Are Desktop CRM Solutions Giving Way to Software as a Service (SaaS)?
Businesses looking for customer management software solutions better known as CRM, have numerous alternatives to choose from, but for those looking specifically for desktop or on premise CRM software, the options appear to be fewer and fewer. There are still a few low end contact managers such as Sage ACT, Avidian Prophet and Highrise, but they are not CRM solutions and the desktop CRM players that are still in business appear to be giving ground to more popular Web CRM software offerings.
Take the recent article that appeared in Tech Vibes titled Hui Family takes over Maximizer software. The article indicates that Maximizer CRM has experienced a significant decline in revenue due to recession related issues. While it’s clear that most CRM companies are not hitting too many home runs, this revenue decline may have more to do with the migration of small to mid-size businesses to Web CRM software than economic issues. Maximizer does not offer a web based CRM solution.
Commence Corporation had been in a similar space, selling desktop customer management software and sales force automation software to small and mid-market companies. For many years we competed directly with the FrontRange Goldmine product, SalesLogix and later with Microsoft Dynamics after they entered the market, but even at that time it became clear that things were beginning to change in the SMB space. Software as a service (SaaS) solutions from companies like Salesforce.com were beginning to pave the way for a migration from desktop solutions to web CRM software that were easier to implement and easier to use. While several of the companies outlined above stayed the course, Commence migrated its award winning CRM software to the web and introduced Commence On-Demand, a web CRM solution specifically designed for small to mid-size businesses. While we still sell our desktop product, 80% of the inquiries we receive each day for customer management software are for our web CRM product and even through the economic conditions are not much improved, Commence On-Demand has experienced growth in both the number of subscribers and in revenue.
It’s clear that this trend towards web based CRM software vs. on premise CRM software will continue and those companies that do not have a “software as a service” or SaaS offering will continue to experience a decline in their customer base and revenue.