There is a substantial crossover between CRM and PRM, making most large CRM vendors likely to cater for this relationship, whether through organic growth or acquisition. Indeed, players are likely to launch ‘xRM’ suites that manage relationships with all stakeholders. This could well have a significant market impact, especially for mid-market vendors.
CRM vendor Onyx has launched a new product aimed at the partner relationship management space.
CRM vendor Onyx Software has released its Onyx Partner Portal, moving it into the partner relationship management (PRM) market. With the portal, Onyx aims to help companies recruit, manage and monitor their partner relationships.
Companies use PRM technology to manage their indirect channels, including value-added resellers (VARs), distributors, wholesalers, and their mobile indirect salesforce. PRM solutions have much in common with CRM: the campaign management, lead management and access to marketing materials overlap; and managing both direct and indirect channel relationships has obvious advantages.
Especially in the current economic climate, improving partners’ marketing, sales and service capabilities is beneficial. In some industries, such as mobile telecoms and high-tech manufacturing, companies rely on indirect channels for the majority of their revenues, making PRM solutions into a natural investment.
Pure-PRM vendors, such as Channelwave, Partnerware and Allegis, have so far provided most of the innovation and drive in PRM. However, enterprise applications vendors such as SAP, Oracle and PeopleSoft are highly likely to follow in the wake of Siebel – the first major vendor to enter this market in 1999 – whether by organic growth or acquisition (as seen with Chordiant’s buyout of OnDemand earlier this month).
Onyx also has similar portals for customers and employees, highlighting the trend towards ‘xRM’ – broadening CRM functionality to include other stakeholder relationships. Siebel is in a good position to corner the CRM and PRM market, while the enterprise vendors are set to win the race to developing a suite for all relationships.
Mid-market vendors such as Onyx and Pivotal are in a strong position to benefit from continued xRM market growth. Many companies would prefer to buy an xRM suite, because any loss of functionality is outweighed by the reduced cost of integrating different vendors’ applications.
The poor climate for IT investment could delay companies’ implementation of xRM suites (and PRM solutions, often seen as non-mission critical). Even so, Onyx’s decision seems like a smart one, as it can cross-sell the solution to its existing customers.