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U.S. CRM vs European CRM

How do you see the competitive landscape in CRM? Is there any difference between U.S. and Europe?

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There are many differences between Europe and the US in CRM uptake overall and what companies here and there are doing with the software.

For example, Aberdeen research shows that in 2001 total CRM spending (hardware, software, services) was $7.745 billion in the US vs. $3.457 in Europe. Both areas are experiencing the economic slowdown and growth will be microscopic this year (US $7.853 billion vs. Europe $ 3.495 billion). We see growth resuming at about 11% in 2003 and respectively we see the regions reaching $10.987 billion and $4.651 billion in 2005.

From what I've seen there is more government uptake in CRM in Europe than in the US. We did a case study on the City of Des Moines in the US recently but it seems that the Europeans are doing more at the regional and national levels. For example, in the UK the Ministry of Pensions is implementing a nationwide system. Although there are obvious differences in country sizes between the US and Europe, in my experience, no national governmental initiatives have been suggested yet in the US.

On the flip side, the population of Europe is much larger than the US but the majority of the CRM spending is in the US so one might expect the attitudes about how to deal with customers is different too, but I don't have data on attitudes. Europeans have contributed some good ideas about CRM to the global discussion and companies like Chordiant, AIT, and now SAP and others have deployed CRM solutions. As US companies continue to export to Europe and other areas and European companies sell into the US market I expect we'll discover more differences and that the vendors will continue to fit their products to local tastes and customs.

This was first published in July 2002

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