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SAPinsider CRM2013 Event Previews CRM "Next Generation"

by Kenneth Murphy

March 4, 2013

by Ken Murphy


SAPinsider’s CRM, Logistics and SCM, Manufacturing, PLM, and Procurement event in Las Vegas kicked off this morning with pre-conference workshops designed to give attendees a taste of the comprehensive information coming their way, and a CRM overview presentation (#CRM2013) was no exception.

Scott Druckenmiller of SAP Labs and Prashant Dube of SAP Canada regaled a packed house of about 100 attendees with an up-to-date glimpse of the sales, service, and marketing capabilities in SAP CRM 7.0. Interestingly, from a show of hands, the majority of the attendees are already running SAP CRM in their respective businesses, but were interested in exploring the latest functionality of EHP 2 – a prerequisite to run SAP 360 Customer powered by SAP HANA.

Druckenmiller and Dube focused a good deal of their presentation on the benefits to end customers that running SAP 360 Customer can facilitate. Where analytics are concerned, one of the key takeaways was that interactive reporting capabilities of SAP HANA will not slow down a CRM system, both  because it prevents the necessity of having to transfer CRM data out to a data warehouse, and because the reconfigured search architecture – compressed column vs. row-by-row – makes real-time reporting a reality.

“Co-deployment” was another message Druckenmiller hammered home: the ability for the CRM customer to choose which functionality to run on SAP HANA. A business could choose to run only analytics, or go full bore and run all functionalities within sales, service, and marketing.

Of course, from SAP’s point of view, the “Next generation” of customer relationship management that is driven by expectations of immediate gratification, SAP HANA is the surest way to fulfill those changing expectations. When, according to the statistics that Druckenmiller displayed, more than 50 percent of customers will always share a bad recommendation, or more than 50 percent of customers will believe an online recommendation from a complete stranger, it’s imperative for a business to have real-time information to respond immediately to social sentiment.

And that, Druckenmiller said, is really SAP’s strategy in a nutshell for its evolving CRM approach: when customers are now changing the rules, how does a business derive the maximum value from its SAP CRM solution? Mobility and analytics, especially, will be fixtures of that “next generation” approach. Visualization, too, is an integral part of an end-to-end closed CRM loop. Druckenmiller used an example of a customer dialing into a call center for a question about furniture assembly.  With SAP 360 Customer, every aspect of that customer involvement can be handled and tracked seamlessly in an integrated manner. The call center agent can use a visualization tool to assist the customer, forward a request to a field service agent on a mobile device, and find other customers that may have a similar experience.

Marketing is also fully integrated with SAP 360 Customer. Using the “checkbook” functionality, marketing can tie budgets and forecasts back to financials, managing entire campaigns in a single user interface. This end-to-end approach also enables the managing of entire marketing campaigns and loyalty programs.

Druckenmiller referred his audience to for more information about specific functionality of the CRM EHP1 and EHP2, but based on the audience q uestions it appeared attendees were excited about becoming part of this SAP CRM “Next Generation”. With four days of presentations ahead covering every area of customer relationship management, the CRM old guard might not stand a chance.

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