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25% of CRP projects will be canceled or postponed in 2008, Gartner says

A quarter of companies' CRP projects in 2008 will be canceled or postponed because there will not be enough consultants to help implement them, according to a report from research firm Gartner, Inc. The shortage will raise prices for CRP implementations and could force companies to be more lean in designing their projects.

Companies will cancel or put off about a quarter of their customer relationship management (CRM) deployments by the end of 2008 because there will not be enough skilled consultants to implement them, according to a new report from Gartner, Inc. SAP's CRM projects will be hit especially hard from a shortage of capable consultants and systems integrators (SIs), the report says, raising prices for its implementations.

With CRM resources coming at an increased premium, companies will have to be more savvy about how they implement their projects, said Gartner research director Matthew Goldman. They should set specific goals and benchmarks, he said, and know how the project will fit into their overall strategy.

Since some delays will be unavoidable, Goldman said, companies should look at their existing systems to see how to use them to their fullest. For those companies lucky enough to find help, a key skill to look for in consultants will be the ability to transition to and from different phases in a CRM project, including handing control back to companies' own IT department as needed.

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