Social media, mobile CRM software, and on-demand solutions were again the main topics at the annual CRM-expo. Around 160 exhibitors gathered in Nuremberg on October 5 and 6 to present new products, strategies, and software for customer relationship management. Mobile CRM and mobile social media were the highlights. As well as the areas of best practice, technology, strategy, and products and services, this year even had a mobile business area, in which visitors had the opportunity to attend presentations about the mobile Internet and mobile social media. But putting mobile business into practice is easier said than done. There was no WLAN in the exhibition hall on the morning of the first day, for example, and mobile Internet was nonexistent in the press center, too.
New in December: SAP CRM Sales
However, the SAP team didn’t let technological hiccups spoil the mood and showed us what’s in the pipeline. For customer relationship management, a new app will be available at the end of December: SAP CRM Sales. This is basically the version 2.0 of Sybase Mobile Sales for SAP CRM. At the end of the year, the app will get a new name as well as a new release. The application is designed for both the iPhone and the iPad. Regardless of whether you’re on the road or at a presentation to a customer – the app always gives you all the data you need, such as sales figures or delivery dates, on all devices. The functions comprise account management, contact management, lead management, activity management, opportunity management, native app integration, and report functions.
In his keynote, Alexander Schroeter, director of the LoB Customer organization at SAP, introduced SAP’s product strategy for customer relationship management software.
CRM product strategy
With the on-premises products such as SAP CRM, the focus is on SAP Rapid Deployment solutions. This is preconfigured CRM software that goes live within eight weeks and can be purchased as a package for €101,300. The software is updated using enhancement packages. Enhancements may include new functions for e-commerce and e-service, for example, to support new methods of payment such as PayPal or to integrate Web channels. The first enhancement package contains 29 preconfigured dashboards for BI analyses, plus Real-Time Offer Management.
Schroeter cited SAP Sales OnDemand and the collaboration software SAP StreamWork as CRM software that is available on-demand.
With on-device CRM software, the focus is on covering all devices – in other words, iPads, iPhones, BlackBerrys, and Windows Mobile devices. As of Q4, 23 new apps will be available from SAP. And more will on offer from SAP partners.
New partner solutions
SAP partners were also at the CRM-expo 2011 to show off their wares. For example, UNISERV, based in Pforzheim, Germany, has enhanced its international postal checking system UNISERV post. Now addresses can be entered correctly in Russian, Japanese, or Chinese – without the need for employees to have any knowledge of those languages. The software translates and, where necessary, supplements the information, using the correct character set. UNISERV post can be hooked up to SAP CRM or SAP Business Suite. It is available as an on-demand or an on-premises version.
Solutions from ClickSoftware, headquartered in the United States and Israel, can be directly integrated with SAP ERP. ClickSoftware provides automated workforce management and optimization solutions. These include workforce scheduling, for example, for field sales staff. The software caters especially to service companies.
SAP partner Sybit, based in Radolfzell, Germany, presented its CRM software Sybit CRM 360c. “360” means that users have a 360-degree view of their customers, that is to say, they have an overview of all the key processes, such as sales, machine facilities, invoice status, delivery status, and order tracking. Sybit CRM 360c is cloud-based and hosted by HP. The software can be fully integrated with the SAP back end, for instance, with SAP ERP. Sybit pledges an implementation time of just six weeks.