New user interface and new functionality lifts enthusiasm for latest release of SAP CRM
Long considered to be the poor performing element in SAP’s comprehensive suite of business applications, Tonn believes the release of SAP’s CRM 2007 version provides some good reasons for customers to have a long, hard look at the product as many of its previous disadvantages have been eliminated.
“The SAP journey for most customers began in the mid 1990s,” says Tonn. “While some customers were content with the initial financial accounting and controlling applications, the majority implemented most of the core R/3 modules and now run reasonably mature environments.
“Around the new millennium some of these customers began installing new dimension products to further leverage their investment in R/3. While applications like SAP’s Business Warehouse proved very successful SAP’s CRM application struggled with a mediocre implementation record and with a low perceived return on investment.”
Tonn says this was because many of the initial CRM implementations were department-driven and thereby lacked a company-wide CRM strategy. In addition, the product took some time to mature and was crippled by a poor user interface.
“As a result, most SAP CRM customers were left with a functioning, but ‘half-baked’ CRM solution that was hard to implement, and one that was shunned by the majority of its users.”
This experience has made many customers wary of embarking on further CRM initiatives, says Tonn. But he believes the release of SAP CRM 2007, which addresses the previous shortcomings, will fuel renewed interest in an application, which if implemented and used correctly, can set organisations on the path towards being truly customer-driven.
The new SAP release comes with an entirely revamped user interface, called WebUI. According to Gartner, the new user interface makes the application much more acceptable to marketing and sales users who previously rejected it and “will spur adoption by SAP CRM user organisations”.
Tonn says the new release has a greater ease of application configuration. “It is now possible to change the position of fields on screen and change field and tab names during configuration, where previously it took a development effort to customise correctly.”
The introduction of Adobe Interactive forms and the integration with Microsoft Office provides new pragmatic options to systemise internal and external paper processes, says Tonn.
Better yet, says Tonn, customisations and modified business data can be carried forward to the new version using SAP’s upgrade tools, allowing customers to maintain their original customer information and reinvigorate their initial investment.
“Oxygen has twice won SAP awards for its CRM implementation work in recent years. At Visy, Oxygen implemented the latest CRM technology with great success. Based on these successes, we believe to be one of the leaders in the SAP CRM space in Australia and we are ready to respond to any organisation considering formulating a new CRM strategy, based on the new functionality and useability contained in the latest SAP release.”
For more information about the CRM upgrade path appropriate to your organisation we invite you to email Jens Tonn (Oxygen Service Line Leader, CRM) firstname.lastname@example.org.