SAP announces new CRM, SCM software versions

SAP is releasing new versions of its CRM (customer relationship management) and SCM (supply chain management) software products, the German vendor announced Tuesday at its Sapphire customer conference in Orlando.

The new versions were expected to be among the product highlights of the Sapphire event.

"Version 4.0 of mySAP CRM is one of our most significant product developments," said Henning Kagermann, chief executive officer (CEO) and chairman of the executive board, speaking at a news conference. "The version adds new functionality and a new user interface, among other things."

One example of a new industry-specific function is trade promotion management, which helps consumer goods companies launch and monitor trade promotions by providing support with budgeting, planning and execution.

Together with Volkswagen, SAP has also developed several new functions aimed specifically at the automotive sector.

In developing the new CRM release, which is immediately available, SAP leveraged its industry expertise in a wide variety of sectors, including chemicals, construction, media and manufacturing, recognizing that companies in different sectors have different needs, the company said in a statement.

For media companies to effectively lower the cost of creating and managing new content, the new CRM release, for instance, provides intellectual property management functionality for the media and entertainment industry, including acquisition of intellectual property, development of new media products, sales of rights and licenses and management of royalty payments.

SAP offers a modular approach for customers to deploy the new CRM release, enabling them to introduce the industry processes and core functionality in phases, according to priorities and return on investment, the company said.

On the supply chain management front, the new 4.0 version of mySAP SCM provides customers in manufacturing and consumer product industries with more than 20 new processes and more than 30 new process enhancements for their supply chain networks, according to a statement. The new release, which will be available at the end of the month, provides customers with collaborative end-to-end business operations, such as vendor- and supplier-managed inventory and trade promotion management.

The new version also includes a new Web-based inventory collaboration feature that enables companies and their key suppliers to collaborate on inventory movement and replenishment on a single platform.

"We worked closely with customers in developing the new release and embedded many of their ideas into the product," Kagermann said.

The 4.0 versions of both mySAP CRM and mySAP SCM use the company's relatively new NetWeaver open integration and application platform.

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