The global financial crisis is receding over the horizon and is being replaced by Facebook, Twitter, and the like. The financial services sector has discovered social media. What do customers tweet? What kind of comments do they write on Facebook? How can you manage new campaigns using the Facebook platform?
Social media was on everybody’s lips at this year’s SAP Congress for Banks, held on September 28 and 29 in Frankfurt. Because ever more people are active on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and co., banks are starting to tap these channels and use them as a tool for acquisition.
SAP has responded to this and provides a number of innovations in its upcoming enhancement package for SAP CRM 7.0. Alexander Schroeter, director of CRM Solution Management at SAP, announced that the ramp-up phase would start at the end of 2010 and gave customers a glimpse of the most important new features.
Packages for social media
As well as a revamped Web-based user interface and improved search functions, the revised release is set to be enabled for new communication channels. In the future, SAP CRM will contain the following social media packages:
– Twitter Customer Service by SAP
– Twitter Marketing Campaign by SAP
– Target Marketing via Facebook by SAP
What do customers tweet about? Banks will soon be able to find out using Twitter Marketing Campaign by SAP. SAP BusinessObjects Text Analysis software gathers and analyzes certain terms using a special scanning method. At the click of a mouse, all the tweets with the chosen terms then appear on the user’s screen.
Target Marketing via Facebook by SAP makes launching a marketing campaign on Facebook a straightforward affair. It enables companies to make contact with their customers through Facebook and to provide the community with their own specially developed widgets.
Quotations in real time for effective interaction
What’s more, the first enhancement package for SAP CRM 7.0 contains functions from the SAP BusinessObjects portfolio – including preconfigured dashboards, analysis tools, and reporting options. Another attractive feature is SAP Real-Time Offer Management. If a customer calls to, for example, open a bank account for his newborn baby, the call center employee can immediately call up all the customer’s data and, if appropriate, can offer the fledgling father a new building loan agreement.
There will also be opportunities to collaborate along the lines of SAP StreamWork. Using a sharing tool, several employees will be able to work on the same project at the same time, assign tasks, and exchange data. And an instant messenger will also be integrated with SAP CRM.
Furthermore, the enhancement package contains functions that will allow companies to gauge the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. These include enhanced marketing devices, such as the integration of partner and loyalty programs, the segmentation of task areas, and list management. The marketing calendar will receive a new user interface that works with Adobe Flex technology.
When asked about the extent to which the enhancement package caters to new compliance regulations and standards – which are particularly important for the financial services industry – Schroeter could not yet give a clear response. Instead, he touted the SAP CRM Rapid Deployment edition. This software contains predefined, industry-specific functions and provides all the important features for marketing, sales, and service. It costs €30 a month for each user, plus €1,000 for each license. It is available for 100 users or more and has a minimum duration of two to three years. The software is designed to be up and running in six to eight weeks.
SAP Business ByDesign – ideal for banks, too
As well as social media, other topics at the SAP Congress for Banks were Basel III, compliance, and IT costs. Bernd Brandl, member of the executive management team for SAP in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, explained SAP’s product strategy to the 560 participants and presented Service-to-Cash and the SAP Price Optimization for Banking application as new products for the financial services industry. Brandl spoke of on-demand and presented SAP BusinessByDesign as a solution that is also suitable for banks. After the acquisition of Sybase, a number of new mobile solutions will also become available, he added.
Oracle or SAP – platform independence, please!
The German post office bank Postbank has been an SAP customer for many years and now deploys SAP Banking Services 6.0. In his keynote, Mario Daberkow, executive board member responsible for IT/operations at Postbank, stressed his great desire for platform-independence. It should be up to the customer to decide which database to use in the future, be it from Oracle or from SAP, he said. Daberkow was also critical of the huge range of banking products, and called for a single banking suite, including ERP and business intelligence functions.