The play for CRM in the mid-market

It's interesting to see some of the big boys (including Microsoft) throw their hats into the front-office and chase the mid-market CRM clients over the past 5 years or so.

On one hand, you have products from the likes of Sage who's CRM products started at the low end with ACT! and moved up with SalesLogix and Sage CRM (Microsoft is also at this level with BCM and MS CRM). They need to achieve better scalability and develop an understanding of longer, more complex sales cycles.

On the other hand, Seibel, SAP, Oracle and others who come from the world of large data warehouse implementations are trying to move down-stream to meet a price point of the sites smaller than they have historically developed.

It seems to me that those who started at the bottom typically have better usability in the interface for those working on the "coal face", but those starting at the top can drive business with superior scalability and management reporting... but both need to learn from the other to get the mix right for the market they are all chasing.

One can see Sage's direction in their 2010 White Paper, which shows that they are finally planning to integrate their offerings and embrase Web 2.0 technologies.

Interested to hears other's views on this and, if you agree with my analysis, who do you think is winning and why?