Upheaval in the CRM Services Market

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1 Markets, J. Kirkby Research Note 24 October 2002 Upheaval in the CRM Services Market The customer relationship management services market is in upheaval: Competitive changes will strongly influence trends. Clients should heed market developments when choosing service providers. Core Topic Customer Relationship Management: Creating Business Value for CRM Key Issues How can enterprises control the investments and quantify the benefits of CRM? Which employee behaviors and organizational changes will best enable enterprises to capitalize on CRM? Strategic Planning Assumption Through 2004, more than 75 percent of CRM initiatives will involve an ESP (0.8 probability). Buffeted by the economy and unrealistic client expectations over benefits, the customer relationship management (CRM) services market is going through a period of great change. Success in CRM needs a value-based business strategy supported by relevant skills and infrastructure, of which technology is a major part (see "Key Issues for Customer Relationship Management Strategy," K ). Technology is now a critical element of strategy and competitive advantage and "one stop shop" CRM services are emerging to provide the range of business and technical skills required in a CRM implementation from vision to continuous operation (see "Segmenting the Market for CRM Services," M ). In this climate, major changes in the competitive landscape, such as the acquisition of PwC Consulting (PwCC) by IBM, along with smaller acquisitions, such as KPMG Consulting (United Kingdom and the Netherlands) by Atos Origin, will have directional influences on market trends, as these new enterprises shape themselves to support clients in the next evolution of CRM. Such an evolution will require more skills in knowledge management and planning to cope with an uncertain environment. In addition, higher levels of customer service, organizational integration and collaboration will be interwoven with a much greater depth of industry-specific knowledge to understand and gain the different degrees of value that CRM has to offer. The acquisition of PwCC by IBM is particularly likely to have a strong influence on the direction of the CRM services market. PwCC has been at the forefront of developing visionary CRM services and solutions for the past three years although changes in leadership and other difficulties have diluted this momentum in the past 12 months. IBM took its focus off CRM in 1999, in favor of an e-business strategy. However, it has been Gartner Entire contents 2002 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 reviving its CRM solutions during the past year. IBM's technical background and e-business experience means it has strong capabilities to help build the enterprisewide infrastructure and develop the innovative technologies needed outside those normally considered for CRM for creating better customer relationships. PwCC's CRM experience brings wider business transformation skills and greater, specific industry knowledge to the union. Together, they have relationships with a high proportion of the world's leading enterprises. However, there are still gaps in their combined CRM skills and experience, which competitors will exploit, particularly when it comes to some aspects of operational CRM strategy, and business initiatives and programs. Although many new trends can be seen already in the market, this merger of skills at IBM is likely to focus their development to a much greater extent. Some of the major trends and directional influences of this merger are likely to be: Continued Shift to One-Stop Shop Services: Success in CRM means understanding its value and evolving new business practices that are supported by cross functional capabilities. Individual external services providers (ESPs) have realized this and have been developing one-stop shop CRM services over the past 18 months. These cover areas as different as: CRM strategy, metrics and analysis, change management, business process design, technology integration, application management and hosting services, and infrastructure outsourcing. For many ESPs, this means going into new skills areas outside their core competencies. The drivers for this are attaining better CRM benefits for clients and building stronger client relationships across and up the enterprise the two being interrelated. Creating deeper relationships, to become a preferred supplier, means that ESPs know the client's business better. They can, hopefully, demonstrate better value and they don't have to keep chasing the next project. A key reason for IBM's acquisition of PwCC was the ability to provide one-stop shop and business transformation services. Action: Enterprises should evaluate one-stop shops in terms of the level and depth of skill and competence compared to inhouse resources. They should also look at the benefits and issues of a preferred supplier relationship in relation to their culture and the task in hand. Rise in Provider Collaboration: The result of the move to onestop shops will be an increase in vendors involved in CRM software and services from both business and IT competency areas collaborating through alliances, joint ventures and partnerships. Two reasons for this are: 24 October

3 1. The range of skills needed across a large number of different industries prohibits even the largest one-stop shop from having all the necessary resources. Therefore, the ESPs are likely to form relationships and spawn joint ventures with other enterprises that can supply the depth of skills and expertise when needed. The larger ESPs will be the lead suppliers or aggregators and are likely to own the customer relationship in many cases. To do this well, they will need competence in alliance selection and management (see "The IT Services Value Chain in Europe: A Practical View," COM ). This has been a developing trend for some time with Cap Gemini Ernst &Young and Accenture being particularly active. However, the clout and competence of IBM in particular in the segmentation and management of alliances is likely to intensify the hunt for more strategic, specialist partners. 2. As a competitive alternative to the one-stop shops, the smaller and often more specialist ESPs are likely to form coalitions. Market conditions are ripe for this, as individual consultants opt out of the current employment melee and decide to go-it-alone or join specialist consultancies. The benefits are that they have a lot of CRM experience and have worked with each other. As one Gartner client put it, they are often "'Big Five' consultants, without the price tag." Clients can also, as they always have done, put together their own best-of-breed team. However, the coalitions have the benefit of knowing each other and have the ability to integrate their services and methodologies for more effective business solutions in individual industries. Action: Choosing a coalition should be based on procurement policy, relationship preference, culture and, most importantly, internal skill in supplier management. Technology Vendor Independence? Greater alliances bring to the fore the question of ESP technology vendor independence. Clients want knowledgeable ESPs that are on their side when it comes to technology choice, particularly when it is complex. IT departments have become more skilled at choosing software and CRM ESPs are often chosen second after the technology, but this is set to change. In future, the ESP is more likely to be chosen first and will then help in the technology choice as the scope of CRM widens and rises up the business agenda, and as CRM technology choice becomes more complex and risky. The trend for major consultancies is to move away from independence. Many have fewer and deep partnerships with selected vendors for speedier implementation and are, in many cases, developing joint solutions with them. Other ESPs, often in the second tier, are decoupling advice on technology from their implementation services in an effort to give clients "best advice" on technology as well as speedy implementation. 24 October

