The customer relationship management (CRM) nominations in the 2007 Business Software Satisfaction Awards provide a fascinating glimpse into the generational struggle taking place between established "enterprise" software developers and the new wave of web-hosted applications. John Stokdyk reports
Software as a service, also known on demand software, is the focus of a massive debate between evangelists, sceptics, bloggers and industry analysts about the extent to which SaaS represents the technology industry's next big thing.
The awards' CRM categories include one dedicated to on-demand suppliers, where SaaS purists NetSuite and Salesforce are lined up against Sage CRM, the on-demand offering from a more traditional UK business software house. But the on-demand newcomers also show up in the small business and mid-range CRM categories. Only in the enterprise section do the old ERP guard hold sway, where both industry giants, SAP and Oracle, are up against enterprise CRM specialist Onyx.
"Competition in the CRM section is tough and likely to be highly personal," commented Stuart Launchlan, news and analysis editor of MyCustomer.com.
"Arch-rivals Sage and Salesforce.com lead the nomination field with three each, followed by SAP with two mentions. Relative newcomer Microsoft Dynamics chalks up a nomination in the Small Business CRM category alongside the more established Sage and Salesforce.com. Elsewhere familiar names such as Oracle and Onyx are also in the field alongside newcomers like NetSuite."
After all the hot air expended on the subject over the past few years, the Software Satisfaction Awards 2007 provide solid evidence that web-hosted, on-demand business applications are here to stay and are meeting the needs of their users.
For AccountingWEB members, Sage's strong representation in these sections will be the biggest surprise. Except for its on-demand Sage 50 Accounts Online service, Sage fell short of the podium is most of the financial software categories. As a relatively mature software market, growth opportunities are increasingly limited in the accountancy sector, so the nominations for on-demand CRM (Sage CRM), on-premise CRM (Sage CRM) and small business CRM (ACT!) suggest that the company has made some very astute moves to break into the newer, faster-growing CRM marketplace.
The Business Software Satisfaction Awards 2007 will be presented at an evening ceremony on Tuesday 9 October 2007, at The Brewery in London, EC1. The full list of nominees are (by category, in alphabetical order):
On-demand CRMNetSuiteSage for Sage CRMSalesforce.com
On-premise CRMFront Range SolutionsMaximiser SoftwareSage for Sage CRM
Small Business CRM Microsoft DynamicsSage for Sage ACTSalesforce.com
Mid-Range CRM CDC for Pivotal CRMSalesforce.comSAP
Enterprise CRM OnyxOracleSAP
AccountingWEB 5th September 2007