Study cites best of the best in CRM

Marketing push

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Several vendors moved quickly to capitalize on their placement in the Aberdeen report. Applix Inc., Azerity Inc., Nortel Networks Inc.'s eBusiness Solutions and Siebel have all used the report in public relations, print and Web site advertising.

"The tendency has been to identify leaders in CRM by revenues, and that can get you in trouble," said Denis Pombriant, research director in Aberdeen's CRM practice and the primary author of the report. "A corporate marketer in need of a strong sales CRM solution might go wrong by choosing a vendor with a customer-service orientation. We're attempting to show how companies in peer positions are choosing CRM."

One of those peers was Guaranty Bank, which tapped Nortel's eFrontOffice CRM solution to bring 160 branches in California and Texas into the Internet age. Guaranty, Dallas, the company has been able to speed up transactions by about 50% since deploying its system, said Bruce McCall, Guaranty senior VP-marketing.

There's little question it is a competitive advantage, McCall said. Why then, did Guaranty choose to let all its competitors know what it's up to?

"We just launched our brand identity in March, and the research report helps us create a published identity," McCall said. "We're trying to take advantage of the fact that we are doing things differently. We've done our homework. Our basic corporate iden-tity campaign centers on our own people promising to deliver for the customer. This report gives us an additional venue to publicize ourselves, and convince people to give us a shot."

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