CRM software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications have made the big leap, claims Forrester Research in a recent report. SaaS CRM offerings "have moved beyond their previous status as a specialised deployment option and into the mainstream," write Forrester analysts William Band and Peter Marston in "Best Practices: The Smart Way To Implement CRM" report.
The analysts back up their assertion with recent Forrester survey data. A late 2007 survey of 1,017 software IT decision-makers at North American and European enterprises found that SaaS adoption is growing at double-digit rates. In addition, nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said they were already using, or were interested in using or piloting, SaaS software solutions. CRM, in particular, was being used by 36 per cent of respondents.
"With more frequent upgrades, faster deployment, lower upfront costs and high acceptance by employee end users," Band and Marston write, "customer demand for CRM SaaS applications shows no signs of slowing down."
For the CRM best practices report, Forrester spoke with 16 CRM professionals at buying companies, professional services providers and software vendors. Included in the list of the buying companies were: bank Citizens Financial Group, credit information supplier Equifax, retailer High 5 Sportswear, IAC Search & Media, known for the Ask and Ask Jeeves sites, conference technology provider Polycom, storage systems provider Seagate Technology, natural home products supplier Shaklee and IT security vendor Symantec.