SAN MATEO (05/02/2000) - SAP AG yesterday put an end to speculation about its much-anticipated CRM (customer relationship management) direction, announcing plans to resell Clarify eFrontOffice through its own mySAP.com.
With the Clarify software, SAP promises that mySAP.com users will get "a holistic view" of their customers, suppliers and partners, said George D'Auteuil, vice president, CRM, SAP America.
Clarify's technology and the need to get to the market quickly in this "hottest" of growth markets were the overriding factors in SAP's selection of Clarify. "This gives our customers the solutions in the time frame that they need them," D'Auteuil said.
The deal signals an immediate strategic alliance between SAP and Nortel Networks -- the parent company of Clarify -- and makes CRM a significant part of the mySAP.com offering, said Chris Larsen, president of SAP America. Larsen said that he is confident that the relationship with Clarify will give a boost to mySAP.com's sales.
"One third of our customer base is looking to make some decisions in the CRM space as it relates to e-business applications," Larsen said. SAP is putting into place field operations personnel to handle what SAP expects will be a surge of interest. "It will generate opportunities that weren't there as recent as a month ago," he said.
The eFrontOffice suite will be accessed through mySAP.com, and the two vendors have been jointly integrating their two environments so that end-users will have to make minimal adjustments, D'Auteuil said.
The agreement with SAP will provide Nortel customers with an opportunity to benefit from the back-end support of mySAP.com, according to Dennis Cunningham, senior vice president for strategic alliances at the Clarify eBusiness unit of Nortel. The SAP support will lead to better order fulfillment and an ongoing customer life cycle, while users can expect a sharing of business processes and workflow, Cunningham said.
"The data of the holistic view is not being shared throughout the enterprise now," Cunningham added.
The initial mySAP.com/Clarify offerings will be for the banking, insurance, high-tech, and communications industries, SAP officials said.
Eugene Grygo is an InfoWorld senior editor.