SAP's Customer Relationship Management (CRM) products
have shown commendable growth the past three years. AMR Research spoke
with two dozen companies with SAP's CRM tools in productive operations.
These companies reported large, successful implementations of core CRM
functionality. However, the latest version, mySAP CRM 4.0, is seeing a slow adoption
The Bottom Line: SAP has lived up to
its promise to deliver real CRM tools, customers say, citing integration with
existing Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) implementations as the leading
factor in their decisions.
What It Means: Here are the most
important findings from the interviews we conducted with 24 companies with live
implementations of SAP's CRM products, including sales, marketing, customer
service, and field service:
- SAP CRM implementations are on the rise, with the average seat size
climbing to more than 1,000.
- SAP was the only vendor considered in 50% of the vendor selection
- Future plans include upgrades to mySAP CRM 4.0 and an increase in user
count by an average of 150%.
- Integration and homogeneous architecture benefits outweigh the
functional gaps when SAP is compared to best-of-breed players.
- Soft benefits were more widely reported, but some companies found
hard-dollar Return on Investment (ROI).
- Customers cite several challenges with SAP's CRM tools, with usability
topping the list.
- SAP ended the feature/function battle with mySAP CRM 4.0, even though adoption
has been slow.
The Takeaway: SAP is a CRM force
to be reckoned with as customers embrace SAP's slow and steady development
still has some big hurdles to overcome, especially in the area of
usability. Customers cited several weaknesses, even though all would have
made the same purchasing decision again:
- It was difficult for many companies to prove the value of the tool to
salespeople, causing low initial usage of the tools.
- Difficulties were encountered when running the disconnected mobile
client with more than 1,000 users. Data synchronization proved to be
lengthy, taking salespeople away from selling.
- The need to customize the tool, especially in the quote management
(inquiry to order) process, caused cost overruns and upgrade difficulties.
- The inability to find other referenceable mySAP CRM 4.0 customers to answer
questions about their implementations caused trepidation when contemplating an
- When SAP is the incumbent ERP vendor, companies that are ready to
invest in CRM should exhaust the possibility of using SAP's CRM tools,
especially for customer service, field service, order capture, and marketing,
before looking elsewhere.
- For those customers interested only in basic Sales Force Automation
(SFA) functionality--especially for a large, mobile sales force--a simpler,
easier to use tool such as salesforce.com should be used to
increase the user adoption rate.