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SAP bundling CRM with HANA will create "fast data CRM" - Ovum

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13th Nov 2012
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SAP has announced "CRM powered by HANA", its in-memory data and computing app, at the vendor's SAPPHIRENOW event in Madrid.

The move, which bundles together a number of CRM related products with tight integration with HANA, has been hailed as a “foot-in-the-door product” to pull SAP enterprise applications into a non-customer, and as an innovation that will create "fast data" CRM.

That's according to Carter Lusher, chief IT analyst at Ovum, who regards the launch as an “important move” for the firm. Unveiled at SAP’s SAPPHIRENOW event in Madrid, the solution brings together a number of existing CRM-related products and combines them with HANA’s Big Data analytics capabilities.

“The “SAP CRM powered by HANA” solution is based on leveraging products, packaging, and pricing product. The solution is basically a bundle of on-premise and OnDemand CRM, collaboration and social (e.g., SAP JAM), mobility, and analytics pre-integrated to eliminate that task while enhancing performance and scale by way of making the HANA in-memory data and computing appliance the underlying data management infrastructure,” explains Lusher.

He adds that SAP intends the solution – which is targeted not at existing SAP enterprise applications customers, but customers of HANA that are not yet SAP CRM customers –  to provide a CRM infrastructure that brings together client information, both internal and external, in order to deliver a better customer experience across all touch points in real-time.

“The new solution in essence creates a “fast data” CRM because customer data is in one high performance repository that can be exploited by sales, marketing, service, and ecommerce,” he says.

The solution also captures external social data which is then brought into the CRM system and analysed by HANA – another leverage point, according to Lusher.

As well as the platform launch, SAP also announced new purpose built applications, similar to that of SAP Account Intelligence, that leverage HANA’s in-memory capabilities, as well as consumer-facing apps like Precision Retailing, which make it “easier and cheaper” for enterprises to deploy, said Lusher.

In terms of pricing, SAP promised an “aggressive pricing” strategy to make the solution attractive to enterprises. “This makes sense as this CRM/HANA package is an important proof-of-concept that SAP can deliver HANA-based purpose built business solutions that rebut the perception that SAP enterprise applications are both slow in performance and complex in deployment,” he added.

“While SAP is putting marketing muscle behind the SAP CRM Powered by HANA” announcement, this should not read as a signal that current CRM products are being dropped. The existing CRM product portfolio of discrete applications will continue to be available and will not require HANA.

“However, just as important for SAP is that this solution demonstrates that HANA is coming into its own as a product that that can drive SAP revenues beyond making existing customers’ applications run faster.”

Enterprises and public sector organisations should look favourably on this announcement, says the analyst. ““IT managers looking to deploy a transformational CRM infrastructure that supports a “customer adaptive enterprise” strategy should consider “SAP CRM Powered by HANA.” Yes, this solution is mostly on-premise which might make it seem less “next generation” than SaaS or cloud. However, the combination of functionally along with an unannounced but obvious-to-forecast transition to a cloud-based variation makes it a real contender in the marketplace.”

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