SAP Thought Leader Anthony Leaper In His Own Words
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By Chuck Schaeffer
CRM Thought Leader Podcast Series
SAP Customer Line of Business Solutions—Don't Call Them CRM
SAP Senior Vice President and General Manager of Customer Line of Business Solutions Anthony Leaper discusses the target market, design approach, go to market execution, frequent iterations and evolvement, and key benefits—which include rapid time to value, a social user experience and most importantly, a design orientation which addresses the specific challenges incurred by the targeted user.
Click the Start button to begin podcast 33 minutes, 38 seconds (33:38)
Key take away points in the SAP Line of Business discussion with Thought Leader Anthony Leaper:
SAP has designed Line of Business applications for divisional or departmental leaders within the SAP customer base. SAP Customer Line of Business applications target interactions between a company and their customers. Historically, these types of customer facing applications have been grouped into the CRM software moniker, but SAP believes CRM itself is a particular silo and takes a broader approach to delivering business software solutions to sales, marketing and service leaders.
SAP Sales OnDemand was made GA on July 6, 2011. The sales-oriented software product was originally targeted to the SMB market, however, after 6 months of go to market execution SAP has expanded the product target market well into the enterprise segment. The company is advancing the product with upgrades delivered in quarterly waves. The upcoming version 3 to be delivered this quarter looks to include integration to SAP's CRM on-premise solution and increased software customization capabilities. SAP doesn't disclose actual customer counts but does indicate the Sales OnDemand pipeline is doubling every 4 to 6 weeks and the current pipeline consists of about 100,000 users.
Sales OnDemand is realizing an extremely fast time to value—with implementation periods averaging only 30 days, and including integration to SAP ERP.
SAP suggests that top product strengths which give Sales OnDemand unique differentiation and competitive advantage include the user experience (including the ease of use and intuitive activity flow), and more so, the design orientation which addresses the specific challenges incurred by sales professionals. To this end, the application facilitates sales person and sales team collaboration, interaction and real-time activity updates related to accounts or opportunities of interest.
At the initial release, former SAP champion John Wookey made an interesting statement that Sales OnDemand was built "from the sales person up and not the management down." Not a terribly novel statement but also not the norm among CRM systems. Sales OnDemand has approached the market differently in many regards—as a role-based business application integral with emerging technologies such as the cloud, social media, activity feeds, consumer technologies, team collaboration, analytics and mobility. This user centric point of view design and collection of emerging technologies that we've seen with Sales On Demand will provide the design and building blocks for addition SAP Line of Business applications.
To expand software scope, extend reach and deliver co-innovation with partners, and eventually customers, SAP is advancing its PaaS solutions, and Line of Business customer applications will inherit these tools. PaaS tools will tap into SAP's cloud architecture of multi-tenancy, a common UI framework in integration to SAP IaaS – which is a connection point for in-memory processing among other features. These tools will enable partners to extend the Sales OnDemand solution, and future line of business customer solutions with new capabilities, vertical market fit or other extensibility. For increased social capabilities, the SAP StreamWork product will create a social join between SAP on-premise and on-demand products. StreamWorks similarly enables partner extensions.
SAP Line of Business applications offer deployment choice. The apps can be deployed on-premise, hosted by SAP, or even in a third party cloud.
SAP Line of Business applications integrate with SAP ERP—and integration points include core records such as contacts and products in order to support tasks such as creating quotes and processing sales orders.
Surprisingly, although the Line of Business applications were designed and developed with the Business ByDesign framework, they do not today integrate with Business ByDesign.
Anthony is very much a forward thinker, and has suggested a continued rise in customer expectations will require forward thinking companies to look for new ways to learn more about their customers by looking for preference clues in social media, the blogosphere, and other social outlets that possess their digital identities. He notes the customer performance bar will be continually raised, with the objective of enhancing customer intimacy, and with the aim of meeting that customer where he or she is and offering that customer exactly what he or she wants at that moment and in a manner that entices them to act. For example, marketers will design campaigns not based on demographic segmentation, but by implied or expressed interests or behaviors, such as something they've touched, something they've interacted with or some digital data they've consumed. Such segmentation can deliver more timely and more relevant offers, thereby dramatically improving response and conversions.