Portal-Based SAP Solution Is People-Centric

By Heather Baldwin

One of the newest CRM products on the market is taking a stab at solving one of the oldest challenges in the CRM business – user adoption. SAP’s mySAP CRM version 3.1, released in late September, adds functionality and the people-centric CRM concept to the earlier version of the product. The additions make it more robust and, SAP executives hope, more likely to be used regularly by those in the field, whose data makes or breaks an application’s usefulness.

The people-centric CRM theme is based on the notion that SAP’s software addresses many types of users, from call centers to sales reps to customers and partners, each of whom needs a different experience, says John Grozier, SAP’s vice president, CRM Product Marketing. To provide the appropriate experience for each user, SAP has merged the portal capabilities of mySAP CRM with the application browser and brought in “specific pieces of content that ordinarily a sales rep or sales manager might not see,” says Grozier. Beyond contact and account management, for example, reps now can access driving directions, sales and service information, marketing campaigns, incentive and commissions information – the things they care about, Grozier points out.

The commissions management piece was the key addition SAP felt would help drive user adoption. Reps can use the feature to determine what it will mean to them in terms of commission dollars if they sell a particular deal or account. “It’s not a transaction that drives the system, but we think it will drive user adoption,” says Grozier.

Other key additions to the product include a mobile application that brings the solution to PDAs, enabling sales reps to initiate orders, access accounts and maximize sales opportunities in the field. SAP also added more analytics. For example, users now can project customers’ lifetime profitability or see which customers might be at risk. For more information on mySAP CRM, visit www.sap.com.