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The global CRM applications market recorded a robust performance in the first half of this year, with revenue totaling $9.2 billion, with semiannual year-on-year growth of 13.3 percent, a third stronger than what it was a year ago, according to IDC’s Worldwide Semiannual CRM Applications Tracker.

Oracle remained the top CRM vendor worldwide, growing above the market average, and it was the only vendor that earned double-digit market share (13.2 percent) during the first half of 2011. posted the best year-over-year growth (22.6 percent) among the top 10 vendors during the same period and moved into the No. 2 position worldwide for the first time since IDC started tracking the market semiannually in 2008. SAP and NICE Systems also racked up stronger growth than the overall market.

Of the four functional markets, sales, marketing and customer service are each expected to achieve double-digit growth in 2011. While IDC said the contact center functional is not forecast to follow suit, it nevertheless should rebound significantly from a prior year decline of 3.6 percent. In terms of geography, the Americas and Europe will be registering at least double the growth of 2010, the report predicted.

"The CRM applications market experiences growth in an organic relationship with broader market conditions and organizational performance. Movements such as social and mobile are bringing consumer-like experience requirements to all aspects of end-customer engagement with the companies with whom they conduct business," said Mary Wardley, program vice president for CRM applications. "As a result, we will see requirements for a modernization of customer-facing processes, which will precipitate increased investment in supporting systems, such as CRM applications."

A total of 18 vendors (two more than during the first half of 2010) achieved revenue of more than $100 million during the first half of 2011. Combined, these vendors captured a total market share of 63 percent with the remainder shared among 170 vendors and others. The two new vendors that surpassed the $100 million revenue mark in the first half of 2011 were Nuance Communications and Reynolds & Reynolds.

In its concurrent Worldwide Semiannual Enterprise Resource Management (ERM) Applications Tracker, IDC found companies are expected to spend a total of $37.9 billion on ERM during 2011. SAP, Oracle and Microsoft continued to be the only three ERM vendors with revenue of more than $1 billion in the first half of 2011, solidifying their positions in the top three spots. Despite their massive ERM revenue figures, SAP and Microsoft still managed to achieve above-average market growth in the first half of this year. Outside the top three, market competition proved to be very intense, with five out of the eight functional markets featuring more than 100 vendors (that IDC monitors). The most intense competition was found in the financial accounting, human capital management and procurement functionals.

To read the original eWeek article, click here: Oracle, Salesforce Lead CRM Applications Market in 2011: IDC