A Gartner report cites a 12.5% increase in global revenue from customer-relationship-management software for 2012, to $18 billion, with Salesforce.com topping SAP as the top player worldwide and SAP leading in Europe. The market's driving force is software-as-a-service, Gartner said, and Oracle and IBM are formidable players that could give Salesforce.com serious competition. "Oracle and IBM are now positioned to take some of the cloud business in the future, especially in the global large-enterprise arena," the report says.

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