In an exclusive SearchSAP.com survey of 500 SAP professionals, SAP CRM customers reported high levels of satisfaction. Still, more than 40% of respondents said they have decided against adopting mySAP CRM so far, despite the company's improved CRM sales this year and its intensified battle with No. 1-ranked CRM provider Siebel Systems Inc.
Only 8.4% of SearchSAP.com survey respondents reported that they are currently using mySAP CRM. However, another 26% said they would eventually implement mySAP CRM, with 9.2% of those respondents committed to an installation in the next 12 months.
Another 9.6% said they are using an alternate vendor.
Though mySAP CRM users were in the minority, they did report above average satisfaction with the product in most areas — performance, cost versus value, and feature set.
When asked to rate the overall quality of SAP's CRM solution on a scale from 1 to 5, with the highest number representing the highest level of satisfaction, 76% of respondents were evenly spread between 3 and 5. MySAP CRM also scored well in the areas of scalability and integration, with most users placing SAP at the high end of those satisfaction scales.
Mitchell Kramer, a CRM and e-business senior analyst with Boston-based Patricia Seybold Group Inc., believes that adoption of mySAP CRM has been slow because the offering doesn't always hold up well against competitors.
"From a functionality point of view, mySAP CRM is a tad weak in the areas of marketing and sales force automation," Kramer said.
"It doesn't cover the suite of functionality as well as some of the other vendors do. The competitors have an architecture more conducive to large numbers of users."
SAP's Bill Wohl, vice president of public relations, said SAP is confident that it has the best overall CRM offering, but he wouldn't argue that some competitors could be considered as having a leg up in a specific feature. SAP's CRM offering has matured and improved in recent years, Wohl said, so much so that SAP is viewed as closing in on the No.1 CRM provider, Siebel.
"Are there better sets of functionalities in sales force automation? That may be the case," Wohl said.
SAP says it currently has 1,800 CRM customers, the majority of those coming from its installed base, and the company expects more customers to decide on the solution as more of them shift away from best-of-breed solutions to address integration issues.
SAP's numbers for the third quarter of this year reflect CRM successes, Wohl said, adding: "Customers tend to give a very clear indication of how they feel about a product" by investing in it.
Survey respondent Ignatius du Plessis is director of SAP applications at Chicago-based Comark, a provider of technology products and businesses that is considering a Siebel CRM solution. Despite his overall satisfaction with SAP, du Plessis views Siebel's front-end solution as more user friendly than SAP's.
Still, du Plessis, like many SAP customers, is concerned about potential integration issues with SAP R/3 and is currently investigating whether he should stick with his main ERP provider for applications such as CRM and SCM.
SAP will have to make a strong CRM case to his company, said du Plessis: "The message has to be more clear on the value CRM can bring."
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