Telecom, banking to hike S'pore CRM market

The deregulation of the retail banking and telecom sectors in Singapore is expected to boost customer relationship management (CRM) spending in the republic.

The deregulation of the retail banking and telecom sectors in Singapore is expected to boost customer relationship management (CRM) spending in the republic.

SINGAPORE--A December/January survey done by marketing consultancy firm Frost & Sullivan has shown that the local CRM market is expected to reach US$49 million in 2002 from US$20.8 million last year.

The survey aims to provide an overview of the regional CRM market last year and growth opportunities in the next seven years.

About 70 top-tier CRM vendors in Asia Pacific including Siebel Systems Inc, PeopleSoft Inc, Onyx Software Corp and Oracle Corp responded to the study. Another 60 companies in Asia Pacific, which implemented CRM last year, were also interviewed.

"The telecom, banking and finance sectors are currently leading CRM spending in Singapore," said Frost & Sullivan industry manager (Asia Pacific Enterprise Communications) Moaiyad Taher Hoosenally in an interview today.

He expects CRM investments here to increase as more banks receive licenses to expand their retail operations.

The four large local retail banks are Development Bank of Singapore (DBS), Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp (OCBC), Overseas Union Bank (OUB) and United Overseas Bank (UOB).

Last year, the local government granted ABN AMRO, Maybank, Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank Qualifying Full Bank (QFB) status. As QFBs, they are allowed to open a total of 10 branches and off-site ATMs, freely re-locate existing branches and share ATMs with other QFBs.

A complete CRM suite helps companies manage their sales accounts and marketing programs, sales forcasting and budgeting as well as call center and helpdesk services, Moaiyad noted. CRM spending in Singapore will also be largely contributed by foreign telcos setting up shop here, Moaiyad said.

For instance, Virgin Mobile (Asia) Pte Ltd is expected to launch its mobile phone services in the middle of this year. Virgin Mobile Asia is a 50:50 US$100 million joint venture between Singapore Telecommunications Ltd and Virgin Management Ltd.

Another potential would be Hong Kong-based Sunday Holdings (Singapore) Corp, which is bidding for a third generation (3G) license here.

Looking ahead, Moaiyad expects the local CRM market to hit US$142 million in 2007, with an compound annual growth rate of 31.6 percent.

"Large organizations are expected to drive the market as they upgrade their existing CRM investments," he explained.

"Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) might be more cautious (in spending) with the Asian economic downturn," he noted.