SAP to add service management to on demand CRM

SAP continued to ramp up its on-demand CRM offering this week, announcing it will now include service-level capabilities, the third key component of CRM solutions.

In February, SAP kicked off its software as a service business with a sales force automation solution. In May the company added marketing, and in its third update within the year it is now announcing SAP Service.

Forrester Research senior analyst, Liz Herbert, said the SAP CRM solution was 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 that is typically found in the ERP system," she said.

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

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

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

One of the key differentiators for the SAP offering, according to both Bandlow and 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 completed the three major components of SAP CRM OnDemand, quarterly updates could 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 was looking at that and would respond to customer demand.

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