New Economist Intelligence Unit Report Reveals CRM to Be Key to Growth for Australian Companies

June 2, 2004 by SAP News 0

Brisbane, AustraliaSAP Asia Pacific today announced that the
Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) has presented results of a new report,
sponsored by SAP , revealing that Australian senior executives rate customer
relationship management (CRM) as a key engine for growth in the next 12
months. The May 2004 survey assessed the opportunities and challenges facing
senior business executives in Australia and four other countries in Asia.

The findings indicated that customer relationship management is viewed as
critical, with 55.8 percent of Australian executives choosing improved CRM
as one of the greatest opportunities for growth over the next 12 months,
while 44.2 percent see new products and services as an area of opportunity.
Asked where they planned to focus investment over the next 12 months, 41
percent of the executives planned to significantly increase their investment
in CRM and/or customer service, while 23.8 percent planned to significantly
increase spending on sales and marketing.

On a quarterly basis since Q4 2003, SAP has been recognised as the world’s
leading CRM vendor worldwide.

"This survey confirms SAP’s belief that CRM is a key pillar in a company’s
foundation, because in today’s market the customer or constituent needs
to be at the center of any company’s strategy," said Geraldine McBride,
managing director and chief executive officer, SAP Australia and New Zealand.

The Economist Intelligence Unit report also revealed that companies consistently
identified IT as critical to the achievement of their company’s strategic
business goals, with more than half scoring IT as very important and one-third
rating IT as critical. Besides improving the efficiency of operations and
replacing older systems, IT is expected to have a substantial impact on
revenue growth in areas where most companies are giving priority to investment
such as CRM.

Australian senior executives are also paying more attention to improving
systems and processes for both internal and external collaboration. More
than 50 percent of the firms rated this as an area of increased investment.
The focus is as much on business-to-business linkages with customers and
suppliers as on improving the internal integration of operations. Firms
are searching for productivity gains to capture efficiencies in the entire
cross-corporate chain from primary inputs to the final customer.

The SAP NetWeaver™ integration and application platform works with
a company’s existing IT infrastructure to combine existing systems. It supports
open industry standards and interoperability, allowing for ease of integration
with SAP and non-SAP systems.

"SAP NetWeaver breaks new ground in the industry, as it allows integration
of disparate systems with its completely integrated platform that comes
as a packaged solution, not a set of disconnected components that you need
to combine in a series of lengthy projects," said Geraldine McBride.
"With SAP NetWeaver, we can deliver precise solutions to help address
the pain points of a customer’s business process. The Economist Intelligence
Unit report confirms this remains a critical issue for companies."

Key Growth Areas
According to the survey, the respondents believe that the largest sales
opportunities lie domestically (60.5 percent), while 44.2 percent of respondents
viewed China as an attractive revenue opportunity market. In contrast, only
27.9 percent consider the U.S. economy, (which Australia has signed a Free
Trade Agreement with that has yet to be ratified) as a revenue opportunity.

The respondents also expect that small and midsize businesses (SMBs) with
sales of less than US$50 million will provide some of the strongest demand
growth. The top four industries that are expected to do well over the next
12 months are financial services (non-insurance) (37.2 percent); retailing
(37.2 percent); consumer products (34.9 percent) and professional services
(23.3 percent).

The Economist Intelligence Unit report also highlighted an emerging trend
of SMBs that are "born global" and from inception target global
customers. This is in contrast to traditional SMBs, which focus on local
customers and only move into offshore business after many years.

A typical foundation for SMBs competing globally is an integrated IT infrastructure
that provides real-time information and streamlines their business processes.
SAP’s success in outfitting SMBs with the appropriate IT infrastructure
is evident with more than 50 percent of its customers being SMBs. Its SMB
solutions include SAP® Business One for primary business automation
needs and mySAP™ All-in-One for industry-specific capabilities.

"SAP didn’t shrink big business solutions to fit SMBs. Our offerings
are built from the ground up and are tailored for SMBs, complete with vertical
industry functionality and a go-to-market strategy," concluded Geraldine
McBride.

SAP’s Leadership in CRM
With more than 2,500 customers, mySAP™ Customer Relationship Management
(mySAP CRM) has become the CRM solution of choice for businesses throughout
Asia/Pacific and across the globe. Recent customer wins for the latest release
of mySAP CRM in the region have propelled SAP to become the region’s fastest-growing
CRM vendor. This growth is fuelled by the solution’s unparalleled support
of industry-specific processes, ease of deployment and proven ability to
deliver return on investment (ROI). Asia Pacific-based companies including
2001 Outlet (Korea); City Developments Ltd (Singapore); and Fraser and Neave
Holdings Bhd (Malaysia) are using mySAP CRM to leverage customer and market
insight to derive more value out of customer interactions.