The top five vendors by annual sales of customer relationship management technology accounted for nearly half of the worldwide market for CRM software, technology research and advisory firm Gartner Inc. says in a report released this week.

The combined market share of those vendors, however, dipped last year to 45.6% from 47.6% in 2014, partly as a result of more than 30 acquisitions in 2015, Gartner says in the report, “Market Share Analysis: Customer Relationship Management Software, Worldwide, 2015.” It notes that acquisition activity outside of the top five coincided with drops in market share at top five vendors SAP SE and Oracle Corp. Businesses use CRM software to manage multiple aspects of customer relationships, including sales, customer service and marketing.

Salesforce.com Inc. leads all CRM vendors with a 19.7% market share and 2015 revenue of $5.17 billion, followed by SAP SE with a market share of 10.2% and CRM revenue in 2015 of $2.68 billion. The other vendors in the top five are Oracle Corp., with a 7.8% share and CRM revenue of $2.05 billion; Microsoft Corp., 4.3% share and $1.14 billion in CRM revenue; and Adobe Systems Inc., 3.6% share and $936.8 million in CRM revenue. The top five kept the same rankings as a year ago except for Adobe, which moved up to fifth place, displacing IBM Corp. among the leaders.

Driving the growth is strong demand for CRM technology are applications delivered under a software-as-a-service model, or SaaS, which lets companies access a vendor’s Internet-hosted CRM software via a web browser without having to run it on their own technology infrastructure, says Julian Poulter, research director at Gartner. Each of the top five CRM vendors provide SaaS versions of their technology.

The CRM industry “uses SaaS as the major delivery model,” Poulter says. He notes that SaaS CRM revenue grew 27% in 2015 over 2014, which is more than double the rate of overall CRM sales growth.

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The report notes that North America accounted for the bulk of CRM revenue in CRM in 2015, at 55.7%, though the Asia-Pacific region showed the sharpest growth, with a growth rate of 2.19% in 2015 over 2014.

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