Satisfied with your company's customer-relationship management initiatives? A recent Cutter Consortium study found that more than three-quarters of 159 surveyed companies said yes.
The report is evidence that CRM initiatives --a high priority of many IT execs right now-- are not failing as often as some might think.
On a six-point scale, 4 percent of respondents said they were extremely satisfied with their CRM operations; 36 percent were satisfied; 37 percent were mildly satisfied; 5 percent were disappointed; 17 percent were mildly disappointed; and 1 percent were extremely disappointed.
Unsurprisingly, Cutter found that "retaining customers" is the main force driving CRM adoption.
More Good News For E-Commerce
Hardly a week goes by without some analyst firm trumpeting the great growth it forecasts for e-commerce (such as last week's Roundup summarizing a report from Jupiter Media Metrix).
This week's glowing prediction comes from the analysts at International Data Corp., who say Internet sales will top $5 trillion annually by 2005, as nearly 1 billion people (15 percent of the world's population) go online.
Based on 2000 online global online spending of $354 billion, that amounts to what IDC trumpets as a "staggering" 70 percent compound annual growth rate for e-commerce.
IDC finds that despite the high-profile failure of many e-commerce sites in recent months, there are more than 100 million new Internet users each year. But beyond consumer-level spending, IDC notes that large-scale corporate purchasing over the Web is "just getting cranked up."
Add to that the rise of portable devices for accessing the Internet, like mobile phones and handheld devices, and "you have a scenario for explosive growth," IDC reports.
IDC also says that in years to come, Net usage will not be dominated by a single region. One likely scenario: The U.S., which accounted for 34 percent of Internet users in 2000 (making it first in the world), will fall to third place as growth there slows and more users go online in Asia and Europe. Over time, those areas will rival each other for the most Net users.
U.S. Government Top Online Seller
Think Amazon.com is the top e-commerce retailer? Think again. A report in Federal Computer Week says that, by a wide margin, the U.S. government sells more stuff online than anyone else.
The feds sold more than $3.6 billion worth of items over the Web in 2000, far ahead of Amazon's $2.8 billion in sales.
The bulk of the sales ($3.3 billion) were investment vehicles such as U.S. savings bonds, Treasury bills and notes, sold by the Treasury Department.
Other items included excess property and assets (including wild horses, Coast Guard-owned homes, blues recordings from the Library of Congress, old Army trucks and sports cars seized in fraud cases), plus more pedestrian items such as postage stamps and sweatshirts.
A study found that a U.S. government operates or supports at least 164 Web sites selling something to the public. The report cites some difficulties with the government's approach to e-commerce, including the lack of marketing for most of its sites. Also, there is no single place online where the government consolidates all its e-commerce offerings.
There is one angle the government has over giants like Amazon and others: Nowhere does it say the government has to make a profit online.
Database Giants Still Waging War
Who's the undisputed king of worldwide database software market? If you said Oracle, move to the head of the class.
The California database giant kept a slight lead over IBM during 2000. It increased its market share in the global database software market (DBMS) to 33.8 percent, up from 31.4 percent in 1999, according to a recent report from Gartner Dataquest.
Second-place IBM (30.1 percent, up from 29.9 percent in 1999) was followed by Microsoft (14.9 percent), Sybase (3.2 percent), and Informix (3 percent). All other competitors, categorized as a group, split the remaining 15 percent of market share.
But like seemingly everything else in the IT market these days, database software sales are softer than a year earlier.
Gartner Dataquest said the downturn in the U.S. economy in the second half of 2000 continued to extend sales cycles, resulting in slower growth in what has been a robust market. Worldwide new license revenue hit $8.8 billion in 2000, a 10 percent increase over 1999 revenue. That was far below the 18 percent growth experienced in 1999.
In 1999, more than half of the software vendors has double-digit growth, but in 2000 only 35 percent of vendors reached that mark.
Betsy Burton, vice president and research area director for Gartner, said the numbers show that "despite the market consolidation, the DBMS market share wars are far from over. IBM, Microsoft and Oracle will continue to battle for DBMS market dominance with the major influencing factors being ISV and applications support, pricing, depth of OS platform support and DBMS scalability and availability."