I had the rare pleasure to start working implementing SAP CRM with release 3.0 at the beginning of 2002 and through the following years gain experience on releases 3.1, 4.0 and now 5.0.
Said that, and considering what will follow in this post, I can say to the few of you who had similar nightmares that I completly share your view, releases 3.0 and 3.1 were a name and a hope, 4.0 was more credible, but the first pleasantly surprising release is the 5.0 SP07 (as far as I know SP07 was the first 5.0 release put in general availability).
The range of functions and processes supported, the available configuration options, the available customizing tools, the level of flexibility offered by the underlying technology; “all this stuff” reached such a quality level that I finally stopped feeling like Juda when selling solutions to customers (as a Consultant I am always selling something in a way).
What’s new on SAP CRM 5.0?
Well, there’s a lot of new stuff.
“SAP development investment in version 5.0 focused on Customer Driven Optimization of Best Practices End-to-End Processes and Joint Innovation Projects with industry leading companies.”
These are SAP words, which means that as usual they optimized Processes while working on real implementation cases, there’s nothing really bad with that.
“This unrivalled effort and commitment gave birth to a release which outnumbers anything seen so far in the CRM industry.”
This enthusiastic SAP quote sound funny, but for the first time I feel like agreeing, this SAP CRM release 5.0 is a nice one for real.
CRM is CRM not an SRM too, from release 5.0 SRM (Supplier Relationship Management) have become a separated product and it’s now shipped separately. SRM functionalities within CRM are no longer supported and are not documented within CRM.
Did you know that… ?
The total number of new functions or extended functions introduced by SAP CRM 5.0 as in SP07 total a number of 409, I am not sure if you like numbers or not, if you prefer a graph I hope you will enjoy the one which follow:
No surprise that Master Data, Business Transactions and Basic Functions have been heavily impacted, there have been always a certain constancy from SAP in its efforts to cover more and more Business Processes in every new release. (Of course we could be a little bit more cynic and say that all the money they spent in marketing, in conjunction with their great selling ability succedded in selling their product in early releases, when it was not necessarily so convenient for customers to buy it, getting great well payed opportunities to develop it.)
One thing we can assume from the graph above is that their effort to cover the gap SAP CRM always had in employing Internet in the solution is at least taken in to account, ICWC was surely a huge effort, and even if I am not fully satisfied by this solution (I had the “pleasure” to work on the much probably first ICWC implementation project to go live in Italy), the official statement that the “brand new” WebUI, which will be delivered in the next coming CRM release 5.2, is based on ICWC together with the unofficial one that it will address and solve the issues present in the actual release does satisfy me.
However my personal feeling (based on my experience with the underlying technology) is that they are seriously working on that, and also, to date, it’s already a valid product.
Well, there’s something else we can assume, they didn’t focus much on developing new funtions for Internet Sales and Internet Services, I think there’s a simple reason, ISA and ISE had never been well accepted by the market and in my opinion there’s a reason for that… But that’s just my opinion and it’s not based on a deep knowledge of these two solutions.
From a business process point of view, release 5.0 introduced broad coverage to the following processes:
• Warranty Claim Processing
• Rebate Processing
• Entitlement Management
• Complaints Management
• Service Plan Management
• Intellectual Property Management
• Shelf/ Planogram Management
• Credit Management
For the pleasure of the ones interested in customizing the system, we can add that although system configuration broadly cover requirements of most customers, to enable easy system customization are now available with release 5.0:
• Easy Enhancement Workbench (EEW ) for Business Transactions
• A larger number of business add-in (BADI );
(the total number reached 1618, release 4.0 had only 916 available BADI)
Now, I will stop wasting your time reading this, if you want to know more you can always hire me.
I will just confirm what I said at the beginning, I like SAP CRM as available with release 5.0 SP07, finally it’s a good product, and after so many years it have been on the market there are also, finally, a good number of implementation partners and consultants available.
Select it as your CRM solutions and you will have my blessing.