SAP readies CRM All-in-One

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Business applications titan SAP has released a customer relationship management (CRM) module for medium-sized firms.

SAP has taken its latest CRM application for its full-blown enterprise resource planning application and ported it to its Business All-in-One range.

This effectively gives Business All-in-One a pre-configured CRM module, containing all of the functionality built into its CRM 2007 top-of-the-range product, delivered in a cost-effective, easy to deploy package, said Donal Madden, UK channel manager at SAP.

"Our approach to All-in-One is to build a template that contains 80 per cent of the most important features and enable customers to deploy that straight out of the box," he said.

In its CRM 2007, SAP added a greatly improved user interface. Analyst group Gartner suggested that the improvements would finally convince users that SAP's CRM applications were enterprise-ready, and would finally shake off the 'shelfware' moniker it had acquired.

SAP had initially just offered its core ERP products in this way, but had realised that CRM has become a essential component of business systems and needed to offer a version to its All-in-One customers, Madden added.

SAP categorise firms with turnovers of between £30m to £200m as medium-sized, and believes these firms value ease of deployment more highly than the ability to customise software.

Because Business All-in-One is based on SAP's mySAP backbone, users can migrate to SAP's full system as their businesses grow, said Madden.

Meanwhile, SAP also unveiled a new set of service offerings, aimed at helping enterprise customers with their service-oriented architecture implementations (SOA).

The acceptance of SOA as the primary focus of enterprise IT architecture has developed in lock-step with a growing recognition that customers' expectations are changing, SAP co-chief executive Henning Kagermann told journalists at the company's user conference in Berlin last week.

"Business leaders have recognised that their customers want solutions from them, not just products. Most companies cannot do that alone, they need to collaborate with partners and suppliers: create business networks," he said.

Those business networks will be predicated on companies building flexible IT systems, utilising the principles of SOA, he added.

SAP has extended its SOA service offerings to encompass all aspects of migration, from initial exploration to end-user training.
itweek.co.uk @ 2010 Incisive Media
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