Nucleus Research scores hosted CRM, BI

RightNow, Salesforce.com, Cognos and Business Objects rise to the top of the heap.

Hosted CRM applications from RightNow Technologies Inc. and Salesforce.com scored high marks in an ROI review conducted

by Nucleus Research Inc. of Wellesley, Mass.

RightNow of Bozeman, Mont., scored the highest with 4.2 of a possible five points, while Salesforce.com was next with 4.0.

"It's a consumer reports kind of approach," said Rebecca Wettemann, vice president of research at Nucleus. "It's not the functionality or marketing message, but how customers are getting value. How they're using it, how easy it is to deploy and how flexible it is."

The review measured each product's ability to deliver ROI based on deployment, support, adoption, business impact and the vendor's track record.

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Nucleus also evaluated San Mateo, Calif.-based Siebel Systems Inc.'s Siebel OnDemand; ACCPAC CRM.com from Pleasanton, Calif.-based ACCPAC; Seattle-based Entellium Corp.'s CRM suite; NetCRM from San Mateo-based NetSuite Inc.; and Sales Asset Manager (SAM) from the Savo Group in Chicago.

Siebel scored 3.8, ACCPAC 3.6, NetSuite 3.4, and Savo and Entellium 2.6 each. Nucleus used customer interviews case studies to determine the scores.

"What was interesting to see was how the hosted market has evolved," Wettemann said. "RightNow and Salesforce.com are providing tremendous value and reaching a broader marketplace. We're also seeing exciting niche players who are saying the traditional CRM sales force automation and service works for other challenges."

Savo Group's SAM offering addresses collaboration between sales and marketing, whereas Entellium focuses on workflow problems, Wettemann said.

Nucleus also released a business intelligence scorecard. The top performers were ReportNet at 4.2 and PowerPlay at 4.0 from Ottawa-based Cognos Inc., which also scored a 3.8 with its enterprise planning application. France's Business Objects S.A. scored a 4.3 with its Crystal application and a 3.8 with its Business Objects Enterprise application. Hyperion Solutions Corp. in Sunnyvale, Calif., scored a 4.0 with its Essbase application and a 3.8 with SQR. Microsoft scored a 4.0 for its business intelligence tools. MicroStrategy Inc., McLean, Va., scored a 3.8; QlikTech Inc. in Raleigh, N.C., scored a 3.8; and Germany's SAP scored a 3.2 with its BW tool.

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