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Sapphire 2001: SAP to unleash platform-independent CRM software

ORLANDO - Building on the theme of open architecture that SAP has been trumpeting at Sapphire here, the Germany software giant will bring the benefits of CRM - including analytics, collaborative CRM and operational functions -- to companies that haven't installed the mySAP e-business platform.

In August, SAP will release mySAP CRM Version 3.0, which will offer customers different deployment options, according to Gary Moore, vice president of SAP's global CRM business.

The first option is to install mySAP CRM for all customer-facing applications without using any other SAP products.

Customers will be able to access mySAP CRM via contact centers, the Web and mobile devices, Moore said. The new software will also allow order-to-cash processing in the software to ease billing processes.

The second deployment option integrates mySAP CRM with supply chain management (SCM) software from SAP and other vendors, allowing customer demand to influence the supply chain.

Lastly, customers can run a central version of mySAP CRM that serves multiple business units, regardless of whether the units use SAP for their back-end enterprise resource planning (ERP) software. This allows companies to consolidate their customer information, culled from various systems, locations and partners, into a single hub.

The new version will allow companies to install CRM software modularly, to address areas of the highest pain first, Moore said.

SAP has seen customers with mySAP's e-business platform install components of the CRM software in as little as six weeks. "Best practices... enable customers to do faster implementations," according to Moore.

MySAP CRM currently includes functions for customer engagement, business transactions, order fulfillment and customer service.

"We don't think of it as linear," Moore said, referring to the four main functions of mySAP CRM. Rather, it's a "closed loop" that encompasses the entire customer lifecycle, he added.


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