BI the renaissance of CRM

Australian companies are taking the next step in CRM and leveraging on the intelligence and data that is collected during transactions, according to analysts Frost Sullivan.

In fact, the analysts believe we are now on the verge of a "CRM renaissance".

Moaiyad Hoosenally, industry manager, enterprise communications for Frost Sullivan, said early CRM adopters in telecommunications and banking and finance are now focusing on business intelligence or analytic CRM.

The second wave of CRM adopters, in mid-level companies such as stockbrokers, funds management, life insurance and retail banking, will start deploying CRM in 2002-03.

Frost Sullivan said the Australian CRM market will witness a high uptake of Web site traffic analytics, which will analyse Web traffic logs or real time data captured through embedded HTML code. In the future, as GPS-enabled wireless devices connect to Web sites, geographical maps will also probably be included in standard Web site analytics.

The big bang approach to deployments will also be a thing of the past, with most initiatives incremental in nature. A learning-based approach to implementation and fine-tuning will be adopted.

Frost Sullivan predicts the Australian CRM market will achieve a growth rate of 22.2 per cent in 2002 and reach saturation by 2005.

Hoosenally said that in 2001, the largest investors in the technology were telecommunications and the banking and finance sectors.

"In 2008, investment will be in the healthcare sector including hospitals and clinics, as well as hospitality, retail distribution through loyalty programs and transportation." Compared to other Asia-Pacific countries, Hoosenally said Australia is leading the region, behind Japan. Comparing figures for the rest of the world, Australia is on a par with the US.

Hoosenally said one of the reasons Australia is racing ahead of other Asia-Pacific countries is the focus Australian companies have on consumers.

He said as part of the 'four pillars' of a CRM implementation - vision: thinking about where a company wants to be and how to get there; strategy: having a blueprint on how to become more customer-oriented; technology; and culture: attuning staff to customer service - some Asian Pacific countries lacked customer focus, but Australia does not.

Hoosenally said acquisitions in the CRM sector will become more common.

"The winners will be companies already well established with a large client base. Companies are reluctant to have multiple vendor solutions and when they think about putting in a new solution such as CRM, they often check if one of the vendors they already use can provide the solution."

As a consequence, players such as PeopleSoft, Oracle, Siebel and SAP, are expected to "ride the high wave" on the CRM analytics market in Australia.

Hoosenally said they will continue to acquire companies so they are able to provide all CRM solutions.

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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