The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Alice Cooper’s Killer:
The SaaS Customer Relationship Management market in Asia (excluding Japan; these sorts of reports on Asia are always “excluding Japan” the way studies of popular bands from Liverpool, England are “excluding The Beatles”) will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 61 percent between 2006 and 2010, according to a study by Springboard Research.
Springboard pegged the SaaS CRM market in Asia at $69 million in 2006, and expects it to reach $460 million by 2010.
Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Korea, India, and China are the key SaaS CRM markets in Asia Pacific, the report finds. Of these, Australia remains the top market, accounting for 35 percent of all SaaS CRM sales generated in the region.
“SaaS CRM has gained acceptance in Asia’s business mainstream and the coming year will see higher adoption rates as larger enterprises opt for SaaS CRM,” said Balaka Baruah Aggarwal, Senior Manager for Emerging Software for Springboard Research. “At the same time, the market is set to witness unprecedented growth in the SME sector as a spate of new initiatives by vendors such as SAP, Microsoft, and Oracle promote their CRM offerings,” she added.
Increased adoption among larger enterprises, the Springboard analysts think, will be the turning point in the uptake of SaaS CRM and will bring the model a legitimacy that it did not have when it was mainly used by small and medium enterprises: “Already, leading vendors like Salesforce.com, who had traditionally targeted the SME market, are now eyeing larger enterprises.”
The report says that as traditional software players step up their activities by offering proprietary SaaS CRM applications, large enterprises will be lured to the market, creating an entirely new base of customers who had previously been fence sitters. Springboard Research also forecasts that the SaaS CRM market is set for consolidation as the number of players increase and bigger players make serious forays into the marketplace.
Springboard currently estimates that SaaS CRM represents the largest segment of SaaS application expenditures in Asia at 45 percent, followed by collaboration, ERP/PLM/SCM applications, and human resource applications.
Within the SaaS CRM segment in Asia, Salesforce.com has captured a very dominant position in the market. Other prominent vendors in the region, according to the report, include RightNow, Oracle, and NetSuite.
“Springboard Research believes that a substantial portion of the growth in Asia Pacific’s SaaS CRM market will come from the SME segment. We expect SMEs in Asia Pacific to go for simpler CRM solutions that are not too complex,” said Aggarwal.
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Business research and consulting firm Common Sense Advisory has released its technology and business model predictions for the language services and software industries for 2008, predicting that “firms closer to the corporate mainstream like acrolinx and MadCap will add multilingual functions, thus enabling cross-border marketing, CRM, and customer service applications.”
Foreign exchange will drive more translation and shift production centers as well, the firm believes, explaining that the shrinking U.S. dollar signals an opportunity for companies in markets with strong currencies to get more translation for less money. “While they’re shopping for bargain-basement iPods and Hermès scarves in New York and Chicago, non-American language service providers will look to buy U.S. vendors,” the firm says, adding “With U.S. rappers flashing euros instead of Benjamins, it’s time to hedge your dollar-denominated investments.”
Thereby illustrating that well-known first law of international investing: Take your forex and international investment cues from rappers.
The firm also says that technology from new sources will break traditional translation molds: “The wave of new language technology that started in 2005 will continue, productizing new approaches from East and South Asia, Eastern and Central Europe, and the Middle East.” Here’s where the firms closer to the corporate mainstream, like acrolinx and MadCap, adding CRM and other multilingual functions comes in.
And in what sounds a rather ominous trend for those of us in the Somewhat Clear Communication business, Common Sense feels that “terminology will push to the forefront. Terminologists will start to be seen as the druids of the translation process in 2008,” and “early adopters at IBM, Medtronic, and SAP will feel vindicated in their long-term, systematic attention to terminology.”
We have our own terminology policies here at the sprawling First Coffee campus: we shoot evil wordoids such as “leader,” “utilize,” “enabled,” “solution,” “leverage,” “very” and unearned adjectives and adverbs on sight. Except where they’re safely ensconced in an unalterable company name or direct quote. Then we glare at them and mutter deprecatingly about their uselessly syllabified existences.
Companies at the third and fourth level of the Localization Maturity Model will begin paying for full-time terminologists in 2008, the report believes: “In fast-moving companies, Wiki technology and other collaboration tools will move terminology from a fervent hope to more of a mainstream function. Vendors of terminology management tools will feel pressure to open their product’s application programming interfaces.”
“Terminology management!” I ask you, Godfrey, what next?
I had to ask: “Vendor managers at large buyers like EMC, HP, Sun, and Symantec will exert their influence and purchasing power to control the process,” Common Sense officials say. “Their efforts could lead to the creation of a Language Vendor Management Association — as if anyone needs more conferences to attend.”
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Frank Hagel, President of Hagel & Company, has been appointed chair of the 10 member Sage Software Specialized Business Solutions Business Partner Advisory Council for 2007-2008. The SBS Division publishes Sage Abra HRMS, including HR, payroll, training management and recruiting software. The division also publishes Sage Timesheet Professional, Carpe Diem, and Timeslips.
Al James, Vice President of Sales for Sage’s Specialized Business Solutions, said the council was established” to provide a vital communication link between Sage Software, its clients and the Business Partner channel which Sage Software services.” It will advise management within Sage Software on matters of concern of the client community and the Business Partner channel within the North American market.
Hagel & Company has been a Sage Abra Business Partner since 1993 and was recently named to the Sage Software President’s Circle for 2007-2008.
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Autonomy Corporation has announced that “a major global bank” has placed a multi-million dollar order for Autonomy in the area of compliance and regulatory products. The agreement, with an expected value of approximately $70 million as it is rolled out over the next few years, will let the bank “deploy Autonomy’s archiving product throughout its operations around the world,” company officials say.
Autonomy Corporation sells CRM, call center and other products to help “form a conceptual and contextual understanding of any piece of electronic data including unstructured information, be it text, e-mail, voice or video,” officials say.
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Calabrio, a vendor of software for IP-based contact centers, has announced that it has signed an agreement with Activeo to resell Calabrio’s workforce optimization products. Activeo is a French CRM and contact center vendor in EMEA.
Activeo will offer Calabrio Workforce Management and Calabrio Quality Management products as part of its Cisco Unified Contact Center Enterprise offering. The French firm advises contact center users and providers on IP Contact Centers and CRM products. Activeo will also offer full support services for the Calabrio products. These include installation, design, troubleshooting and professional services.