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And SAP's first app built on BBD iiiiis: Sales OnDemand!

by Laura Casasanto

May 17, 2011

At this morning's keynote with so-CEOs Bill McDermott and Jim Hagemann-Snabe, Snabe announced a new application that will run on top of the company's Business ByDesign platform: Sales OnDemand. The new app, the first of its kind, will provide sales organizations with easy to access information on accounts, contacts, leads, opportunities, competitors, and more. Snabe described the design of the product as "people-centric" rather than "transactional."

The program was created with a strong social media influence, and includes a Feed for each user that updates him or her on the goings on of those users, data objects, accounts, or leads, for example. Messages can be sent to other members who a user has "friended" or those that are found through a company directory search. According to SAP, the concepts of "friending" and "following" made famous by social sites Facebook and Twitter are good concepts that they wanted to extend to the enterprise via Sales OnDemand. Searching and tagging functionality will make finding information quickly an easy task for members of sales teams.

The app will integrate easily into existing SAP environments through a rapid deployment solution provided by SAP, the company says. A "rich set" of analytic is included in the app, and it was built to be mobilized, according to SAP, beginning with the Apple OS, but coming soon to Blackberry and Android devices.

Customers from the companies Philips and PGI, both of whom have been using sales OnDemand in limited test groups, raved about the new app in a press conference on Sales OnDemand. Their users found it ea sy to pick up and use, needed little to no training on the functionality, and loved the interface. SAP itself in in the middle of five internal pilots that began six or seven weeks ago, and has so far found that those with social media experience embraced the tool and use it with ease.

The app is currently in the customer experience phase, with a new version planned for Q4 after incorporating customer input. The app was built with significant customer collaboration and advice, with 50 customer influencing its creation. More such OnDemand apps are coming soon, the company says, with Talent Management OnDemand and Travel and Expense Management OnDemand coming by the end of this year or early next year.

It'll be interesting to see how this new app, as well as the following OnDemand apps planned, do in terms of adoption. SoD seems easy enough to get up and running so I'm wondering how many customers will jump on the bandwagon.

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