SAP embeds CRM in SME business suite

SAP is updating its Business One suite for small and medium-sized companies to integrate customer relationship management, a...

SAP is updating its Business One suite for small and medium-sized companies to integrate customer relationship management, a software development kit and support for multiple databases.

Barbara Weiner, head of small and midsize businesses at SAP UK, said the company's strategy was to provide smaller firms with software that could be used with little additional configuration.

She said the new product would be much quicker to implement than traditional enterprise resource planning systems. "It takes two days to a few weeks to configure," she said.

Although SAP is targeting smaller businesses, Weiner said the package could be deployed in the regional offices of global companies, either as a starting point for a full migration to SAP Enterprise or to run as a cost-effective package, where the business is unable to justify deploying SAP throughout the company.

The new version of SAP Business One expands the product's reach with material requirements planning capabilities to provide small manufacturers with a tool for integrated planning.

It also offers embedded CRM and extends database support to include Sybase Adaptive Server Enterprise and IBM DB2 Universal Database Express edition, as well as Microsoft SQL Server.

SAP said with the integrated CRM in SAP Business One, users will have access to a fully integrated calendar to schedule sales and services for tasks and meetings, which could help users reduce the number of workgroup servers they need to deploy.

The CRM tool is integrated with Microsoft Outlook, which SAP said allows users to synchronise scheduling, contacts and tasks and can capture and access relevant customer, partner and supplier communications.

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