In his opening remarks to the CRM Summit in Paris today, Gartner's Research Director for Business Process, Ed Thompson, jokingly asked delegates "what are you doing here?"
Thompson was referring to the applications bad name for expensive failure. This is a challenging time for CRM vendors, he said --- but "worse than that, it could be bad for your career". Corporate employees are wary of getting involved in CRM projects, because of the risk of career damage sustained by association with expensive and failing CRM initiatives. Growing numbers of smaller projects needing no board level sign-off are also hindering the CRM cause.
Despite CRM's image problems, Thompson said that attendance figures for its third European CRM Summit were up on last year and more delegates than ever before have the title of 'CRM Manager'. Clearly some peole are getting involved, whatever the risks.
Fellow presenter, Jennifer Kirby (Gartner's Research Director, Business Process and Application) said "we want to be positive -- show you examples of where people are successful". Towards this aim, Gartner will annouce the winner of its CRM Excellence Award on Thursday. ZDNet will report the winner of the award.