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Gartner's Predictions for the Year Ahead

Here are my selection of key predictions from Gartner that will impact front-line business process optimization, and customer care evolution in the coming year.

CRM Marketing Strategies and Technologies Mature
In 2006, marketing will be a major area for organizational investment in customer relationship management (CRM). Marketing applications will continue to mature, offering greater functionality, improved analytics, more deployment options and the emergence of service-oriented components.

Renewed Interest in Selling Technology
The ripple effect of Oracle's acquisition of Siebel Systems, continued on-demand user adoption and a renewed emphasis on e-commerce will be the biggest drivers for sales organizations during the next few years.

CSS Will Require Increasingly Close Coordination With IT
Investment in business process improvement, wireless-enabled workers and customers, and integrated communications infrastructure will be more critical to customer service and support than packaged applications. Close cooperation between the CSS and IT organizations will be more important than ever.

E-Learning Will Become Intrinsic to Your Business Process
Successful e-learning implementations require strategy and technology, supported by appropriate stakeholders. In 2006, governance and management will be the key themes for e-learning to address.

Emerging Trends Drive New Opportunities
Opportunities for process and business improvements will derive from a "real-world Web" of smart objects and ambient intelligence, and from consumer-oriented trends such as Web business platforms, aesthetic design and mobile robots as they move into the business world.

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