Customer Relationship Management (CRM) deployments have been hit by disillusionment over return on investment (ROI) - but new services offerings may improve success levels, according to analyst Meta Group.
The organisation predicts a 20 per cent increase in customer CRM services - including strategy formulation, software selection and implementation, business process improvement and end-user training - over the next year.
Michael Doane, vice president of Meta's professional services strategies advisory service, said: "Clients that deferred CRM evolution in the last couple of years will be more inclined to move ahead, resulting in CRM services growth of 10 to 12 per cent in 2003 and 20 per cent in 2004."
Services are being driven by stalled software licence revenues and the growing recognition that CRM vendors need to boost their income from other means, according to analyst Hewson Group.
Nick Hewson, head of market analysis and vendor services at Hewson Group, told vnunet.com: "Companies haven't in the past paid enough attention to the business processes around the technology. Software companies are under pressure from software licences and they will have to compensate for that by upping their service levels.
"In the last three or four years, CRM spend has been quite chaotic - companies didn't understand what they were trying to achieve and, as a result, made a mess of it.
New CRM projects are thin on the ground, Hewson added, although companies are continuing to invest in technologies relating to specific performance improvements.
"Companies are putting in specific applications such as e-service that have a hard ROI, and making the most of what they have already," he said.
A survey of 80 vendor reference sites by AMR Research earlier this year showed that almost half had struggled to gain user acceptance of the CRM system.
Other analysts have suggested that up to 60 per cent of CRM projects fail to deliver a return on investment.
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