4 The combined abilities of PwCC and IBM could give the bestadvice trend a boost. Far from endangering PwCC's vendor independence which is more fable than fact IBM has the ability to increase it with its software partner alliance program. This, in theory, increases the range of choice, especially for specific industry solutions and in important CRM emerging technology areas, such as business intelligence, where there are no established lead products. Action: Clients should be vigilant and establish the degree of technology vendor independence and partnerships that different ESPs have. They should be diligent about ensuring that technology choice suits their own situation and requirements with second opinions from other ESPs or advisory organizations, if necessary. Shift in CRM Focus From Software to Business Initiatives: The main thrust of CRM implementation is shifting from software installation supporting "vanilla" business processes to competitive business initiatives and programs supported by flexible processes. This means that ESPs need greater competence: First, in linking business initiative development to process design, and, second, in flexible process design to technology configuration. The combined skills and vertical expertise of PwCC and IBM should produce some innovative solutions in the process design to technology area and thus some robust competition. However, neither IBM nor PWCC have strong CRM or marketing strategy skills, or partnerships in areas such as branding, loyalty schemes, promotions, customer communications, pricing, complete customer experience design or partnerships. These skills are needed for solid business initiative design and conversion into detailed processes, and competitors are likely to make efforts to develop greater competency in this area. Marketing agencies (particularly market research, advertising, research and analysis, fulfillment, and direct marketing) have the required business initiative competence, but rarely the process design knowledge. In the future, there are likely to be more alliances in this area and a place for operational CRM strategy specialists. EDS, Sophron Partners, Peppers & Rogers Group, Roundarch and Accenture are all examples of ESPs with developing skills in this area. Action: Establish what skills and alliances ESPs have in business initiative design particularly marketing initiatives. Marketing programs and initiatives need turning into cross-functional processes that will then be supported by technology. 24 October

5 Developing Enabling CRM Services and Industry Solutions: As CRM evolves, so do the services and solutions that enable clients to understand and deliver its value. For example, benefits management, alliance management, organizational design, sales-force development and collaborative culture management. These services, and resulting business solutions (bundles of services to address specific business issues), need a combination of business and technological competency. Solutions also need to be increasingly industry-specific. The specific business expertise and industry knowledge of PwCC, mixed with the highly competent technological R&D resources and piloting ability of IBM, should lead to service and solutions development in certain areas that will blaze a trail through There is certainly a desire to build intellectual capital into both services and industry solutions and so chargeon value delivered, rather than consultants' hourly fees. However, there are particular areas that are important to CRM, such as business initiatives and change management, where others will try harder to take a lead and are already doing so. In addition, there are some industries where there will not be such a depth of expertise and where competitors will make their mark, such as in government. Action: Check that an ESP has the right depth of industry knowledge, but also ensure that they can offer cross-industry innovation to deliver solutions with a competitive advantage, rather than just best practice. Focus On Different Types of Outsourcing: Outsourcing is becoming a key service in CRM for technology infrastructures, software applications, business processes and services. Much of the focus on outsourcing has been for cost reduction in non-core competencies. However, there is now a shift in demand toward revenue-generating outsourcing, particularly as a means of building up knowledge and skills. Customer analytics, as a business service or process, is a highly topical example. Many ESPs see outsourcing particularly managed services and business transformation as a major growth area of the market and are building up their capabilities (for example, Atos Origin, KPMG Consulting, Deloitte Consulting, EDS, Accenture). It means closer client relationships, greater business and industryspecific knowledge to feed back into services, and solution development not to mention diversified revenue. Business transformation outsourcing is of much interest because it requires a greater degree of consultancy to innovate and change the way the business is run. There are also an increasing number of specialist outsourcers for the CRM market, both from the business and software vendor side, which offer hosted services, for example, salesforce.com. 24 October

6 IBM has been a major supplier in the IT outsourcing market for the past 10 years and has been building up its CRM hosted services. Neither it nor PwCC are particularly strong in business process outsourcing, but are likely to want to develop the market. This is both a threat and an opportunity for competitors to develop their own operations and customer base, as client awareness of outsourcing options rises. Action: Explore the different types of CRM outsourcing offered by ESPs and decide if outsourcing may be a way of developing understanding and competence in new skills, or to develop a CRM infrastructure more effectively than doing it in-house. However, it should not be considered an "opt out" choice for enterprises finding CRM too difficult to implement internally. Bottom Line: The combined skills and competencies of PwCC and IBM are a major change in the CRM services market and will influence the development of several key market trends. For clients evaluating ESP for their CRM initiatives this means: Deciding on whether to go with a one-stop shop supplier or a best-of-breed team; either a pre-built coalition or self-built. Re-examining ESP technology independence how important is it to you? Focusing more on vertical expertise as a key differentiator between providers, without losing access to ideas from other industries. Ensuring access to all necessary CRM skills to a relevant depth of competence particularly in the areas of business initiatives development to process design and cultural change management. Examining the role of various types of CRM outsourcing in achieving CRM benefits more effectively. 24 October

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