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10/04/2000

IDC Forecasts Central America and Caribbean eCommerce Spending to Top $140 Million by Year End

FRAMINGHAM, MA – SEPTEMBER 11, 2000 – Businesses are beginning to take advantage of the increasing popularity of wireless devices to improve customer relationship management (CRM). According to IDC, as CRM becomes a more integral component of the modern enterprise business strategy, many companies are turning to wireless devices as a means of delivering market-differentiating customer service.

"Corporatewide CRM will undoubtedly be enhanced by accessing enterprise data and services through wireless devices," said Brian Bingham, senior analyst for IDC's eCustomer Care Services research program. "The exact benefit to the business and customer will be determined by the nature of the product and/or service being offered, but regardless of the benefit scale, the value-add to a CRM program is the extension of the customer knowledge base into a remote location."

IDC believes some industries are better positioned to improve their CRM by using wireless devices than others. These industries include utilities, financial services, healthcare services, manufacturing, and retail.

"With wireless CRM applications, businesses will be able to be more proactive. Field service representatives will be able to make decisions based on real-time data, and the time spent on each transaction will be reduced as members of the sales force have instant reads on parts, inventory, schedules, order status, and other relevant information," Bingham said.

However, before CRM applications on wireless devices can really take off, a few challenges will have to be overcome. First, there is no standardization in wireless infrastructure or protocol, and the differences can cause gateways to shut down or crash. Also, the lack of a clear value-added business use and the need for education could slow the impact of wireless CRM.

Information like the above can be found in IDC's new report Wireless CRM Solutions: Are We There Yet? (IDC #B22820). This report analyzes businesses' use of wireless devices to improve CRM and the issues surrounding wireless devices and CRM. The report looks at the impact of wireless CRM and makes predictions about future use. It also includes recommendations to CRM service providers. To purchase the report, contact Jim Nagle at 1-800-343-4952 at extension 4549 or at jnagle@idc.com.

About IDC

IDC delivers dependable, high-impact insights and advice on the future of ebusiness, the Internet, and technology to help organizations make sound business decisions. IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends and analyzes business strategies, technologies, and vendors, using a combination of rigorous primary research and in-depth competitive analysis. IDC provides global research with local content through more than 600 analysts in 43 countries worldwide. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at http://www.idc.com.

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.

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