News Stay informed about the latest enterprise technology news and product updates.

SAP users flipping the switch on CRM

A recent report says SAP customers are at long last turning on the CRM functionality that they paid for. And they're largely glad they did it.

AMR Research surveyed two dozen companies that use SAP software for ERP and found many are planning to begin using the German business software maker's CRM applications as well.

In some cases, the CRM rollouts will be rather large, according to Laura Preslan, research director with Boston-based AMR.

Not all organizations, however, are deploying the latest version of the software, mySAP CRM 4.0. The hold-up, according to the report, is a lack of reference for customers running 4.0.

"They're waiting for someone else to go first," Preslan said. "They want a reference before they take the leap." 

For more information
Read AMR's forecast for CRM market share

Get the SAP VP of CRM's take on the battle with Siebel

Early reports are mixed on mySAP 4.0 CRM, which was widely credited with closing the functionality gap with applications made by competitor Siebel Systems Inc. Customers reported that 4.0 is still complicated, complex and functionality-laden software, Preslan said.

For instance, the survey revealed it was particularly difficult for organizations to prove the value of SAP CRM to salespeople. That, obviously, has hampered user adoption. Organizations considering deploying 4.0 as an SFA tool to a large, mobile sales force, should consider simpler applications from such companies as or Microsoft, Preslan suggested. Other complaints included difficulties with the mobile client when rolling it out to more than 1,000 users. Customization proved troublesome in quote management, which caused cost overruns and upgrade difficulties.

Yet users were pleased with the simpler customer interaction screens in 4.0. They were also "pleasantly surprised" by the marketing tool's ease of use, Preslan said. About half of the SAP customers in the AMR survey are piloting 4.0 marketing campaigns. SAP essentially rewrote its marketing application between its mySAP CRM 3.0 and 4.0 releases, she added.

When it came to CRM vendor selection, half of the companies considered only SAP. The major reason was integration, according to the report. On average, existing SAP customers spent 10% of their implementation budgets on integration with back-office software. AMR found that those using best-of-breed CRM software spent 25% of their budgets on tying applications together.

"That has a major implication on the best-of-breed and other CRM vendors," Preslan said. "Three years ago, with [mySAP] CRM 2.0, many deals went the way of Siebel or even Amdocs or Clarify. It hasn't been until 4.0 that I've seen that marked shift."

Additionally, the size of deployments is rising. The number of users in the survey sample ranged from 25 to 10,000, with most of the large rollouts coming in the contact center. More than 70% of the companies plan to increase the number of users in the next 12 to 18 months by an average of 150%.

AMR estimates that only 35% of mySAP CRM 4.0 licenses are currently live.

Dig Deeper on SAP CRM

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.