Every year,Beagle Research Group scours the tech landscape in search of a few good companies that are developing technologies not only novel to the customer relationship management industry, but also likely to reinvent business processes in their particular niches.
Since launching the WizKids report four years ago, Denis Pombriant, principal at the firm, has rarely failed to impress with his lists of standouts. Before they became household names in the industry, he spotlighted Salesforce.com, RightNow andFive9, to name just a few examples.
CRM WizKids 2008 hit the stands on Wednesday. Clickhere to download the full report.
This year’s picks and the corporate client case studies that highlight their applications:
- Firepond and Sonitrol
- InsideView and Rearden Commerce
- LucidEra and VerticalResponse
- Lithium Technologies and Linksys
- Marketo and Idology
- TerrAlign and Sepracor
- Verticals onDemand and Publicis Managed Markets
This year’s WizKids have more in common than the wow factor. Six of the seven are either partners with Salesforce.com, or they’re firms that sprang from its AppExchange network. All of them embrace Web 2.0, Pombriant told CRM Buyer. Also, all of their apps make it easier for a company to work internally or with its customers.
TerrAlign, for instance, uses technology to solve an internal business problem — territory planning — at a pharmaceutical sales organization. “When you have thousands of people repping for a company, you want to make sure you equally allocate the opportunities and the resources,” Pombriant said.
The TerrAlign application configures territories so that each rep is assigned an area close to home, affording optimal driving patterns and so on.
Not all of the firms fit squarely into this peg though: LucidEra, for example, provides on-demand analytics. “You can’t say that having analytics makes it easier to do business internally or with another company,” Pombriant acknowledged, “but it does help an organization better identify its strengths and weaknesses.”
Firepond: Offers a configuration, pricing and quotation solution that helps customers generate the “perfect” quote, thus making it easier for customers to process a purchase.
InsideView: Provides contact and market information for sales professionals. This data ranges from social networking sources to market information — all of which can be integrated into a CRM app.
Lithium Technologies: Helps companies deliver service through customer communities.
LucidEra: Provides on-demand analytics to sales professionals and managers.
Marketo: Offers sophisticated marketing solutions for emerging and small companies.
TerrAlign: Delivers a planning tool for pharmaceutical companies and any other company with a large sales force to optimize sales territories.
Verticals onDemand: Provides sales applications that focus on vertical markets.