SAP to add service management to on-demand CRM

SAP continued to build its on-demand CRM offering this week.


SAP continued to build its on-demand CRM offering this week, announcing that it will now include service-level capabilities, the third key component of customer relationship management (CRM) solutions.

In its third update within the year, it is now announcing SAP Service. In February SAP kicked off its software as a service business with a salesforce automation solution, followed by marketing in May.

Liz Herbert, a senior analyst at Forrester Research, said that the SAP CRM solution is now displaying the kind of depth SAP is known for.

"SAP added a component for managing products that many on-demand CRM vendors don't have. You can use it as the product master or bring in the product master which is typically found in the ERP system," said Herbert.

The new service component includes Service Ticket Management, Rule-based Service Ticket Distribution, and Service Level Monitoring.

Also included is a rules-base service-level determination calculator that automates the routing of service tickets based on a customer's service level agreement, said Angela Bandlow, vice president at CRM Solutions Marketing.

"It's a tiered service that tracks SLAs based on the customer and the required response time," said Bandlow.

One of the key differentiators for the SAP offering, according to both Bandlow and Forrester's Herbert, is its ability to integrate easily with MySAP ERP systems on the back end.

Using product information found in the ERP system, a sales person can pull up manufacturing availability and pricing information and deliver a quote in real time online.

Bandlow said while this completes the three major components of SAP CRM OnDemand, quarterly updates can be expected with the next update due in December.

To date, the solution, like almost all on-demand solutions, is not industry-specific. But Bandlow said the company is looking at that and will respond to customer demand.

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