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SAP adds marketing features to CRM on-demand

The second release of SAP's CRM on-demand software will be launched at the SAP Sapphire user conference next week in Orlando, Fla.

SAP will put the spotlight on an extension of its CRM on-demand software with the first quarterly update to the software adding Marketing on-demand to the offering. The update will be released at SAP's Sapphire user conference next week.

The update also adds new features to the Sales on-demand software, adding pipeline performance management and additional language options. Sales on-demand was first unveiled in February marking SAP's first foray into the Software as a Service (SaaS) market with a CRM offering.

The SAP Marketing extension adds campaign management, customer segmentation, lead management, role maintenance and owner realignment to the suite.

Customers may purchase one or both of the on-demand products. The software sells at $75 per user per month for the basic sales force automation capabilities up to $125 per user per month for the full suite once it is available. Customers can also cancel a subscription at any time, said SAP spokesman Bill Wohl. @21074

"This is the first in a series of elements in our CRM strategy that we said we would release quarterly back in February," Wohl said. "We'll be meeting the commitment we made to our customers with this quarterly release at Sapphire."

Marketing on-demand, introduces campaign management functionality to the suite, which allows marketers to analyze customer data using advanced queries and creating target groups based on search results to reach target audiences. Customization features also allow marketing managers to realign owners to specific accounts based on staffing needs.

Lead management is aimed at marketing managers and enables them to track lead information on an overview page. Marketing managers can also update account data, create tasks for follow-up and assign sales teams to a lead.

New pipeline performance management features added to Sales on-demand, builds in performance assessment and pipeline analysis against forecasts and targets. A display has also been added giving information about recent account activity.

Expansion beyond CRM on-demand

While SAP executives, including SAP CEO Henning Kagermann suggested that SAP may extend its on-demand strategy beyond CRM, Wohl said not to expect any new developments. SAP's research suggests that customers consider the data contained in enterprise resource planning software too critical to be purchased in an on-demand model, Wohl said.

"Customers have been telling us that delivery options in certain areas makes sense for isolated business process where small sales units want a rapid start and can get going quickly," Wohl said. "Complex business process that run across the business are considered strategic and critical and customers say they just don't want to lose control."

However, speaking to financial analysts recently, Kagermann suggested that mySAP All-in-one, the first suite to be services-enabled, could be offered via an on-demand model. All-in-one can currently be purchased under an off-premise, hosted agreement.

Currently SAP's on-demand portfolio is aimed at the sales divisions among its largest customers. But Kagermann told financial analysts that on-demand software can be applicable in the lower end of the midmarket.

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