Special Report


Special Feature: mySAP Customer Relationship Management (SAPinsider Vol. 6, Iss. 2)


April 1, 2005

4 Questions to Assess How Well You Know and Serve Your Customers

Peter J. Kirschbauer
Member of the Extended Management Board,
Head of BSG Service Industries


Meet the Requirements of Your Most Lucrative Customers with P-Cards, XiPay, and mySAP CRM

Siemens HiPath ProCenter CRM Ready Kit and mySAP CRM: Unifying the Contact Center Agent's Experience

Talking to Your SAP Solutions: Enhancing Customer Service with VoiceObjects' Technology

Growth, profitability, and market share — they are all, in the end, really determined by your customers. Customers do or do not buy a product or service. Customers bid the price up or drive it down, depending on the value they perceive from a product or service. No matter how good a product or how efficient a company, without customers there is no growth, profitability, or market share.

Successful companies put the customer at the center of their business. They understand who their most valuable customers are, they understand their needs and their buying habits. They target and tailor their offerings and personalize their interactions with their customers. Successful companies design and continuously improve business processes across their entire ecosystem to adapt quickly to changing customer needs. They strive to become a fully Customer-Centric Enterprise — not just to know what, when, where, and how their customers want to buy, but to tune their entire enterprise and ecosystem to react quickly and efficiently to deliver on those needs, preferably before the competition even has time to react.

Information technology is a mission-critical enabler of the Customer-Centric Enterprise. IT provides the enterprise with insight on customer needs and empowers the company to execute on those needs. The capabilities of your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solution therefore have a direct impact on your ability to grow, improve profitability, and gain market share. There is a widening gap between companies who have CRM software solutions that can support a Customer-Centric Enterprise strategy and those that cannot. Let's call them the haves and have-nots. Into which category do you fall? A few basic business questions can help you gauge your CRM capabilities:

1. Can you measure the success of your marketing campaigns including all related financial information? Can you use these findings to optimize your business?

Can you plan a marketing campaign and set targets for the number of leads and revenue you want to generate? And can you kick-off campaign execution? I imagine you can. However, I suggest this alone is not sufficient. It's easy to plan for these targets and initiate activities. It's quite another story to monitor all aspects concerning execution of the plan, and not only track and report KPIs around the leads and sales it generates, but also track costs and profitability, and use this insight to continuously refine execution.

mySAP CRM customers have this complete visibility. They can close the loop on marketing activities, from planning through execution, and track and analyze results and costs (see Figure 1). If you don't have a complete picture of a campaign, from inception to its sales aftermath, from money budgeted for a campaign to the leads and sales opportunities it generates, count yourself among the have-nots. If you have a complete and clear vision into these processes and a way to benchmark results and costs, consider yourself among the haves.

mySAP CRM eliminates complex integration issues because it delivers everything marketing departments need to track and analyze customer relations — from order placement to shipping and billing. Sophisticated tools enhance a marketing organization's ability to plan, execute, and measure its programs by supporting marketing planning, campaign management, e-marketing, lead management, marketing analytics, and customer segmentation.
mySAP CRM equips sales organizations with the capabilities they need to maximize sales-team productivity, shorten sales cycles, increase revenues, and promote customer loyalty. Sales organizations benefit from consistency, predictability, and effectiveness, ensuring that promising leads become profitable customers across all sales channels.
mySAP CRM offers consolidated, operational insight that enables service organizations to make informed decisions founded on timely, reliable information, while helping ensure that personnel meet their service-level responsibilities. Full-featured services capabilities enable organizations to manage customer service and support, e-services, field services, and service operations.
Interaction Center
The interaction center capabilities of mySAP CRM unite front- and back-offices into a single, enterprise-wide operation, enabling all members of the enterprise to manage customer relationships across every communication channel. With its new Web-based user interface, the interaction center from SAP provides a state-of-the-art collaboration and communication platform for telesales, telemarketing, and customer service and support. A broad range of workforce management capabilities help interaction center managers better allocate resources and run their operations more efficiently.
mySAP CRM provides a broad range of applications for analyzing customer interactions, business processes, and market opportunities. By taking advantage of state-of-the-art reporting tools to monitor and measure the performance of their businesses, companies can uncover hidden patterns and trends to anticipate risks and opportunities in marketing, sales, and service. mySAP CRM comprises powerful analytical components with SAP Business Information Warehouse and provides an integrated and flexible planning platform for setting clear goals and coordinating resources to achieve business objectives.
Field Applications
mySAP CRM supports a wide range of mobile devices and platforms, including mobile clients (for example, laptops and tablet PCs), handheld devices, WAP devices, and browser clients to provide users with powerful CRM capabilities — both online and offline. Companies thus have the freedom to choose the most convenient way to access information anytime, anywhere.
By empowering customers with personalized Web experiences and convenient self-services, mySAP CRM helps companies turn the Internet into a profitable sales and interaction channel for both business customers and consumers. Fully integrated Web channels strengthen sales and service operations while reducing transaction costs and customer service calls.
Channel Management
mySAP CRM empowers enterprises to manage partner relationships and helps channel partners sell more effectively. With access to all partner-related information, companies can recognize and forecast demand across all sales channels and collaborate with partners to reduce channel support costs, increase value to customers, and drive more revenue through indirect channels. Leveraging SAP's core strengths in e-commerce, CRM, and partner relationship management, mySAP CRM delivers a collaborative channel solution that also enables partners to manage their own end customers — a distinct market differentiator.
Figure 1
mySAP CRM Capabilities at a Glance

