Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Mobile CRM makes its move asks if "2006 be the year that mobile CRM finally takes off?" The article states "Gartner expects continued strong annual growth in mobile CRM -- predicting sales of around 40% to 60% for the next two to three years."

William Clark at Gartner noted that "sales force automation (SFA) is one area that has long been a natural focus for mobile CRM and field service automation are others." Clark said, "Field service management is getting a greater push, because it's simply more lucrative. I've seen annualized ROIs of 100% to 500%."

The article notes that "mobile CRM isn't cheap." Gartner estimated that "wireless field service, for example, costs about $4,500 per user for the first year, including hardware, network costs and software." According to Clark, "some of the current key players in wireless CRM are MDSI, @Road, Sybase, IBM, Syclo, Vettro, Antennae Software, Dexterra,, SAP, Oracle and Siebel."

Eugene Signorini at Yankee Group observed "More of the innovation is occurring with the mobile software players rather than with the large CRM players. Some of these larger ISVs [independent software vendors] don't have the capability in terms of an application design for various form factors and devices."

The article looks at some of the "other technical problems to overcome, including making the CRM application accessible over non-broadband, wireless networks and addressing security issues such as providing VPN clients, virus protection and methods for securing the device if it's lost." Signorini commented that "Vendors are solving these problems, though. We're seeing a lot of activity out there."

Whether or not 2006 is the year mobile CRM finally takes off, both "Signorini and Clark see it as a market with plenty of healthy growth ahead." Clark concluded, "Even in industries where mobile is hot, like field service, the penetration rate is well under 15%. So over the next five to 10 years, there's really no end in sight to the growth."