The Vietnamese market remains small, but it has attracted a lot of big service providers, from foreign experienced ones such as: SugarCRM, ZohoCRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Saleforce, SAP CRM, Oracle; to domestic big guys such as: Vtiger, Hitek, Biaki, Vpar, PerfectCRM, 1VS, MisaCRM, NEO CRM. The small market and the presence of numerous service providers both explain why the competition in the market is so stiff.
The biggest obstacle for CRM software suppliers is the lack of attention of Vietnamese businesses to the products. It is estimated that only 10 percent of Vietnamese businesses have used CRM, while the figure is much higher in other countries. It is estimated that the world would spend about 13 billion dollars in 2012 on the works relating to CRM.
Therefore, it’s always very difficult to offer CRM products to Vietnamese enterprises. Vietnamese still do not think that they need to have a tool for customer relation management when they want to develop and expand their business scale. A lot of them, when meeting CRM suppliers, raise a question like “What does CRM software mean? Why do I have to have a CRM product?”
As the market share is too small for all CRM suppliers, a lot of them have to offer cheap products to scramble for customers. The suppliers try to minimize their production costs by using foreign open source codes.
Analysts say that the open source codes would help IT firms cut down expenses when developing a system or a fundamental for analyzing and developing products for a specific market like Vietnam. However, later, during the process of developing products, they would meet some serious errors.
After a period of development, the software products would not be able to satisfy the requirements set up by the users. This would not only make the solution providers lose their customers, but also make other companies fall into disrepute.
Mai Duy Quang, director of Biaki, one of the leading CRM suppliers in Vietnam, has also admitted that the challenges remain too big for CRM firms. While tens of billions of dollars are being spent in the world on the products and services relating to CRM, Vietnamese IT firms still have to meet customers to explain to them the necessity of CRM.
How is the future for Vietnamese CRM market?
However, Quang still believes that CRM suppliers would have a bright future.
“If you understand the inspirations of customers and can provide good products, the indifference of the market and the lack of knowledge about CRM products would not be a big challenge any more,” he said.
Quang believes that it would be better for Vietnamese businesses to develop technology foundation of their own instead of using foreign open source code. He said Biaki, for example, had to spend 12 years on developing products in the European market. However, it still faced big challenges in Vietnam in order to create the products fitting the specific features of the market, like BiakiCRM.
BiakiCRM has been recognized as having a flexible mechanism and high openness which can satisfy the current demand and the demand in the future of some businesses. BiakiCRM would attend Echelon 2012 Startup Marketplace, a well-known event for Asian technology community, to be held in Singapore.
However, BiakiCRM is just one of the very few success stories in Vietnam. IT firms would still have to follow a thorny path to reach their successes. However, experts say, the rewards for them would be not small: it is expected that the percentage of Vietnamese businesses using CRM products would rise to 30-35 percent in one or two years.