plans to hire 700 Consultants
By Jennifer Sondag (Bloomberg.com)
AG, the No. 1 maker of business management software, plans
to hire 700 more people for sales and consulting for the
customer relationship management software it released this
company plans to hire 200 salespeople and 500 consultants,
SAP spokesman Markus Berner said. He did not say how long
SAP would take to hire the employees. He said ``a couple
dozen'' employees began working Sept. 1.
other companies cut personnel and attract customers by lowering
prices, we are becoming even more successful'' in the market
for software that helps clients sell to and service their
customers, said Carol Burch, head of SAP's global customer
relationship management division, in a faxed statement.
has said it aims to be the No. 2 seller of such software
by year-end. Siebel Systems Inc., the top maker of CRM software,
in July reported second-quarter software sales fell below
forecasts and said it would miss fourth-quarter profit estimates.
of CRM Suite By Kristin Palitza (Computerwire.com)
AG has quietly launched a major upgrade of its CRM suite
that it claims is the first version that can stand alone
from its R/3 ERP back-end system. However, a closer look
at the new applications set reveals that SAP is less open
standards-based than it claims.
The ERP giant also divulged that it is looking to buy smaller
players in the CRM space. New acquisitions could give it
an extra boost in its goal to draw level with CRM leader
Siebel Systems Inc and its $1bn in annual sales. SAP did
not comment on which particular companies it is considering
acquiring, but rumors have circulated recently that it is
bidding for Nortel Network Corp's Clarify division, which
is up for sale.
SAP said its new CRM applications, called CRM 3.0, are web-based
and will now be able to mix and match with multiple back-end
and front-end systems "to go after a non-traditional
SAP customer base." However, the upgrade is only partly
written in Java, with parts that are still in ABAP, SAP's
SAP director of CRM communications Jon Wurfl could not say
what percentage of CRM 3.0 is still proprietary, but analysts
at AMR Research have said that more than 50% of the code
is still written in ABAP, which according to them "creates
significant challenges in extending implementations over
the web." Although AMR recommends current SAP users
with significant investment in R/3 to pursue SAP CRM, it
warns firms that are not in the SAP camp that the product
requires "significant overhead".
CRM 3.0 is all in all a good move, since it offers a range
of new functionality across the firm's core CRM spectrum.
One of the main features is portal-based
CRM with more than 20 roles for marketing, sales and service
for increased productivity and effectiveness. Some of the
portal tools come from SAP's TopTier acquisition from which
it gained a portal environment and access management software.
However, AMR said that SAP has not yet completely finished
the integration of the TopTier software, just as it still
has to come up with a clear strategy for sell-side e-commerce
(the sales part of CRM), which includes the MarketSet exchange
operating environment of its partner Commerce One Inc. "CRM
3.0 has become the sell-side of MarketSet, so that we have
the ability to sell through an exchange environment,"
Another key feature of CRM 3.0 is contact center software,
SAP's first new complete offering since it cancelled its
partnership with Nortel Network's Clarify division last
April. SAP has developed some contact center tools in-house
and in addition teamed up with Genesys for web chat, VoIP,
routing and co-browsing.
3.0 also offers multi-channel synchronization, ramped up
analytics, enhanced campaign management and marketing planning,
lead and opportunity management, order and contract management
integrated with supply chain management and finance, billing,
auctioning and support for mobile and handheld devices.