Management Alert: Microsoft Will Be a Strong Force in the CRM Market

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1 IGG E. Thompson, J. Outlaw Article 5 February 2003 Management Alert: Microsoft Will Be a Strong Force in the CRM Market Microsoft is poised to have a major impact on the customer relationship management (CRM) market. Targeting smaller businesses, Gartner expects Microsoft to emerge as one of the top 10 CRM application vendors by the end of 2003, and become one of the top five CRM vendors by Microsoft is poised to have a major impact on the customer relationship management (CRM) market. Targeting smaller businesses, Gartner expects Microsoft to emerge as one of the top 10 CRM application vendors by the end of 2003, and become one of the top five CRM vendors by Microsoft Business Solutions Division Microsoft purchased Great Plains Software in 2001 and Navision in 2002 to form Microsoft Business Solutions, and has become the fifth-largest enterprise resource planning (ERP) application vendor. The new Microsoft Business Solutions division covers a diverse range of applications and includes the following: Apertum Axapta bcentral FRx Software Great Plains Navision Professional Services Automation Small Business Manager Solomon Software Retail Management System Gartner Entire contents 2003 Gartner, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction of this publication in any form without prior written permission is forbidden. The information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Gartner disclaims all warranties as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of such information. Gartner shall have no liability for errors, omissions or inadequacies in the information contained herein or for interpretations thereof. The reader assumes sole responsibility for the selection of these materials to achieve its intended results. The opinions expressed herein are subject to change without notice.

2 XAL Despite those acquisitions, Microsoft hasn t competed in the CRM application software market. Microsoft s entry into CRM in January 2003, with an application developed in-house, will dramatically change the CRM application software market (see the sidebar, Microsoft s New CRM Product Should Appeal to Small and Midsize Businesses ). Who Will Buy Microsoft s CRM Software in 2003? The CRM software market is heavily biased toward spending by larger businesses (more than 1,000 employees). In 2002, midsize businesses (100 to 999 employees) represented only 17 percent of total spending and small businesses (fewer than 100 employees) only 3 percent. The CRM market for smaller businesses is underpenetrated. Less than 15 percent of Microsoft s U.S. Microsoft Business Solutions customers have a CRM application and less than 10 percent of its European Microsoft Business Solutions customers. Microsoft will start by selling to its Microsoft Business Solutions installed customer base each customer having an average of fewer than 10 seats. Microsoft has declared that it will initially target its CRM product at midsize enterprises with 15 to 150 seats, but that seems ambitious. In 2003, Gartner expects Microsoft to succeed mainly in deals with fewer than 50 seats. What Impact Will Microsoft Have on the CRM Market? To generate license revenue of more than $40 million, only 3 percent of the Microsoft Business Solutions installed base of 4.2 million users would have to buy Microsoft CRM. That would be at an average price, after discount, of $350 (compared with the lowest list price of $395 and the highest at $1,395 per seat). In 2002, the worldwide CRM application software market contracted by about 19 percent, from $3.7 billion to $3 billion, and is forecast by Gartner to remain at $3 billion in With those figures, Microsoft would become a top 10 CRM vendor by year-end 2003 behind Siebel Systems, SAP, Oracle, PeopleSoft, Amdocs, Sage s SalesLogix, SAS Institute, Pegasystems and J.D. Edwards. In 2003, Gartner expects that Microsoft s principal effect will be to increase awareness and spending in small and midsize businesses particularly those with between 10 and 50 CRM seats. That will help to compensate for the decline in the size of the CRM application market, which has been shrinking since In 2003, businesses with between 100 and 999 employees will likely grow fastest in the CRM market. Microsoft will be the fifth-largest CRM application vendor worldwide by year-end 2005 (0.6 probability). In 2003, Microsoft will likely sell to about only 3 percent of its installed base, because of the requirement to run Windows 2000, Active Directory and SQL Server, and because the product will not be released outside the United States until the second half of Where Will Microsoft Target After Midsize Enterprise CRM? Microsoft has a huge installed base of more than 250 million licensed Office users and 180 million Outlook users (of which 100 million are Exchange seats). More than 100 million Outlook and Outlook Express users are engaged in contact management for sales or customer service. If Microsoft were

