SAP has made its eagerly awaited move into hosted CRM but it’s more of a tentative toe-dip than a headlong plunge.
SAP’s first hosted release, Sales on-demand, addresses just salesforce automation and will target existing customers rather than new territory.
Costing £42 per user a month and targeting companies with a minimum of 100 users, SAP is staying firmly within its enterprise microclimate. ‘SAP is using Sales on-demand as a means for giving existing and prospective SAP ERP customers a quicker and easier way to get into CRM functionality without a huge investment in time, money and resources,’ says AMR research director Robert Bois. SAP’s entry does validate the hosted market, but is unlikely to ruffle the feathers of existing pure-play suppliers such as Salesforce.com, while Oracle has already staked its CRM claim following the Siebel acquisition.
David Bradbury at Ovum believes SAP has entered the market too early with an inadequate set of capabilities. ‘SAP wants to grab attention while Siebel and Oracle are turned inwards, sorting out how to combine their CRM businesses. Another target has to be Salesforce.com, and SAP attempted to use the service outages recently suffered by Salesforce.com to justify its ‘isolated tenancy’ model,’ says Bradbury in the analyst’s EuroView Daily Comment.
Unlike Salesforce.com, SAP’s isolated tenancy means customers don’t have to share memory or databases. Instead, SAP says it is pioneering a hybrid approach, spanning the on-demand and on-premise worlds.