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Will SAP customer service on demand help them compete in the SaaS CRM market?

What is your opinion on the new customer service module SAP released for its on-demand suite? It is supposed to add service functions to the current sales and marketing modules. Do you think SAP CRM will eventually be able to compete in the Software as a Service (SaaS) market? I'm still skeptical.

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The new on-demand service application provides basic help desk and support, trouble ticket management to register customer product issues and complaints, rule-based distribution and escalation of service tickets to route tickets, and the appropriate resources for speedy resolution of issues. The on-demand service also provides service analytics to monitor and measure service performance.

Service on demand is a light service application and has yet to prove that it has the deep benefits of an on-premise service application. The on-demand service application is suitable for rapidly-growing SMB companies if they have plans to migrate to on-premise CRM, when their service functionality becomes more complex. SAP on demand runs on a single-tenancy model, compared to the multi-tenancy model offered by its competitors. Therefore SAP on demand would be more attractive if the customer is given a choice of both single and multi-tenancy models. SAP on demand would also be more successful if an on-demand ERP solution is provided.

SAP has the resources and bandwidth to compete against already established players in the on-demand market. In my opinion SAP is not going anywhere and they will eventually gain share in the SaaS market.

This was first published in November 2006

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