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The future's bright for customer relationship management (CRM) tools as well. Research firm ThinkEquity Partners predicts another solid quarter for salesforce.com, which offers CRM services on a monthly subscription basis. The company, which underwent an initial public offering last year, now has more than 185,000 subscribers at 12,000 companies worldwide. An estimated 75 percent are using the vendor's core product, sales force automation. In a recent report, ThinkEquity analysts Peter Coleman and Michael Huang say salesforce.com is already gaining maturity and has reached "an inflection point in adoption." Even assuming some near-term weakness due to a recent surge in the company's stock price, ThinkEquity continues to view CRM as "our Best Idea for 2005," the report's authors say. They challenge assertions that users will view salesforce.com as a temporary fix. "We believe the company is rapidly becoming the new standard in sales force automation," they say.
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