SAP CRM leveraging HANA's customer base as much as its technology
The "SAP CRM Powered by HANA" solution is targeted not at existing SAP enterprise applications customers, but customers of HANA that are not yet SAP CRM customers. This is a logical approach as HANA customers have already demonstrated a desire for high performance data management. Ovum's analysis is that CRM is a perfect use case for HANA because CRM requires both "big data" and "fast data" functionality (see Ovum's "2013 Trends to Watch: Customer Relationship Management" where we lay out the case for "fast not just big data).As the volume of data about customers grows dramatically due to social networks and machine-to-machine developments, the ability for marketing, sales, and service business units to exploit all that data in a real time fashion will often require integrated CRM solutions built on high performance computing. So developing a CRM application package that runs on top of HANA should be very attractive to this target market.
However, just as important for SAP is that this solution demonstrates that HANA is coming into its own as a product that that can drive SAP revenues beyond making existing customers' applications run faster. As Ovum pointed out in "SAP Challenges Competitors at its Annual Influencer Summit," SAP has high hopes for HANA (e.g., being the number two database provider in the market after Oracle) and the "CRM Powered by HANA" announcement is a proof point that HANA is gaining marketplace traction.
Recommendations for enterprise and public sector manager
Enterprises and public sector organizations should look favourably on this announcement. This illustrates that SAP can innovate in the packaging of its vast array of products and technologies by marrying functionality that makes sense for a specific use case. IT managers looking to deploy a transformational CRM infrastructure that supports a "customer adaptive enterprise" strategy should consider "SAP CRM Powered by HANA." Yes, this solution is mostly on-premise which might make it seem less "next generation" than SaaS or cloud. However, the combination of functionally along with an unannounced but obvious-to-forecast transition to a cloud-based variation makes it a real contender in the marketplace.
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