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#Sapphire: SAP unveils CRM on HANA to simplify data sprawl

13 Nov 2012
SAP building

MADRID: SAP has released customer relationship management software running on its Hana in-memory big data analytics database.

The release of what SAP has dubbed 360 Customer was made by the firm at its Sapphire annual customer event in Madrid attended by V3.

"We are moving CRM to a whole new category. Now it's not just about transactional CRM but about serving customers," said Jim Hagemann Snabe, SAP co-chief executive, during the conference keynote.

"CRM on HANA is significant. It's the first major transactional system to run on HANA. This is a big step, because it opens the door of massive simplification of data structures in your company."

Snabe said later in a press briefing that the product is the first of SAP's efforts to bring together its investment in on-premise computing, analytics, cloud, in-memory processing and social technology.

"Instead of throwing five technologies to the customers, we are combining them in our labs. Here we take complexity away and pre-integrate the solutions we have," he said.

"We chose CRM as the first application because customers are most interested in redefining CRM."

Snabe said other SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) would soon be run on HANA.

He added that SAP would offer customers one single price for the Customer 260 solution.

"There will be a single user fee and a single subscription fee. Of course customers can still buy it piece by piece - there would be like 16 pieces, but we are making things easier for them by combining the different products into solutions.," said Snabe.

"So 360 Customer is offering customers simplification for installation, simplification for use and simplification for pricing."

Meanwhile Robert Enslin, SAP head of global sales, added that SAP Customer 360 includes capabilities from partners.

"SAP Customer 360 is connected to social piece through [SAP] Jam, and they can also do things like sentiment analysis because of our partnership with Netbase," said Enslin.

According to SAP the mix of big data analytics and CRM, along with mobile and social capabilities will allow businesses to better understand customer needs and preferences and predict future behaviour.

SAP also said at the event that it now has 600 customers using the Hana database.

SAP touted Customer 360 as a rapid-deployment solution for new customers. Such solutions are designed for customers to go live within 12 weeks or less and offer a complete package of pre-configured software, implementation services, and content, it claimed.

"In my opinion, the SAP 360 Customer solutions is significant, and moves SAP closer to becoming a provider of not only business applications but business solutions," Elizabeth Hedstrom Henlin, an analyst for Technology Business Research, told V3.

"If SAP can deliver customer proof points for this solution in the near-term, I think it will be transformative for SAP's business and will drive revenue growth across the second half of 2013."

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Rosalie Marshall

Rosalie Marshall is the special projects editor and chief reporter at V3. Previously she was a reporter for IT Week and channel editor for online television site Rosalie covers government IT, business applications, IT skills, open source technology and social networks.

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