IT analysis and data tracking major Gartner has rated Nasdaq-listed Cognizant Technology Services ahead of Indian peers like TCS, HCL Technologies and Satyam in its latest vendor rating report on CRM external service providers (ESP).
Two other Indian software services behemoths, Wipro and Infosys, do not figure in the ratings.
The Gartner research report focusses on consulting and system integration (C&SI) services provided by these companies from conception through implementation of CRM initiatives which included vision and strategy, business consulting, business transformation, development, configuration, and rollout of packaged and custom CRM software.
According to Gartner, in 2003, CRM ESPs' C&SI service revenue was approximately $8 billion worldwide -- 55 percent of which was from the Americas, with North America accounting for nearly 93 percent of that.
Gartner has rated Cognizant as the only offshore player with capabilities that are "Promising", that is, the company "shows potential in specific areas".
TCS, Satyam and HCL Technologies, the other three offshore vendors rated for their CRM capabilities, have been rated "Caution", that is, the companies "face challenges in one or more areas".
The rating comes close to nine months after Cognizant acquired ACES, a CRM company in California, specialising in Siebel for about $4 million.
"We have a particularly strong Siebel capability, but customers using a number of other leading CRM platforms are equally happy," said Peter Grambs, CRM practice head, Cognizant.
Gartner used six parameters pertaining to CRM for the evaluation -- practice viability, domain expertise, industry expertise and focus, partnership and alliances, market presence and customer references on previous project engagements.
Gartner has rated Cognizant "Promising" for "its experienced CRM team with a strength of about 250 consultants. On HCL Technologies, Satyam and TCS, Gartner says, "each has a number of common themes.
Their primary venture into the CRM services arena is focused on providing technical resources (predominantly in India) that deliver application modifications, enhancement or interfaces to leading CRM software, or some level of technical design and coding in CRM analytics. In general, their clients cite their technical resources and rate structures in India as strengths."
This is the second vendor rating that Gartner has released in the last few months. Earlier, rating the top nine offshore vendors on an overall basis, Gartner rated TCS, Cognizant, Infosys and Wipro as "Positive", and Satyam, HCL Technologies, Patni, Syntel and Covansys as "Promising".