SAP Focuses On 'Industry-Specific' CRM

By Tonya Vinas The CRM module of mySAP is branching out -- in 23 different directions. At its annual users convention in Orlando last week, manufacturing enterprise software provider SAP AG released a new version of mySAP CRM that offers "a powerful set of industry-specific and core CRM functionality" in 23 different industries. It uses SAP's NetWeaver technology platform to enable collaboration in analytics, marketing, sales and service. "SAP understands that each company today, large or small, requires industry-specific solutions to increase profitability, reduce total cost of ownership and benefit from a rapid ROI," says Peter Zencke, an SAP executive board member. "My SAP CRM was developed in close collaboration with market-leading companies." According to SAP, it has a growing list of clients implementing the new CRM release, which is immediately available. Those include Adobe, AstraZeneca, Siemens, International Paper and others. Some of the larger sectors that mySAP CRM provides solutions for are automotive, chemicals and pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, and industrial machinery and components. Providers of CRM (customer relationship management) services are further refining their products to win back some of the respect lost when first-generation CRM products failed to deliver on promises. "Buyers of CRM applications in 2003 are focusing less on features and functions and more on the most valuable processes that get work done," says Ed Thompson, vice president and research director for technology research and consulting firm Gartner Inc. "In many cases these processes are extremely industry specific. As a result, CRM application vendors are rapidly evolving their products in response."

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