent of them upgrading or looking to upgrade to v8. It offers considerable functionality in marketing, customer data management and business intelligence among others and also offers support for a global deployment in multiple languages. Offers both on-premises and SaaS solutions and has a clear, strong map for future enhancements. However, buyers view Siebel CRM as expensive compared with other solutions.

4. Pegasystems

Pegasystems offers process-centric CRM that aims to tame unruly business processes. Its customers use it to deal with customer-facing problems in large, complex organizations. It has invested heavily in social and mobile, and unified its predictive and adaptive analytics to offer a unique CRM experience. It also offers strong marketing, sales and business intelligence functionality as well as strong business process and workflow functionality. However, it falls short in field service, partner channel management, and e-commerce.

5. RightNow

If you don’t know by now, RightNow is part of Oracle’s cloud portfolio. Forrester says that its SaaS model has resulted in a very satisfied customer base built around strong usability elements and an application that works across countries and languages. At a functionality level it offers marketing and business intelligence, but falls short in partner channel management, customer data management, e-commerce and field service.

6. Salesforce

Salesforce aims to enable the development of social enterprise and facilitate interactions between customers and organizations. It offers easy usability and is built for sales, and partner and channel management functionality. It also has a strong customer and service capabilities. However, its industry-specific process capabilities are not well developed except in select sectors. It has a strong roadmap and has also made a number of acquisitions to improve the platform over the past two years. It is best suited for businesses that are looking for an easy-to-use, rapidly deployable and well-proven sales functionality.


SAP CRM has turned its focus to improving the customer experience. It has a comprehensive portfolio with operation, interaction and decision-making abilities. It has one of the largest user-bases (currently 7.5 million) built around a strong functionality set in sales, partner channel management, platform and architecture. Usability has been improved in recent years. It has also been investing in e-commerce solutions to run in parallel to its CRM solution. Has a clearly defined roadmap, but is also seen as expensive.

Again, and just to underline it, these are only the Leaders, and again, Forrester recommends taking a look at all 17 companies that appear in the Wave. If you’re interested in finding out more on this, you can get a copy of the full report at Pegasystems resources center.