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Microsoft CRM Revenues Too Good To Be True?

The rare public look provided last week by market researchers at Gartner into vendor-by-vendor CRM revenues is raising some critical attention.

In a blog post Monday, Constellation Research Principal Analyst and CEO R "Ray" Wang argues the figures, especially Microsoft's $1 billion in 2012 CRM revenues, "do not meet the general sniff test."

For the record, Wang notes that he thinks the revenue figures for Oracle and SAP are inflated, too, although he agrees with the headline of Gartner's research -- that claimed the top CRM spot from SAP in the last year.

With experience both as an analyst and as head of CRM analyst relations for PeopleSoft back in the mid-2000s, Wang acknowledges that it "is hard work" divining revenues from software vendors, who would just as soon hide their sales or lead analysts to more positive conclusions than reality warrants.

Nonetheless, Wang zeroes in on Microsoft's past public statements about overall Dynamics revenues, including both ERP and CRM. From that basis, he argues for Constellation Research's estimate that overall Microsoft Dynamics revenues totaled between $1.5 billion and $1.6 billion in 2012. CRM would have had to grow exponentially and ERP would have had to crater, Wang contends, for Microsoft Dynamics CRM to hit $1 billion on its own.

For what it's worth, Microsoft has been quiet about the alleged milestone, as well. There are no mentions of $1 billion in CRM revenue in the Dynamics newsroom or in Microsoft's section on analyst coverage or in the official Dynamics blog. That could mean Microsoft is throwing a wet blanket on the numbers or simply that the software giant doesn't want to call attention to a fourth-place finish.


Posted by Scott Bekker on May 07, 2013