Despite a late start with various enterprise software solutions, SAP AG unloaded a slew of new products to a forgiving group of show-goers at its recent SAPPHIRE '02 e-business conference.
The most significant CRM related news at the conference was the expansion of mySAP CRM to be more people-centric, according to SAP executives. Building on its Web-based portal technology infrastructure from mySAP Technology, mySAP CRM provides individual users with a customized, intuitive, role-based environment that delivers access to relevant information for customer-centric business processes from multiple data sources both internal and external to the enterprise. These business processes will be available online and offline, as well as through mobile and handheld devices.
Explaining the tardiness for various mySAP technologies, Hasson Plattner, chief executive and cochairman of SAP, during his keynote address conceded, "When you build something new it is difficult to build functionality and performance. So speed comes second. I have to apologize. It always takes us time to achieve the performance you expect."
Better late than never, say executives at Canada Post Corp., based in Ottawa, Ontario. "Integration is more important to us than gaps of functionality. We knew the software would catch up. SAP will either build, buy, or partner with someone to make that happen," says Cal Hart, vice president of business transformation for Canada Post.
Canada Post provides physical and electronic delivery solutions to more than 30 million Canadian residential customers and nearly one million Canadian businesses and public institutions. It delivers more than 10 billion messages and parcels to more than 13 million addresses in Canada annually, with the help of 15,000 mail carrier routes, 6,000 contractors, and 24 facilities. It is one of the most visible organizations in Canada, with revenues exceeding $3.7 billion in 2001.
The courier's traditional markets were facing fierce competition from Internet technologies like e-commerce, which raised the bar for delivery companies, forcing them to provide great speed, flexibility, and information as part of all deliveries. These competitive threats forced Canada Post to embark on its largest initiative, called the Business Transformation Program, which aimed to change the way Canada Post conducts business and to expand its electronic service delivery offerings.
By implementing various mySAP solutions--including mySAP Enterprise Portal, mySAP CRM, mySAP Supplier Relationship Management, mySAP Financials, mySAP Human Resources, mySAP Business Intelligence, mySAP Retail, and mySAP Technology--the company was able to transform its business and eliminate activities not adding value to the service, while more efficiently integrating all the major business processes across the organization.
"Now I have one view of the customer," Hart says. And he is able to obtain a single view of the customer with fewer legacy systems--83 fewer systems to be exact.
Canada Post was only one of more than 60 customers at SAPPHIRE boasting about their success with mySAP solutions. Dennis Upton, chief information officer of MIS at Brother International, says the printer manufacturer also was having trouble understanding its customers. "We had all these millions of people buying our products and we didn't know that much about them," Upton says.
After starting the mySAP CRM implementation in January 2001, Brother has processed more than 85,000 orders through the CRM solution, and has created its own independent support organization. Thanks to mySAP CRM the printer maker realized a 124 percent return on investment.
Other CRM news at SAPPHIRE included expanded partnerships with such companies as Aspect Communications to provide call center customer interaction management software with mySAP CRM applications, as well as an agreement with Adobe for automating document and forms-based processing, which enables the electronic delivery of digitally signed documents. This feature, which is already legally accepted in Switzerland, can facilitate the digital delivery of handwritten signatures.