Gartner recently published a new Magic Quadrant about Social CRM (). I have no special thought about the content right now but I think the very idea of this specific quadrant can be questioned.
At the time when all the discourses converge on saying that, even if it’s not exactly the same thing, Enterprise 2.0 and Social CRM approaches need to be thought jointly in a consistant fashion because they feed one another, it may seem surprising that a Social CRM Magic Quadrant comes in addition to the already existing enterprise 2.0 one.
Anyway, it reflects the state of the market : some solutions are focused on internal collaboration, others makes the bridge with external communities and media and, even if some vendors may want to specialize on a niche, I guess that in a near future, being credible on both fields will be mandatory for any player. But, right now, it’s clear that except for some vendors (that were not all eligible for the quadrant), the photography of the market looks more like if there was two distinct markets.
We have to keep in mind that, as a market builder, Garder just justified the strategy that has been chosen by some players of the Enterprise Social Software market such as Jive or blueKiwi that are beginning to embrace the analytics side of CRM and brings a social layer to it as well as CRM players that are trying to get the social fiber. As a matter of fact, the fact that the two leaders, Jive and Lithiym, are so close to the center of the Quadrant demonstrates that the processus of integrating the two worlds is only at its beginning and that the road will be very long.
Anyway the trend is here : the Sony case that was shown in Boston and the discussions that took place in Both Boston and Milan in june during two major conferences show that businesses are beginning to deal with both approaches at the same time in a structured and joint approach and are expecting vendors and consultants to give them adequate answers.
What bothers me a little bit is when I try to think as if I were the client. The latter thinks in terms of global stratgey and separating the two markers may makes him split his reflection and build application silos instead of opening the channels and fluidy interactions across the corporate membrane. Even if relevant in some ways, adopting this standpoint is like looking with vendor’s eyes and neglecting actual customer needs.
So, how can an enterprise that is thinking, beyond tool, of new effective ways to create value, deal with these quadrants ? Superimpose both and eliminate vendors that are one-market-only players ? Why not.
Maybe analysts can help by changing their switching their prism. Even if their job is to help businesses to choose the right technology, they should understand that technology is pointless out of a value driven approach that does not exist in the analysis. Maybe offering a “Value creation in open ecosystems” would provide customers with a more relevant viewpoint. I agree it may be quite hard to design but when one’s mission is to build and light up markets, being aligned with changing market drivers is mandatory.
But maybe such reports are made to help vendors and not customers…