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SAP Insider CRM 2010- The New Normal is the “Now” normal

The New Normal is the “Now” Normal. This was the theme of the key note address at SAP Insider conference currently underway at Orlando, FL (see my previous blog post, SAP CRM 2010 Insider Conference). As the economy is coming out of a major slow down, the organizations are not necessarily changing their cost structures that came under tremendous pressure but expecting to continue at the same levels and do more with less. New investments are being planned but only with an expectation to demonstrate better results on an immediate basis - the ‘now’ normal. SAP’s executives discussed ways how SAP’s suite of products can be leveraged in identifying such targeted investments which will help solve today’s complex business problems, be nimble, effective, profitable and quicker to implement.

I am observing this year a whole lot of focus has been given on innovation, sustainability, improving operational efficiencies and overall business transformation. Specifically on SAP CRM a series of sessions were planned across 7 tracks ranging from Sales Force Automation, Marketing, Trade Promotion Management, Service, ecommerce, Interaction & Call centers, and Managing SAP CRM programs. Each track had a mix of customer case studies, SAP experts and vendor led sessions.

Based on my experience of first two days at this conference Mobility and Analytics were the two most popular areas. SAP announced co-innovation partnerships with industry leaders in the Mobility space and this created lot of curiosity among the participants including me. Around Analytics, SAP seems to have progressed well on integrating recently acquired Business Object’s suite of products with SAP CRM. There were many sessions which provided insights on how SAP customers can build robust Analytics, executive dashboards leveraging these tools.

Another important session was where SAP’s product management team provided insights into SAP CRM’s future roadmap. Key future improvements and innovations are planned across 3 main themes- Interaction excellence (Mobility, Web-channel, Social media), Operational Excellence (Core enhancements in Sales, Marketing and Service) and Decision Excellence (Analytics: Business Objects Integration).

With all the new features being introduced in SAP CRM 7.0 and seeing what’s in store for the future, I would definitely agree with a speaker’s statement that SAP CRM is ready for the prime time. Overall mood among the participants was also very upbeat. There are few areas which I want to understand more, top on my agenda is Mobility and the upcoming new Web-Channel. Over the next two days of the conference I am hoping to get a better grip around these topics and will surely share details of what I understand in a follow up blog post.

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