SAP customers leave CRM on the shelf

Some good news at last for Tom Siebel, the embattled CEO of Siebel Systems. He has long maintained that more of his company’s customers install its customer relationship management (CRM) software than those of his main rival, SAP, which receive CRM software as part of a larger software purchase and so may be rather less committed to it.

It is a charge that some SAP executives admit to. SAP’s CEO, Henning Kagermann, told Information Age recently: “About one-third of customers that say they are using ‘MySAP’ CRM probably aren’t.”

If anything, the table below, based on recent Gartner customer surveys, shows that Kagermann may be underestimating the problem. The so-called ‘intent to implement’ formula finds that only 25% of SAP’s supposed CRM customers plan to install CRM software within 12 months. Customers of Siebel, PeopleSoft, Oracle and Amdocs/Clarify are far more like to deploy CRM quickly.

As any SAP customer knows, when the German software company sells a licence to its MySAP ebusiness suite, customers must sign a contract identifying the types of users for the software: accountants, purchasers and operations staff as well as sales and customer service employees.

While many organisations list sales and customer service users, the intent to deploy CRM is still often several years away, as other applications, such as human resources, financials and supply chain management, are rolled out first. But it is not all bad for SAP. “These licences are a stakehold for future CRM implementations,” says Gartner.

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Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

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