Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Forrester Trajectories for Enterprise CRM: 2008-2015

Every now and again, Forrester or Gartner release a report on the comparative strengths of the market leading CRM systems. Forrester has just put out their “The Forrester Wave™: CRM Suites For Large Organizations, Q1 2015”. If you Google around you will be able to obtain a free copy in exchange for giving your contact details to one of the major CRM vendors.

Forrester Trajectories

My most recent trajectory analysis was in July last year. Basically, I took the Gartner reports from 2012 to 2014 and plotted how the products moved over time. This time I have done it for the Forrester CRM Suites for Large Organization reports for 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2015.

Here is the result.

Forrester Large 2008-2015a

Yes, my Photoshop/GIMP skills have come a long way in six months.

The selection of products is based on those which have ended up in the leaders quadrant which are:

  • Microsoft
  • Oracle Siebel
  • Pegasystems
  • Salesforce
  • SAP Cloud for Customer

SAP Cloud for Customer was not mentioned in the previous Forrester reports so it has no trajectory line. for the others, the white circle is where the product is in 2015 with the tail being its path over the previous reports.

Products Left Behind

In the previous reports, the Leaders quadrant also had:

  • CDC Software (2010)
  • Oracle CRM on Demand (2012)
  • RightNow (2012)

CDC Pivotal (now Aptean Pivotal CRM) is considered by Forrester to be suited to the midsize market (250-999 employees) and therefore does not appear in the chart. Oracle CRM on Demand no longer appears in any list so I am not sure what has happened to it, unless it has been bundled in with Oracle Siebel. RightNow was bought by Oracle in 2011 and is now known as Oracle Service Cloud with Forrester considering it a customer service solution and not an enterprise CRM solution.

Market Presence

Of the six players in the Leaders quadrant, four have a large market presence:

  • Microsoft
  • Oracle Siebel
  • Salesforce

These have been the four main players for quite a while now with me highlighting them in my trajectory blog in 2012.


The challenger of great interest to me is Pegasystems. Again I mentioned it as one to watch back in 2012 and here it is. Over the seven years it has emerged from the Strong Performers and is now a Leader. I wrote in 2012 that I had never heard of Pegasystems. These days, while the product does not feature on my radar often, I personally know three people in Australia working for them.

Other Trajectories of Interest

Of the four main players, all have moved back in their strategy score, presumably a normalisation relative to the wider market. Sadly, the only one of the four that has also moved down in its offering score in Microsoft. The Forrester report evaluated Dynamics CRM 2013 so, with the improvements in CRM 2015 and the additional capabilities available through Dynamics Marketing and Social Engagement, I expect this position will improve in the next report.

Industry Consolidation

In terms of the number of players featuring in the Forrester report we have:

  • 2008: 14 (6 in the Leaders quadrant)
  • 2010: 18 (7 in the Leaders quadrant)
  • 2012: 17 (7 in the Leaders quadrant)
  • 2015: 9 (6 in the Leaders quadrant)

While the number of leading players has stayed about the same, the total number of CRM solutions in the entire space has dropped significantly by about 1/3 since 2008. I observed a similar trend back in 2011 for sales force automation products.


While the industry continues to consolidate, the same four players still dominate the CRM market with Microsoft losing a little ground, in terms of their offering, relative to the other players. Pegasystems continues to move from strength to strength and it will be interesting to see if they become the fifth horse in the race in the near future.


Manu said...

Hi Leon, this was a very interesting post. I do have a question - in your statement in the 'Conclusion' section says that Microsoft has lost a little ground to the other players. Any idea what was lacking in the Microsoft offering that caused this? Would it still apply with the Carina release?

Leon Tribe said...

Hi Manu,

The report reviews CRM 2013 and the integration of Dynamics CRM, Social Engagement and Parature is still quite new. My thinking is CRM 2015 is up there with the competitors and with the upcoming release will be even stronger.