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Companies Pressured to Deliver CRM Access Anywhere Turn to Software-as-a-Service Solutions

Companies Pressured to Deliver CRM Access Anywhere Turn to Software-as-a-Service Solutions

BOSTON, MA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 02/06/08 -- Companies are increasingly challenged with the task of delivering customer integration to an ever-growing constituency without placing additional burdens on an already stretched IT staff. For this reason, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is an attractive option for organizations because it provides a flexible self-serve platform that can be used practically anywhere by a virtually unlimited number of users. A recent survey conducted by Aberdeen, a Harte-Hanks Company (NYSE: HHS), revealed that only 7% of respondents will not consider purchasing CRM delivered via SaaS. The move towards SaaS as the preferred delivery method for a CRM system is due in part by the need for organizations to find efficient ways to increase the productivity of a diverse sales force.

The top pressure causing all organizations to focus resources on SaaS as a CRM delivery method is the need to provide access to account information anywhere to an increasingly mobile and global workforce. Best-in-Class companies indicated that they currently blend organizational capabilities, such as the ability to provide remote access to employees (95%) and CRM security processes (57%), with technology deployment to positively affect the productivity of sales reps, while reducing the IT constraints that would accompany an on-premise solution. As a result, Best-in-Class companies have reduced Time-to-Close 30% more than Laggards. Furthermore, 71% of Best-in-Class companies integrate lead management technology with a CRM solution to provide increased visibility into the sales pipeline.

"Companies choosing on-demand CRM delivery are more pressured to provide remote access than those that choose on-premises CRM. A built-in benefit of Software-as-a-Service is being able to log in to the system through any web browser," explains Gretchen Duhaime, Senior Research Analyst at Aberdeen. "The potential downside, however, is the threat of login credentials falling into the wrong hands, and sensitive customer information being exposed. Best-in-Class are more likely than Industry Average or Laggards to have CRM security processes in place, regardless of deployment model."

The report demonstrates the value of collectively leveraging organizational practices in process, performance measurement, knowledge management and technology to maximize the productivity and efficiency of an organization's CRM system and sales force. By utilizing CRM/SFA (90%) and system access restrictions (67%), Best-in-Class companies are able to provide their employees with a secure repository of account, contact, and customer information.

The research educates readers on how to leverage organizational capabilities to support CRM implementation. The report also provides the results that Best-in-Class companies achieve across key sales metrics after employing processes and technologies and compares these companies to the Industry Average and Laggards who have not yet pursued a similar strategy.

A complimentary copy of this report is made available due in part by the following underwriters: Aplicor and Astadia. To obtain a complimentary copy of the report, visit: http://www.aberdeen.com/link/sponsor.asp?cid=4580.

About Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company

Aberdeen is a leading provider of fact-based research and market intelligence that delivers demonstrable results. Having benchmarked more than 30,000 companies in the past two years, Aberdeen is uniquely positioned to educate users to action: driving market awareness, creating demand, enabling sales, and delivering meaningful return-on-investment analysis. As the trusted advisor to the global technology markets, corporations turn to Aberdeen(TM) for insights that drive decisions.

As a Harte-Hanks Company, Aberdeen plays a key role of putting content in context for the global direct and targeted marketing company. Aberdeen's analytical and independent view of the "customer optimization" process of Harte-Hanks (Information - Opportunity - Insight - Engagement - Interaction) extends the client value and accentuates the strategic role Harte-Hanks brings to the market. For additional information, visit Aberdeen http://www.aberdeen.com or call (617) 723-7890, or to learn more about Harte-Hanks, call (800) 456-9748 or go to http://www.harte-hanks.com.

© 2008 Aberdeen Group, Inc., a Harte-Hanks Company
260 Franklin Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02110-3112
Telephone: (617) 723-7890
Fax: (617) 723-7897
www.aberdeen.com

Media Contact:
Gretchen Duhaime
Aberdeen Harte-Hanks
(617) 854-5350
[email protected]

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