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This report looks at the trends for CRM in 2017 and concludes that enterprises with omnichannel ambitions will select advanced CRM systems to provide a foundation for omnichannel customer engagement.


  • CRM becomes more strategic as enterprises invest in advanced platforms as a foundation for omnichannel-enabled customer experience.
  • Intelligent orchestration of the customer experience becomes a must-have for those with omnichannel ambitions.
  • Speed to market will fuel demand for preconfigured industry options and microservices.

Features and Benefits

  • Provides deeper insight into the trends associated with CRM platforms, which will help with development of selection criteria.
  • Discusses how to develop an omnichannel customer engagement capability.

Key questions answered

  • What developments can be expected in CRM in 2017?
  • What are the key principles that should underlie an omnichannel strategy, and what part can advanced CRM platforms do to underpin the strategy?

Table of contents


  • Catalyst
  • Ovum view
  • Key messages


  • Recommendations for enterprises
  • Recommendations for vendors

Business trends and technology enablers

  • Develop a customer orientation and build an adaptive customer engagement platform

CRM becomes more strategic as companies invest in advanced platforms to support omnichannel-enabled customer experience

  • Growth through retention and acquisition is the key driver behind a strategic approach to CRM
  • No shortage of vision, but light on strategy and definition
  • More forward-thinking enterprises understand the role of CRM within the broader omnichannel customer experience and engagement context

Intelligent orchestration of the customer experience becomes a must-have for those with omnichannel ambitions

  • Journey mapping provides a useful starting point for omnichannel strategy and design
  • Intelligent orchestration is essential for omnichannel success

Speed to market will fuel demand for preconfigured industry options and microservices

  • Industry options will include several key components
  • Microservices provide more options to extend the capabilities of CRM platforms

Expect to see more investment in IoT, AI-supported bots or virtual digital agents, machine learning, RPA, and DaaS in 2017

  • IoT leads the investment priorities driven by the need to improve the customer experience and customer engagement
  • Predictive analytics and next best action are also top of mind
  • AI-assisted bots and RPA will proliferate in 2017, performing useful tasks for users and customers
  • DaaS broadens the ability of enterprises to engage intelligently with their customers or prospects

Long-forgotten PRM will emerge from the dark as it morphs into collaborative ecosystem management

  • Ecosystem-based competition drives the need for closer collaboration
  • Regulators will drive the need for secure ecosystem management

Omnichannel evolution will continue to drive developments of the leading CRM vendors

  • Recognize the customer or persona
  • Orchestrate the customer experience throughout the customer journey – based on real-time predictive intelligence
  • Adapt continuously to remain relevant
  • Protect the customer


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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