Paul Greenberg invited me to include a 2010 CRM Latin America forecast on his blog, and it was not a forecast about the region and how vendors will do, but a forecast about how some CRM trends will evolve in Latin America. Thanks, Paul... for the invitation to write on your blog! Check out Paul's 2010 forecast: Part 1 & Part 2. My summary is on Part 1.
This post is about how I think vendors will do in the region in 2010. My forecast is based on research, conversations with customers, partners and colleagues in the industry, especially in countries like Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Argentina.
I do not see the new Chatter application making much of an impact in 2010, or for that matter, much growth in implementations of the SFA module. I see the Service Cloud to be a strong module for Salesforce.com in Latin America. Call centers that offer outsourcing services will use the Service Cloud, and these call centers will be the early adopters in the region, followed by regular companies that have their own call centers. I also expect many companies to use Salesforce.com to manage customers as persons and target these persons with campaigns, specially marketing and digital agencies that are managing social media conversations. And... Salesforce.com needs to have more Latin American vendors/resellers developing Force.com apps for the Latam market. I know they have a few applications in AppExchange, but more applications are needed for the region. I hope to see more companies like Avanxo (Colombia) in Latin America. Avanxo provides on-demand solutions with Force.com, Google and Salesforce.com.
There is some confusion between the new Social CRM applications, Siebel OnDemand and Oracle CRM vs the On-premise applications. Oracle needs to streamline their message in Latin America. Their Social CRM applications are optimal for the small and medium enterprise market (PYMES). Read my review here in Spanish (you can use the translate option). Any BI solution that Oracle offers as On-Demand can also expect some growth in the region. BI and CRM Analytics are solutions that are needed in the region, but we need quick implementations of these type of solutions. Customers cannot wait for a six month implementation (this is not an unique to Oracle implementations, it is an industry occurrence, many BI projects take too long to implement). I also foresee hosted CRM solutions to contribute to some Oracle's product sales. Keep in mind that some Latin American companies are still not convinced on the cloud due to their lack of knowledge about what the cloud can do for their business.
SAP needs a better message regarding their SME solutions. They have a good solution for the market, since most of the opportunities in the region are with the SME market. See me opinion here in Spanish, you can use the translate option. Like Oracle, I see growth in hosted solutions for SAP, more than SaaS solutions. The Business Objects solution that will be available on-demand will have good opportunities in Latin America.
Note: Both SAP and Oracle need to develop a better communication strategy with their customers and prospects. Their CRM solutions need to add value to the business. And, need to look into tactical CRM solutions for customer retention and demand generation.
SME - PYMES and PYMES ... Microsoft owns this market in the region, in my opinion. They offer MS Dynamics CRM as a hosted solution and have many partners in the region like Syndeo (Mexico) and CMT Latin America (Argentina) that have customized Dynamics to meet the local requirements. The price is also very attractive for PYMES. I see growth for Microsoft with the SME market. By the way, PYMES is the Spanish acronym for SME. Pivotal, GoldMine, Act and Sage all compete within the SME market and are a direct competition to Microsoft.
Here is a list of some of the local CRM vendors (Spanish) - but like I mentioned before in Paul's forecast, the local vendors need to move to the cloud as soon as possible...they need to start looking into adding social media capabilities. The vendor that invests in this first will be ahead of the game. I hope to see at least 2 vendors come up with a SaaS solution. The existing SaaS providers (there are a few) will start adding social media capabilities - possibly AuraPortal and B-Kin.
SugarCRM, Netsuite & RightNow
For what I have seeing these 3 vendors have a small footprint in Latin America. All 3 of them need to look into the market as an opportunity to gain market share. SugarCRM has potential to gain market share with PYMES, not as a open source solution but as a CRM solution. If SAP Business ByDesign is expected to be in Latin America as an OnDemand solution, Netsuite should be there as well. RightNow can also be a good competition for Salesforce.com since they are a customer service solution and it is designed for B2C. However, I do not see any growth or major customers for these 3 vendors in 2010.
Social Networking, CMS, Knowledge & Support, and Community Platforms
Joomla is a hit in Latin America. There are some Joomla users groups already in some major cities. I have also came across many Ning and KickApps implementations, and many companies are looking to do Facebook-like portals. This is an area of good growth, specially for retailers and government agencies. The question is who is going to go after the Latin American market first: Lithium, Jive, Neighborhood America (now InGage Networks), etc.
Social Media Tools
Companies like Radian6, SM2 and SocialMetrics will do good in the region. The demand for these tools is good in Mexico and Colombia. Any social tool that allows you to capture conversations and turn them into CRM transactions will do very well, like the Radian6 and Salesforce.com integration that allows you to create contacts, cases and leads.
Mexico will see an increase in Social CRM engagements, before any other country. Many companies are moving past a Facebook Page and looking for social media ROI. Mexico will pass Colombia and Argentina in social media traffic this year. Mexico is already third in the region with Facebook members and some recent Internet stats have Mexico as a leading contender in Internet traffic. And, the call center industry will remain strong in Mexico, but based on Mundo-Contact's latest CRM study (Spanish) - there is room for the CRM market to growth since many call centers are not using CRM applications.
Peru and Colombia will gain market-share in the call center industry. Many new call center outsourcing services are now in these 2 countries. I see many telephony implementations in the Andean region, more call center events and more Asterisk implementations.
Brasil is still and will be the king of the CRM industry in the region. This will not change in 2010. Argentina will growth with many of the local vendors offerings (most of the local CRM vendors come from Argentina), and the call center industry will remain strong in Argentina.
The demand for BI applications will increase in all countries. Companies need BI to create customer campaigns and gain customer insights. I have seen a trend for companies to use analytical tools to not just manage lead generation and retention, but to manage up-selling, cross selling and loyalty opportunities with customers. Specially to maintain the relationship and all possible touch points with the customers. Some major retailers and banks are using SAS Marketing Automation for this, but Cognos and Business Objects will take a share of this market in Mexico, Peru, Colombia and Argentina.
Finally, I foresee many companies moving to Agile and Scrum implementations. These types of implementations are needed for today's market. The traditional waterfall methodology is no longer optimal for today's market demands.
Let's see what 2010 brings to the CRM industry in Latin America.