CRM List 2012

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The CRM List—The Top 5 CRM Systems

Here are the top 5 CRM software systems as measured by worldwide market share—along with a summary analysis. If you would like to explore a deeper examination and comparative analysis of the Top 10 CRM software solutions, click the above banner to download Vantive Media's Top 10 CRM Software analysis report. We can validate it's an independent report written by experts, and the company won't spam you after the download.

Oracle Siebel

First on the CRM List is Oracle. The Oracle CRM portfolio includes Oracle Siebel CRM, Fusion CRM, Oracle CRM on Demand, Oracle E-Business Suite (EBS), PeopleSoft Enterprise, Oracle Contact Center Anywhere (CCA) and RightNow. Oracle counts over 5,000 global CRM customers, over 5 millions users and approximately 130 million self service users.

Siebel Systems was the undisputed CRM software leader at the turn of the century, peaking at 45% market share in 2002. Since being acquired by Oracle in 2005, the software product has continued its assertive push however with stiff competition from arch rival SAP, and with multiple ways to measure market share, both Oracle and SAP claim the top CRM software industry position. The CRM Buyers Guide and most analysts give Oracle a slight edge, however, it really comes down to what variables are used and benchmarks are counted.

Oracle Siebel is an impressive customer relationship management system. The applications roots were deep in Sales Force Automation (SFA), however, over several years Siebel acquired or built-out a broad CRM suite as well as dozens of purpose-built vertical market CRM solutions.

Oracle Siebel, like most client-server CRM applications, has a reputation for high risk, and expensive deployments—leaving this enterprise software solution largely for enterprise-level customers and budgets. In fact, failed implementations and frustrated users are the primary impetus for the rise and sky-rocketing growth of cloud or software as a service (SaaS) CRM systems. Not to be left out of a major market movement, Oracle also offers its Oracle CRM on Demand for SaaS CRM prospects as well as RightNow for customer service and customer experience prospects. Over the long run, Oracle Fusion will become the flagship product, however, that objective is still several years into the future.


The SAP CRM software solution is a fully integrated customer relationship management (CRM) software that targets business software requirements of midsize and enterprise organizations across industries and market sectors.

SAP's CRM system includes several integrated modules that automate key customer facing process areas such as: SAP CRM Sales (sales force automation), SAP CRM Marketing, SAP CRM Service, SAP CRM Interaction Center, SAP CRM Web Channel (which includes E-Marketing, E-Service and E-Commerce) and SAP CRM Partner Channel Management.

Similar to top competitor Oracle, SAP has more recently released two SaaS CRM products—SAP Sales on Demand which is a cloud CRM extension for the company's on-premise ERP software and SAP Business ByDesign which is a full ERP cloud suite that includes CRM.

For customers seeking wholesale transition to the cloud, the Business ByDesign SaaS solution is the only option from SAP. Business ByDesign (ByD) is a purpose built cloud solution covering the breadth of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM. is still the (relative) new guy, but no longer the small guy. The cloud CRM pioneer is now the third largest CRM software company in terms of market share. While not the size if its major software competitors—such as Oracle, SAP or Microsoft—it has nonetheless acquired over 2 million global customers and for the most part continues to show higher growth than the market at large. has become a leading provider of customer relationship management software applications deployed using the software-as-a-service or cloud computing model. The company's flagship solution is a CRM system designed for businesses of all sizes and industries worldwide and focusing on the disruptive business opportunities from cloud, social and mobile.

Salesforce is aggressively advancing its platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution called and managing an eco-system of integrated third party products in an online marketplace it calls AppExchange. markets its CRM software solutions to businesses on a subscription basis, primarily through a direct sales model but also indirectly through a business partner channel. The product is not available for on-premise or private cloud deployment.

Microsoft CRM

Microsoft is the number four CRM software market share leader. As is often the case with Microsoft, it takes them a few versions to get a new offering right, however, once they get it they have the proven experience is scaling success like no other competitor.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 is the 5th software version release for the customer relationship management software solution. Some pundits point out that there was never a version number two and Microsoft accelerated their version count as they skipped from version one to version three. However, with the most recent name change from CRM 5 to Dynamics CRM 2011, the company has moved away from the sequential version numbering scheme.

Microsoft CRM is unique in an increasingly crowded CRM software market to use the same code base for on-premise and software-as-a-service (SaaS) delivery models. It's also unique in its ability to support multiple public clouds for SaaS delivery. Customers have the option to subscribe to Dynamics CRM directly from Microsoft or may choose from a plethora of hosting providers and specialized Microsoft partners.

The company's most recent release also allows cloud customers and business partners to install sever-side code in the Microsoft cloud and data centers. This permits extensibility for a number of business processes not supported by most competitors. Microsoft's CRM offering will also continue to advance in combination with Azure, its high profile public cloud. Additional unique Microsoft CRM product capabilities include seamless integration with Outlook, Office & SharePoint; very configurable role-based workflows; business intelligence (BI) and analytics; and a suite of strong technology tools for software integration and customization.


SugarCRM doesn't match the company size or global brand power of the prior four CRM vendors, but nonetheless is the number five market share leader and a formidable competitor in its particular target markets.

Sugar CRM is a provider of open source CRM software and while there are dozens of open source CRM software systems in the marketplace, Sugar CRM stands head and shoulders above its competitors primarily due to offering an easy to use solution that is functionally rich and at a very low price point. Sugar is easily the most cost effective CRM solution in the market.

Open Source CRM systems like Sugar are proliferating in large part because these applications provide customers with choices outside of the traditional commercial CRM systems like SAP, Oracle, Microsoft and For companies seeking increased software technology control to accommodate challenging industry requirements, unique business processes, complex feature sets or budgetary limits, open source CRM systems can provide both viable alternatives and an entry point to an enterprise-wide open source software technology strategy.

Low acquisition costs, complete extensibility, choice in delivery channels such as SaaS/cloud or on-premise, freedom from vendor lock-in and growing support from global ecosystems are driving increased attention and adoption of open source CRM software. | CRM Software