3 to launch a microbusiness (two to 20 employees) CRM version of Office Professional at a premium of $100 and sold it to 10 percent of these 100 million users, the additional revenue would be more than $1 billion. With Salesforce.com s successful launch of a five-seat version of its software, the demand exists for even smaller companies. By mid-2004, Microsoft will launch a less-than-five-seat CRM version of Office Professional to serve individuals and microbusinesses (0.7 probability). Will Microsoft Target Large Enterprises? In the short term, the answer is No. But Gartner does not believe that Microsoft s ambitions are limited to CRM for small and midsize businesses. Microsoft has already received orders for more than 1,000 seats of its product from several businesses in the United States and that was two months before the launch date in January Microsoft has also been in partnership discussions with field service and e-service application vendors that have solutions suitable only for large enterprises. By 2005, Microsoft will be winning 250 to 500 seat deals, rather than the present target of 15 to 150 seats. Microsoft does not currently have the right sales channels or ERP installed base with which to approach large companies. Consequently, Microsoft s approach will be to partner with Siebel for large enterprise customers, because Siebel will now support.net. The agreement will last for three years, at which point Microsoft will be able to reassess its own potential. By 2006, Microsoft will likely recruit large system integrators and consultants (starting with Avenade) to support Microsoft CRM seat deals of 1,000 and above. Why Will Microsoft Have Such an Impact? Microsoft s high impact on the CRM market will initially be because of its price, depth of integration with Office and Outlook, strong geographical and language support, simplicity of purchase and the degree of channel support. Ultimately, the key to Microsoft s impact will be the degree of success it has with its Navision and Great Plains resellers and value-added resellers (VARs), and also how fast they can learn about selling CRM while adjusting to each new Microsoft release. Microsoft encourages its Navision and Great Plains partners to tailor the Microsoft Business Solutions applications to vertical or local requirements. That will likely also apply to CRM. Microsoft is recruiting new partners for Microsoft Business Solutions from the ranks of resellers with businesses based on other small and midsize business CRM applications and also from the ranks of Microsoft certified partners with experience of selling Exchange, SQL Server and BizTalk. Many of the partners may struggle, but because of their numbers and Microsoft s patience, Gartner expects sufficient numbers of VARs and resellers to succeed. In the longer term 2005 through 2008 Microsoft will have an even greater impact as it acquires more application vendors, including those with CRM applications. Bottom Line Gartner expects Microsoft to have a tremendous impact on the customer relationship management application software market, by becoming a major player and enlarging the market by selling to small and midsize businesses.

4 Microsoft will be the fifth largest CRM application vendor worldwide by year-end 2005 (0.6 probability). Microsoft s New CRM Product Should Appeal to Small and Midsize Businesses On 21 January 2003, Microsoft Business Solutions announced the North American availability of Customer Relationship Management, designed to automate the CRM strategies of small and midsize businesses. The price ranges from $395 per user plus $995 for the standard server (Standard Edition) to $1,295 per user plus $1,990 for both the sales and service servers (Professional Edition). Microsoft plans to release localized versions of Microsoft CRM for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, Asia/Pacific, and Latin America in the second half of Gartner estimates that only 2 percent of small businesses and 20 percent of midsize businesses have adopted CRM. Microsoft s announcement will raise awareness of CRM among small and midsize businesses, and the solution includes the following strengths: CRM applications specifically designed for small and midsize businesses CRM applications based on Microsoft.NET architectures Tight Microsoft Outlook integration Microsoft s reputation for quality software, financial strength and viability Applications with the familiar look and feel of Microsoft Outlook Gartner believes that Microsoft s focus on small and midsize business requirements will propel the software giant into a top 10 CRM application vendor by year-end 2003 and into the top five by yearend 2005 (0.6 probability). However, Microsoft must overcome three major challenges: Direct competition with its independent software vendor customers, such as Best Software, Epicor and Front Range Solutions A steep learning curve for its indirect channel for CRM sales, implementation and support Insufficient CRM functions to fully meet the needs of midsize businesses Gartner does not recommend Microsoft CRM Standard Edition for midsize businesses at this time because it lacks critical CRM functions, including campaign management, workflow and routing, e- mail management, order management, lead routing, sales process management, and support for application integration. However, midsize businesses should consider Professional Edition now if they require: Basic sales functions, including opportunity management and forecasting and customer service functions Ease-of-use with intuitive interfaces

5 Outlook integration Support for about 15 to 150 users Midsize businesses should wait until the second half of 2003 to consider Professional Edition if they require: Tight integration with Microsoft Business Solutions back-office applications, such as Great Plains, Solomon and Navision Industry-specific functions Support for specific sales methods Midsize businesses should wait until the second half of 2004 (Release 2) to consider Professional Edition if they require support for campaign management, customer portals, Web integration, offline support for customer service and marketing functions. Midsize businesses should consider alternatives if they require: Complex CRM functions, such as support for multiple lines of business managed with different processes Support for applications other than Outlook Support for technologies (databases, middleware and clients) other than those from Microsoft Written by Edward Younker, Research Products Analytical sources: Ed Thompson and Joe Outlaw, Gartner Research For related Inside Gartner articles, see: CEO and CIO Update: 2003 CRM Predictions Point to Light at End of Tunnel, 11 December 2002 Management Update: The Outlook for CRM in 2002, 16 January 2002

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