Worldwide CRM market grew 12.5% last year

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Stamford, Conn.—The need to retain customers combined with the increasing availability of on-demand applications helped drive customer relationship management expenditures to $9.15 billion in 2008, up 12.5% from the previous year, according to a new report by Gartner Inc.

Web-based (software as a service) CRM solutions accounted for nearly 20% of total CRM software market spending last year, up from just over 15% in 2007, according to Gartner's report, "Dataquest Insight: CRM Software Market Share Analysis, Worldwide 2008."

Also spurring adoption of CRM applications is the growing importance of tracking consumer participation in online forums and social sites, Gartner said.

Market leader SAP accounted for 22.5% of worldwide CRM software sales, down from 25.5% in 2007. Microsoft's Dynamics CRM product experienced the strongest growth rate among top vendors, boosting sales by 75% last year.

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