Oracle, SAP, Salesforce Fight for CRM Market Share: IDC

As growth continues, the competition among CRM vendors is escalating as market leads start to get slim.

Despite a small slowdown in the growth of the CRM applications market, overall growth was up 11.2 percent year-over-year for the second half of 2011, down slightly from the first half of the year, according to IT research firm IDC's latest Worldwide Semiannual CRM Applications Tracker, which covers more than 190 global and local CRM vendors across a total of 49 countries.

As growth continues, the competition among CRM vendors is escalating as market leads start to get slim. Among the top five CRM vendors worldwide, Oracle holds a slight lead, with 11 percent market share, followed by SAP, with 9.9 percent share, with fast behind it, with a 9.5 percent stake. Avaya and SEC rounded out the top five with market shares of 3.6 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively. CRM vendors categorized under €œother€ comprised 62.7 percent of the market, according to IDC figures.

Geographically, Oracle holds the lead in the Asia-Pacific region outside of Japan, while SAP has established itself as the leader in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), as well as the Latin American markets. is currently doing well in the North American and Japanese markets. €œThe competitive scenario for the worldwide CRM applications market is becoming decidedly more interesting,€ the report noted.

The Americas and Japan outperformed other geographic areas in the second half of the year, according to IDC research, while emerging markets like Latin America and the Asia-Pacific markets gained 0.7 of market share, compared to 2010. IDC predicted these economies, led by strong economic performances in China, Russia and Brazil, would drive further growth in the CRM software market.

Among the four functional markets that comprise the CRM applications space€”contact centers, marketing automation, sales automation and customer service€”only contact centers grew at a single-digit rate, while the three others posted growth in the double digits. Despite continued growth in 2012 to 2016 forecast period, the report predicted contact center applications would lose an additional 3.4 percent through 2016.

"The CRM applications market is poised on the threshold of a transformation with legacy installations being transformed into socially aware applications environments. Early movement has been observed for the last several years,€ Mary Wardley, program vice president of CRM applications at IDC, said in a prepared statement. €œAn influx of new social vendors and acquisitions of social CRM applications providers by established vendors augmenting their offerings for rapid market entry is invigorating the market."

The activity is expected to continue through 2012 and bring new revenue to the space, she added.