Yesterday was the last day of the “CRM 2008” conference in Las Vegas and I wanted to share some of my own impressions and what I heard from numerous customers and partners who I was able to meet with.
“CRM 2008” was a great event and timing could not have been better with the earlier than expected end of ramp up for the “SAP CRM 2007” release and the announcement of general availability in the US and Germany.
Close to 1000 attendees came to see the new SAP CRM 2007 (for many this was the first time to see the new UI live) and get valuable insight from CRM experts in over 100 presentations. Feedback for both the new user interface and the many presentations was overwhelmingly positive. If you would like to catch a glimpse of the new look and feel check out these demo video clips on BPX or take a look at the The new SAP CRM 2007 in action: It’s so easy… created by CRM product managers and add your comments and provide feedback directly to SAP product managers. Folks who saw these video clips at the event loved them and said this is a great way for them to show the new UI to those in their teams who were not able to attend the event.
This week, conference attendees also learned about CRM @ BPX. Bob Stutz and Mike de la Cruz mentioned it in their keynote and it even got some press coverage… and everyone I talked to at the event was really excited about what’s going on in this great community. At the event, we walked many attendees through a BPX demo, showing them the CRM homepage, discussion forums, blogs…, and many new members have joined BPX immediately at the BPX table in the showroom (to see pictures of the event including some snapshots of CRM business process experts signing up to become a BPX member please click here ).
Press and analysts were also very interested in SAP’s Community Network: for example Bill Band from Forrester and Christopher Musico from CRM Media/DestinationCRM stopped by at the BPX table and we had interesting discussions about online communities in general and BPX in particular. I also had a very interesting conversation with a gentleman from Lego about Lego’s online community activities and how their community is driving innovation at Lego. While this is a totally different industry and in a B2C context we may be able to learn from their experience. We agreed to have a follow-up conversation and I will then write a blog about this topic as well to start a discussion about how we can include the community more in the process of innovation/co-innovation which by the way was one of the key topics of Bob’s keynote which we will post soon on BPX…
I am very pleased that we got so many CRM experts interested in BPX and join the community. What really struck me at this event when talking to all these CRM experts besides the fact that they were so excited about BPX (whether they have already had experience or saw it for the first time at our table) was the fact that the main reasons why they would join BPX (or have done so already) are very similar to the reasons why they would come to such an event: They can get first-hand information (and early demos) of the latest CRM release directly from SAP experts, they can hear about best practices and learn tips and tricks from customers and partners who are presenting, they have an opportunity and are willing to contribute by presenting and sharing theri experience with others, and they can connect and network with their peers. That’s exactly what you get when you join an online community such as BPX — but an online community is even better: you can do all of this all year long and not just for a couple of days, and you can interact and collaborate with a lot more people interested in the same area. So it’s no wonder that we won over 30 presenters to be available online on BPX after the event for Q&A and follow-up discussions. This is one way to introduce them to the wonderful world of online communities (and I apologize for any missteps that we may have made in our effort to get top CRM experts excited about BPX). If you would like to take the opportunity to reach out to these people and ask a question please see the list of participating presenters and how it works by CRM 2008: Q&A with Presenters and other News from the SAP Insider Conference in Vegas.