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SAP Puts CRM in the HANA Cloud
SAP 360 Customer solution leverages in-memory computing, cloud, mobility, and collaboration tools.
Posted Nov 13, 2012
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SAP today announced the new SAP 360 Customer solution. Powered by the SAP HANA platform, the solution will harness the power of in-memory computing, cloud, enterprise mobility, and collaboration to allow organizations to revolutionize the way they engage with customers beyond traditional customer relationship management (CRM).

"This is a game-changing solution that will help companies market better, sell better, service better, and truly create remarkable experiences for their customers," said Bill McDermott, co-CEO of SAP, in a statement. "With SAP 360 Customer powered by SAP HANA, companies gain true 360-degree customer insight that is real time, actionable, and available anywhere."

SAP 360 Customer will provide unique capabilities to turn insight into action and engage with customers one-to-one in context and in real time. It is already transforming the way companies engage with customers. Lenovo, the world's second-largest PC vendor, has been an early adopter of the SAP HANA platform to support the fast growth of the organization.

"Knowing exactly what is happening in our business at any moment and being able to respond quickly to changing market conditions is critical for the success of Lenovo," said Xiaoyu Liu, vice president of global application development at Lenovo, in a statement. "SAP HANA has proven to be a high-performing platform to help us achieve this goal. That's why we are exploring supercharging customer relationship management with SAP HANA. We have already seen 30 times faster performance in key processes during the customer validation phase. The first results are very promising, allowing our business to not only get 360-degree real-time business insight, but also significantly accelerating all our customer-facing operations."

"We have realized the long-held vision of our founder Hasso Plattner to deliver a real-time enterprise with transaction, text, and analytics processing on one platform," said Vishal Sikka, member of the SAP Executive Board, Technology and Innovation. "Support pack stack 5, to be announced this week, is a non-disruptive increment for SAP HANA and yet a large step forward, as it aims to enable integrated application services, key enterprise capabilities for high availability, disaster recovery, and integrated text analytics, as well as key OLTP optimizations that enable us to release our first mission-critical SAP Business Suite application, SAP CRM, to run completely on the SAP HANA platform."

Customers will benefit from three elements of SAP 360 Customer, including the following:

  • Real-time insight: Organizations will gain proprietary customer insights, understand customer needs and preferences, and predict future behavior. This real-time and true 360-degree view of the customer will be based on the most accurate front-office interactions, back-office transactions, and publicly available information from social networks.
  • Real-time interactions: Companies will be able to leverage just-in-time customer insight to deliver one-to-one interactions through any channel. Organizations will be able to deliver a differentiated customer experience and provide customers with highly personalized offerings, which will accurately reflect the specific customer needs and wants. They will be able to act on information as it happens and proactively engage with customers to resolve issues, introduce new products and services, and decide on future courses of action.
  • Real-time execution: Companies will be able to instantly carry out end-to-end customer processes beyond the front office, truly deliver on their brand promise, and create differentiated customer experiences.

A key component of the SAP 360 Customer solution will be the SAP CRM application powered by SAP HANA. Other products to be included are cloud-based solutions such as the SAP Customer OnDemand solution, the SAP Jam social software platform, and several mobile solutions.

SAP CRM powered by SAP HANA is also planned for availability as a rapid-deployment solution for new customers and CRM installations, as well as to support existing customer pilots.

Carter Lusher, chief IT analyst at Ovum, believes the SAP CRM powered by HANA announcement is interesting as it bundles together a number of CRM-related products with tight integration with the SAP HANA in-memory data and computing appliance.

"This CRM/HANA solution simplifies deploying a full CRM infrastructure from SAP while leveraging the fast not just big data capabilities of HANA. It's an important move for SAP as it illustrates how HANA can be leveraged as the foot-in-the-door product to pull SAP enterprise applications into a non-customer," he says. "Another leverage point is the capture of social data into the CRM infrastructure to be analyzed by HANA in a time-sensitive manner."

CRM, Lusher adds, "is a perfect use case for HANA because CRM requires both big data and fast data functionality. As the volume of data about customers grows dramatically due to social networks and machine-to-machine developments, the ability for marketing, sales, and service business units to exploit all that data in a real-time fashion will often require integrated CRM solutions built on high-performance computing. So developing a CRM application package that runs on top of HANA should be very attractive to this target market.

"However, just as important for SAP is that this solution demonstrates that HANA is coming into its own as a product that that can drive SAP revenues beyond making existing customers' applications run faster," he concludes.

Also this week, EasyAsk became one of the first partners to sign an agreement with SAP to deliver Quiri for SAP HANA on the SAP HANA Cloud, which leverages Amazon Web Services. EasyAsk Quiri for SAP CRM will allow mobile employees to interact with their CRM data on smartphones and tablets, using a Siri-like interface.

Using built-in speech recognition, Quiri's natural language technology allows users to speak their business questions into their mobile devices and receive highly accurate answers in an instant.

"The premise behind Quiri is to significantly increase adoption of CRM by mobile field sales forces that today don't benefit from CRM solutions. Most are cumbersome, at best, in their deployment on a smartphone. Guiding, navigating, and inputting data is frustrating on a 3-inch-by-2-inch screen. Quiri works similar to Siri, but is optimized for your CRM system and far more accurate," said Craig Bassin, CEO of EasyAsk, in a statement.

"Implementing on SAP HAHA dramatically increases the wide array of questions Quiri can answer and the response time, and significantly reduces development time, as well as data storage, administration and maintenance costs by eliminating duplication. Candidly we were blown away by the benefits we experienced deploying on HANA," said Bassin.

Customers will be able to buy EasyAsk Quiri for SAP HANA as an on-premises solution or in the HANA One cloud.


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