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CRM has and always will be the forefront of every business and every activity which involves a company interacting with a customer within the different stages of a customer life-cycle within the business functions of Marketing, Sales and Service. SAP CRM on premise solutions have come a long way when it started with CRM 2.0B in 2000, to now its highly successful and refined CRM 7.0 EHP 3 in 2015. The amount of time available now for the IT department to calculate the ‘ROI’ of an implementation is quite low, as companies need to see results and feedback at the earliest especially in a customer facing environment. And with the advent of cloud and mobile computing this has been made possible to a much greater extent than on premise implementations. Gartner reports that Digital Business incompetency will cause 25% of businesses to lose their market position by 2017.

It makes absolute sense for companies using on premise SAP CRM and/or SAP ERP to implement “Cloud for Customer” as a cloud CRM solution, mainly if their business requires mobile access and seamless integration of data and processes on the cloud network. Cloud for Customer can help your organisation become a Customer-Centric enterprise by aligning the organisations values and focus with that of the customer’s needs and wants. And to make this journey a success companies can utilise the expertise of experienced and established consultants who not only manage the successful implementation of the technology alone but also be involved in change management which incorporate but are not limited to the following functions at a high level:

  • Consolidation of all customer interactions to create a single source of truth and be able to access it on the cloud when and where possible.
  • Seamless integration of CRM/ERP on premise with cloud for customer using HCI (Hana Cloud Integration) to manage the data flow of pricing, quotations to generate sales orders, customer visits, Merchandise and Trade Promotion management etc.
  • Social media integration to generate real time feedback of customers and create service tickets based on complaints. For example: Company page on Facebook, a twitter handle etc.
  • The user experience on mobile systems such as ipad, iphone etc. will be customized as per individual client requirements.
  • Utilizing proven and established change management techniques to bring users within the operations and also management space up to speed in working with the cloud system.
  • Identifying all the business functions that need to be available on the cloud system and which should remain on the on premise system in order to not compromise speed and agility.
  • Enabling pre-built dashboards to track real-time sales performance on the go and also enabling SAP super users to create configurable reports as per need basis.

And a lot more functions and strategies based on individual client needs and scenarios will be put into practice. SAP is heading towards being a cloud based leader within the enterprise space with solutions that leverage their existing successful on premise solutions. But clients need to determine which approach and strategy they should take to maximise the returns of their cloud implementation. Cloud may offer a shorter implementation time with out of the box solutions but the age old saying of “Its People that make Technology a Success or a Failure” still holds its ground.

Please also feel free to read this post and others on my website: kamleshpillai.com

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