As takeover battles in the enterprise software space continue, revenue from new licenses in the important customer relationship management (CRM) software sector fell 24.7 per cent in 2002, according to research from Gartner Inc.

Revenue from new CRM licenses reached US$2.8 billion in 2002, down from US$3.7 billion in 2001, which in turn was 6.4 per cent lower than the US$3.95 billion reached in 2000, according to Gartner.

Market inhibitors included the weak global economy, changes in end-user priorities and buying patterns, along with heavy competition among CRM vendors. North America was the hardest-hit region, with sales falling 27.6 per cent in 2002 compared with 2001. Europe’s CRM revenue fell 22.4 per cent and Asia-Pacific’s revenue fell 15.2 per cent, Gartner said.

Siebel Systems Inc. remained the largest vendor in 2002 based on sales of new CRM licenses with a 24.9 per cent market share, down from 28.5 per cent in 2001. Second-placed SAP AG made up considerable ground, raising its market share from 10.9 per cent in 2001 to 15.9 per cent in 2002.

In the next two places, with equal market shares of 4.3 percent, are PeopleSoft Inc. and Oracle Corp., currently locked in a bitter takeover battle. PeopleSoft improved its market share from 3.8 per cent in 2001 while Oracle’s share fell from 5.5 per cent in 2001.