SAP unveils portal-based mySAP CRM

SAP AG on Thursday will unveil the latest version of its CRM technology, a fully portal-based solution featuring the company's new presentation technology.

The portal technology embedded in mySAP 3.1 is designed to provide users with easy, consistent, and comprehensive access to role-based information across multiple applications, data sources, and Web services, according to company officials.

The new offering also is the first of the company's enterprise applications to leverage the Web Dynpro presentation interface, which is designed to provide the ease of use of a Web-based application and is delivered to the user via SAP's portal based on specific user roles. SAP plans to incorporate Dynpro throughout its enterprise offerings.

" CRM is probably the first class of enterprise software that has touched so many different users," said John Grozier, SAP group director of CRM product marketing. "We have to have solutions that are intuitive and are easy to use for that whole continuum of users."

The new user interface is a substantial improvement for SAP, said Kelly Spang Ferguson, an analyst with Current Analysis in Sterling Va.

"It gets to the heart of the criticism that SAP's functionality can be overwhelming," Ferguson said. "By bringing together the necessary data based on the role you log in as, that will go a long way in keeping SAP more usable."

Additional new features include new workforce management capabilities for call centers, a new partner portal, analytics for insight across all customer touch points, improved mobile capabilities, and incentive and commissions management.

The announcement was to be made at SAP's Sapphire international e-business conference in Lisbon, Portugal.

Because the portal and application are designed to seamlessly integrate and adapt to the role of an individual user, employees can aggregate both structured content from business applications and unstructured data from multiple sources, Grozier added. So, a call center agent has access to both transactional data about a customer, as well as access to documents providing the latest product-positioning presentations. This can also extend to information from suppliers and other external sources.

This new version of mySAP CRM will begin shipping at the end of September.

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