Social CRM can provide greater transparency



What is your assessment of trends in enterprise
mobility space?
The concept of mobility has existed for a long time, but mobility primarily
meant availability of anything on notebook when one is offline. But, now with
the spread of devices that are smart enough to handle complex interactionsthe
obvious question is why does one need a notebook. There has been an explosion in
the number of different types of devices and operating systems. Earlier, the
approach was to build an application that runs CRM on various OSs. In essence,
one ended up building silos supporting each of the many devices and depending on
the form factor of the device. Even if one builds it for Symbian operating
system, it could be different for different device makers. The complexity of
building applications, rolling them, maintaining and upgrading them became
unmanageable. That is why most of the enterprise vendors do not have a scalable
and manageable way of deploying this. There is an increasing pressure on the IT
department to support multiple devices.

What is the idea behind the SAP-Sybase relationship?
We have decided that SAP would be better off by enabling mobility as far as
a core platform technology and working with some of the vendors in the space who
are experts at building and deploying mobile applications are concerned. We
entered into a tie-up with Sybase, a leading mobile middleware vendor. Their
Sybase unwired platform is an application integration middleware. Sybase and SAP
are collaboratively building SAPCRM sales application for the first release. The
product will be deployable on iPhone and Windows mobile devices. We have
leveraged Sybases platform capabilities to deploy applications in multiple
devices apart from their technology to synchronize data and applications. They
have also developed a remote deployment capability to update with the new
release.

How is SAP placed to leverage social CRM capabilities?
There has been a shift in dynamics from the perspective of customers in the
last three to five years. There is a lot of free flow of information, and the
perception about brand and value is being determined by the audience as opposed
to SAP advertising. This also provides greater transparency of the product,
pricing, and performanceso there is no secret anymore. Earlier SAP was using
social CRM as a way to reach our customers, but after hearing about the success
which companies like Dell and Comcast had from this, we saw this as something
which could offer business value to our company. Most of the conversation that
goes on the social media is unstructured. We worked on the way to make it
structured. This is one of the several areas that SAPs social CRM solution can
help in, thus companies can make some sense of the vast unstructured content
that is there on the social web.

Sudesh Prasad
sudeshp@cybermedia.co.in

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