2. Can you measure the value of your customer relationships?

Simple question. Notoriously difficult task — one that has historically been fraught with error. Often the root cause of these errors is a siloed view of the customer. I see this time and time again. Take too narrow a view and you reach misleading conclusions about that customer's real value to your company. Here's an example: Your sales force automation system reveals that a certain customer is a big-dollar account. Your call center tracking system shows that with 90% of this customer's calls for support, problems and questions are resolved in less than three minutes and on the first try. It's easy to conclude this is an ideal customer. But step back from your front-office data and take a 360-degree look at this customer, and you may find low-margin purchases, high product returns, a big order backlog, and a large number of disputed invoices. The reality is that this is a low-profitability customer. Siloed systems can actually blind you to the real value of a customer. mySAP CRM customers can draw from the enterprise to gain visibility, considering all the data sources that impact the profitability equation. The have-nots cannot. What separates the two camps is the ability to effectively manage profitable growth, and I expect the divide will grow more pronounced over time.

3. Does your call center generate business?

For many companies the call center is at the heart of customer interactions. (With the growing adoption of email and other means of communication, a more appropriate term would be "interaction center" rather than "call center.") Does yours provide your agents with full visibility of a customer's history across all touch-points? Do your call center agents have all the information at their fingertips to address the customer's needs and strengthen this relationship — including information on a customer's payments and returns, inquiries into new products and services, and availability of those products and services? What separates the haves and have-nots is the ability to transform a call center — traditionally viewed as a cost center — into an interaction center that can be a revenue center. The mySAP CRM interaction center helps companies to capitalize on their strategic customer in-roads, bolster customer loyalty, harvest upselling/cross-selling opportunities, and gain insight on customers and buying trends.

4. Do you base your business decisions on the right information?

Unfortunately, good analytics can't be run solely on data from your CRM solution. The goal is a consistent and comprehensive view of the customer. So do your finance, sales, logistics, product development, and marketing organizations all share a common view of your customers? The haves in this case optimize business processes, enable better and faster decision making based on enterprise-wide customer intelligence, and provide relevant information to their users. Thus, the haves can predict future customer activity and plan business strategies more accurately than the have-nots. This helps focus limited resources on the customers and activities that will generate the greatest ROI.

How can this be established? By deploying a solution that integrates all customer-facing business processes, even if they are provided by multiple vendors. mySAP CRM, powered by SAP NetWeaver, is such a solution. All relevant sources of customer data are included out of the box. Analytics are provided in many mySAP CRM business processes and throughout all areas of customer business to help you refine marketing campaigns, track your sales pipeline against forecast, and analyze service costs and problem resolution, just to mention a few.

mySAP CRM is designed for step-by-step deployment so that you can implement what you need when you need it without the risk of creating solution or information silos. More than 280 ready-made business processes — taking into account the different needs of different industries — allow for quick and reliable implementation. mySAP CRM processes are connected to all other relevant mySAP Business Suite solutions. In this, you enable end-to-end processes out-of-the-box that provide complete and comprehensive views of your customer.

Step-by-Step Deployment of mySAP CRM

Put It All Together — When You're Ready

Most customers implement mySAP CRM step by step — addressing their most important business priorities first and quickly achieving business value, then expanding the solution as needed — realizing tangible ROI with each step along the way. Audi, for example, pegs a projected $3 million revenue increase to its new SAP-based customer loyalty programs. Brother International reduced the time it takes to service customers and dealers by nearly 50%. Villeroy & Boch credits mySAP CRM for 53,000 fewer abandoned calls.

