SAP has finally joined the ‘on demand’ party with the announcement of its ‘CRM on demand’ offering. Targeting the medium-to-large enterprise, the product will be an integrated solution, and one that will complement the company’s existing mySAP suite.
SAP has unveiled its CRM on demand product.
In a swipe at its main competitor in this area, Salesforce.com, SAP emphasized how its new ‘isolated tenancy’ approach allows each customer to have its own database but run the same overall application, so that customers do not impact each other.
The solution at present is very much focused on salesforce automation – including the usual contact and diary management, with integration to Outlook. The marketing and service aspects of customer relationship management (CRM) are not covered yet, but are planned to be introduced in releases later in the year.
One of the key features that SAP is stressing is that its partnership with IBM (which provides the hosting capabilities using its PSeries and XSeries servers, systems management software, and DB2 database) allows for same-day sign-up to the service, followed by rapid deployment. Is this admitting that its existing software is complex and time-consuming to deploy? It certainly takes skill to deploy well.
The new CRM application uses the same data model as mySAP CRM, which will mean that customers who want to start on the hosted system and then move over to an on-premise version at a later date will be able to take their own image of the software and move it across – a far cry from the ‘no software’ approach that Salesforce.com is touting.
The basic solution will be priced at a relatively competitive $75 per user per month, and when the extra marketing and service functionality is added later in the year, the fully-featured CRM offering will be available for $125 per user per month, with the basic version still available at the lower price.
It will be interesting to hear if the on-demand model will be extended to other areas of the mySAP suite – this was not made clear in the launch press conference, although the company made a valid point that large enterprises might not want to deploy their transactional systems via the vagaries of the public internet.
Source: OpinionWire by Butler Group (www.butlergroup.com)