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SAP restocks its analytics arsenal

SAP says its "wealth of transactional data" will enable companies to really benefit from the new analytics capabilities released Monday in mySAP CRM 4.0.

MySAP CRM 4.0, announced in June, got a little bigger Monday with the addition of some new analytics capabilities.

The Walldorf, Germany, software provider announced real-time analytics; marketing optimization; sales, marketing and business planning; and out-of-the-box analytics reports at the Gartner CRM Fall Summit in Los Angeles.

"We are bringing these applications to market that really package together the underlying transactional data that thousands of our customers enjoy, which drive deeper insight across many aspects of their business," said John Grozier, SAP's vice president of CRM product marketing.

SAP said easy integration across its family of software and to third-party applications makes the analytics offerings stand out because it holds "a wealth of transactional data" in its ERP systems.

"That's part of what we do every day," Grozier said. "Ultimately, the value we provide is the heavy lifting is already in place."

The new analytical models in campaign automation will allow marketing managers the ability to more effectively plan campaigns based on data such as response rates, costs, profits and return on marketing investments, Grozier said. Linking back-end financial applications and marketing programs will enable cost-performance analyses, he said.

Additionally, the software includes integrated planning scenarios for campaigns, opportunities, promotions and partners. A churn analysis capability allows companies to combat customer attrition proactively, Grozier said.

The real-time analytics provide customer insight into each interaction. For example, telesales representatives can leverage information such as purchasing history and product upgrades and accessories to identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities.

"What we've done is put more insightful functions that add some predictive qualities," Grozier said, "not only what [a customer] has done in terms of history, but what's the likelihood of accepting a new offer?"

The out-of-the-box analytics include metrics on customer lifetime value, customer satisfaction and loyalty, and churn analysis.

The new offerings now give SAP an answer when potential customers ask how its analytics technology stacks up to the competition.

"It absolutely looks like SAP is moving in the right direction," said Steve Bonadio, senior program director for Meta Group in Stamford, Conn. "Up until 4.0, SAP has not had a strong analytics offering. Up until this release there wasn't much basis for comparison [to their competitors]. WIth this at least it enables them to catch up some."


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