The year 2012 saw enterprises make significant shifts toward cloud computing, as well as investments in social collaboration tools. One driver behind this ongoing strategy change was an increased focus on the real-time customer experience. Throughout the year, SAP staked its claim in the areas of cloud, collaboration, and customer relationship management (CRM) in a number of ways:
- A year-long expansion of cloud offerings built to support end-to-end business processes and to help companies better manage their people, money, customers, and suppliers
- The unveiling of SAP Jam — a secure, social collaboration solution that extends across SAP’s entire technology landscape
- The announcement at SAPPHIRE NOW in Madrid of the SAP 360 Customer solution, which uses the power of in-memory computing, cloud, mobility, and collaboration to provide organizations with a real-time, 360-degree view of customer data
- The release of SAP CRM powered by SAP HANA, which is planned for availability as a rapid-deployment solution for new and existing customers and designed to have an implementation time of less than 12 weeks
With 2013 upon us, it’s a good time to look ahead to see if last year’s emerging trends will continue, and to wonder what the coming year might bring in terms of factors that could shape IT investments and buying decisions.
For insight into these areas, insiderPROFILES spoke with Rebecca Wettemann, Vice President of Nucleus Research, about the technology research company’s top 10 predictions for 2013. Wettemann directs and manages Nucleus Research’s quantitative research team and has written and presented extensively on enterprise applications, CRM, collaboration, and integration technology, and their impact on business.
Q: Nucleus predicts that CRM solutions will have to evolve to keep up with changing expectations. What will we see in this space in 2013?
Currently, we see that 80% of returns from CRM are yet to be realized. Moving forward, we will see those returns coming from integration, extension, instrumentation, management, and analytics. These are all key areas where SAP has taken steps — particularly around the recent announcement of SAP 360 Customer — to deliver more value to customers.
Q: How does SAP 360 Customer position SAP in what Nucleus Research calls a “customer experience arms race?” Does it help close the gap of delivering more of a CRM solution’s ROI potential?
It certainly does. I think there have been some missteps by SAP in the cloud and CRM space in the past, but what we see with SAP 360 Customer is that SAP has made significant steps to add the value of analytics, integration, and collaboration (with SAP Jam) into this offering. I see this as a pretty big move for SAP.
Q: Nucleus also predicts that social performance management will continue to take hold in the enterprise. How is this trend taking shape, and how does SAP Jam fit into the market?
There were a lot of acquisitions in this area in 2012 with SuccessFactors, Taleo, and Rypple. We are also seeing millennials entering the workforce for the first time, and they are used to social networking and social collaboration. These employees are going to need more ongoing feedback from their managers. SAP Jam and SuccessFactors make the annual performance review more of an analysis of all the social data that’s been gathered about an employee’s performance throughout the year. This is great, because it makes performance reviews less subjective. It also makes both good and bad performance more visible for managers and employees.
Q: Won’t the influx of millennials actually drive an increase in bring your own device (BYOD) since they are accustomed to the pervasive use of a personal device?
We don’t think so. More than 50% of organizations are already dictating what devices their employees can use when they are accessing applications like CRM solutions. In fact, a study we published in 2012 found that only 14% of users were picking their own devices to access enterprise applications.
As mobile devices continue to become ubiquitous devices to access enterprise applications, we see companies thinking much more carefully about security, authorization, and validation. And in reality, the more different devices a company has to support and safeguard from a security perspective, the greater the cost. So companies will continue to focus on providing employees with a set of devices that enable them to be productive and to do their jobs, without creating the security pains and costs of having to secure every device.
“Moving forward, as mobile devices continue to become ubiquitous devices to access enterprise applications, we see companies thinking much more carefully about security, authorization, and validation.”
— Rebecca Wettemann, Vice President, Nucleus Research
Q: Nucleus also predicts that business intelligence adoption will double worldwide in 2013. How do you see this spike affecting the CRM space?
Well, certainly, we are seeing much more accessible analytics both for end users and general CRM users. What we will continue to see are developments like SAP HANA being very closely coupled with CRM solutions. These tools will make analytics around areas like sales forecasting, territory management, performance management, and pattern matching much more accessible to end users within a CRM application. We will see a lot more sophistication around making a sales force more productive and making management sales decisions in a more meaningful and scalable way.
Q: What other interesting trends do you foresee on the rise in 2013?
SAP Edge solutions continue to attract interest, and the vendor and partner ecosystem is a great opportunity for SAP customers to get more value out of their existing SAP investments. This applies to companies with SAP solutions and to customers who have made big software investments and are unwilling to replace them at this point, but they see innovations they want to take advantage of now. Looking at what SAP Services is doing with embedded services, and how they are helping customers get value from SAP HANA within their existing infrastructure, I think we will see a lot more of that.