Much like a high draft pick in the NFL, customer relationship management (CRM) solutions seem to have suffered from the burden of high expectations. When CRM emerged in 1990s, it was touted as a cure all, which would bring companies closer to their customers, unify business processes and offer a solid ROI.

However, the reality was often quite different, as stories of tortuous or failed CRM implementations spread, and some began to question whether CRM was worth the investment. What’s more, some of the companies that helped define the CRM space in the 1990s, such as Seibel Systems and PeopleSoft, have been acquired by Redwood Shores, Calif.-based Oracle Corp. in recent years. Indeed, the negative baggage around CRM became so heavy that even CRM solution vendors began to shy away from the term.

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