These results are not exceptions. We can see tangible increases in revenue generation, operational efficiencies, and profitability when mySAP CRM solutions are being implemented. It just stands to reason that you will drive more revenue through shortened sales cycles and by making sales people more productive. You will increase profitability by reducing the cost of marketing per sale. And you will manage growth by finding the right marketing mix to bring those results that benefit the bottom line.

These gains improve exponentially, though, when the CRM solution can span the entire enterprise across departmental boundaries. This is where the divide between the haves and the have-nots becomes very pronounced. So forge a CRM strategy. Build a roadmap, a step-by-step deployment plan that not only immediately addresses specific needs and derives a quick ROI as you go, but that works toward an overarching CRM strategy. Keep your eye on the all-important goal of providing a true (and that means enterprise-wide) 360-degree view of your customers.

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Meet the Requirements of Your Most Lucrative Customers with P-Cards, XiPay, and mySAP CRM

Eric Bushman
Director of SAP Solutions,
Paymetric, Inc.

Maintaining your preferred supplier status with key business customers — and the resulting revenue this status brings — has always required efficient supply chain execution and quality customer service. But suppliers now face tougher requirements to maintain this preferred status.

Optimizing the payment process has become a new CRM priority. To streamline CRM and the financial supply chain, buyers increasingly rely on procurement cards (p-cards) for all types of purchases. P-cards are similar to consumer credit cards, but include controls and line-item data feeds to support business processes. For buyers and suppliers, electronic transaction flows help eliminate and automate process steps.

Using P-Cards to Maintain Your Most Important Customer Relationships

Buyers and suppliers can reap these benefits only to the degree that supplier systems support p-card transactions. So it is not surprising that buyers are leveraging their purchasing power to require that key suppliers accept p-cards as a condition of preferred supplier status.

Complete p-card-based transactions include detailed, line-item transactional information, known as Level III (LIII) data. But providing LIII data is just the beginning of the challenge. To derive operational efficiency and financial savings from p-cards, transactional data and the workflows for reviewing and reconciling that data must be integrated with supply chain, accounting, and mySAP CRM processes.

Paymetric's XiPay Solution Leverages SAP Infrastructure

Paymetric, an SAP Software Partner, offers the XiPay Solution (see Figure 1) to integrate p-card acceptance with your SAP solutions, including mySAP CRM. XiPay version 1.0 has a certified integration via the CA-PCI 4.0 scenario with mySAP applications, and enables you to provide LIII data, automate recurring billing, and clear accounts receivable with payment cards. This SAP-certified interface means payment information flows as a common thread throughout your SAP business processes.

Figure 1
The XiPay Solution, with SAP-Certified Integration

CRM That Pays

With XiPay and its interface with mySAP CRM, suppliers and buyers derive substantial financial and operational benefits. A shortened purchase-to-pay cycle means suppliers benefit from faster payments, more efficient accounts receivable, reduced credit risk, and stronger cash flow, while buyers retain monthly float on payments to card issuers.

For more information on XiPay, please visit

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Siemens HiPath ProCenter CRM Ready Kit and mySAP CRM:
Unifying the Contact Center Agent's Experience

Al Baker
Vice President
Product Management,
Siemens Global
eCRM Solutions

For many companies, CRM applications help to provide a "unified view" of the customer. Similarly, for the agents serving customers in your contact center, a "unified desktop" can go a long way toward delivering effective and efficient customer service.

But how does this unified approach get put into practice when you have multiple systems? CRM applications do put your customer files and processes in one place. However, in many contact centers, inbound contact routing (for voice or email), desktop tools for controlling the telephone, and the gathering of customer-identifying information (such as collecting a customer number) are managed by a separate system altogether. Siemens, an SAP Software Partner, provides an opportunity to unify these systems to reduce the complexity of the agents' work and increase agent productivity for call centers using mySAP Customer Relationship Management (mySAP CRM).

For companies looking to enhance their mySAP CRM solution with Siemens' contact center offerings, Siemens has developed a CRM Ready Kit, designed with this opportunity in mind. This CRM Ready Kit acts as a unifying connector, allowing the Siemens HiPath ProCenter Suites contact center solution and mySAP CRM to work together as one system.

With mySAP CRM and HiPath ProCenter at work together, incoming calls and emails are intelligently routed to the best available agent, based on customer data or business rules from your mySAP CRM database (see Figure 1). This optimizes the tradeoff between the pressure to lower customer wait times and the time needed to match the right agent skills, job role, and subject knowledge to the customer issue. Then, as the contact arrives at the agent desktop, the HiPath ProCenter system automatically presents the customer's mySAP CRM record to the agent in real time.

Figure 1
HiPath ProCenter CRM Ready Kit Delivers a Unified Agent Desktop for Higher Productivity and Lower Training Costs

Telephone call handling controls are embedded directly in the mySAP CRM desktop for added productivity and reduced training needs. Agents no longer have to learn and toggle between multiple applications to do their job.

Achieving this level of integration could stretch the limits of even the best-equipped IT department, or require hiring a systems integrator. Cost and project risk go up, and time to deployment (and benefit) may be delayed. This is where prebuilt integration kits such as the Siemens HiPath ProCenter CRM Ready Kit 5.1 come in. Certified for mySAP CRM CRM-ICI-CTI,1 the CRM Ready Kit streamlines this integration for lower project costs and less risk — while providing a unified desktop for customer service agents in the contact center.

For more information, contact your local Siemens representative or visit

1 The CRM Integrated Communication Interface (CRM-ICI) is designed to support the integration of multichannel management systems (contact centers) with mySAP CRM. CRM-ICI-CTI is a certifiable interface for SAP CRM 4.0.

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Talking to Your SAP Solutions
Enhancing Customer Service with VoiceObjects' Technology

Karl-Heinz Land
CEO, VoiceObjects

Enterprises today are under constant pressure to reduce costs and streamline operations while maintaining excellent customer service. Organizations that adopt speech technology can automate a significant portion of agent calls and allow their agents to focus on the more strategic tasks essential to customer satisfaction. Speech-automated self-service solutions provide customers 24x7 access to information and transaction processing, which improves efficiencies and increases customer satisfaction. These solutions also result in substantial cost savings — often 40% to 70% — associated with the elimination of manual support centers and other infrastructure.

Bring Speech-Automated Self-Services to Your SAP Software

Together, SAP and VoiceObjects can bring powerful speech-automated self-service capabilities to SAP NetWeaver customers. Companies using SAP NetWeaver already benefit from a comprehensive and flexible platform to create and manage change within their existing IT infrastructures. Now, VoiceObjects' technology can extend the capabilities of the SAP NetWeaver platform by providing voice-enabled access to a company's applications and data, as well as a powerful set of tools to efficiently manage a voice-enabled environment.

VoiceObjects' voice application management system enables SAP customers to take an efficient lifecycle-management approach to their speech-automated applications:

First, applications can be rapidly developed and deployed with reusable call flow modules that encapsulate best practices in voice user interface design. After deployment, sophisticated voice application analysis and reporting tools ensure that application performance is continually improved.
What's more, companies employing a mySAP Customer Relationship Management (mySAP CRM) solution can use VoiceObjects' technology to automate processes for both internal and external users. For example, a sales rep could benefit from voice-driven automation for tasks such as updating prospect databases, account reporting, expense report submission, and pipeline reporting.
VoiceObjects technology could also allow customers and prospects to update account information, make transaction status inquiries, apply for new accounts, and make purchases — all within an automated, voice-driven environment.

Speech-automated self-service solutions result in substantial cost savings — often 40% to 70% — associated with the elimination of manual support centers and other infrastructure.

Fast Implementation and Seamless Integration with SAP Solutions and Your Current Infrastructure

Integration with SAP NetWeaver enables VoiceObjects' solutions to easily automate HR, ERP, CRM, customer service, and other functions that rely on SAP applications and backend databases. Business intelligence throughout the enterprise can be combined with caller history and caller-set preferences to create advanced and efficient customer service solutions. These solutions can be deployed in as little as 48 hours and can be completely customized without employing SAP development utilities.

VoiceObjects' technology is based on open standards. Unlike other speech solutions, it is compatible with virtually all VoiceXML speech processing platforms. As a result, SAP customers can utilize their existing speech technology assets and be confident that their speech technology investments will be protected.

To learn more about how VoiceObjects can enhance the return on your SAP NetWeaver investment, please visit

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by SAP and Partners SAPinsider - 2005 (Volume 6), April (Issue 2)

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