In the previous two blog posts, we introduced you to S/4 Customer Management as an add-on for customer relationship management under S/4HANA. In part 1 from the perspective of the system managers and in part 2 from the perspective of the users.
In the last part, Michael Stump, Managing Director and SAP CRM expert at itmX GmbH, will address the question of whether there is a real alternative to SAP CRM that offers the same or even more functionalities but does not require interfaces. Because, if you have read the previous two parts, S/4 Customer Management only maps rudimentary customer relationship management functionalities. These are then possible without an interface to the ERP, but if you want to map the customer journey in a modern way with SAP solutions, you cannot avoid using additional cloud solutions, which then require a connection via interfaces.
Different perspectives, different requirements
Both users and system administrators want simple systems that map end-to-end processes. When it comes to customer management, one thing is particularly important to the system administrator: a software solution that can be linked to the ERP without complex middleware if possible.
Users, on the other hand, want to operate as few different user interfaces as possible and have all relevant information available at a glance with just a few clicks. And that at any time and any place.
This is possible either by intelligently connecting the systems via interfaces – which is expensive and error-prone – or by integrated systems without interfaces.
Users demand simple systems that provide data in real time
Let’s take a look at the field sales force: today, they demand easy-to-use mobile applications that run on smartphones or tablets and provide real-time information from the office. Be it a telephone memo, an order or a complaint. All data from the central SAP system.
To support internal sales staff in completing their tasks, a system is needed that displays a 360-degree view in real time, with all relevant data from the SAP system. Be it information about a delivery delay or an ad hoc query from credit management. Because when the customer calls, all data should be available.
The topic of collaboration has now arrived in most companies. This means that in addition to classic Outlook, other communication channels such as MS Teams should be fully integrated into the operational process. Of course, this also includes the availability of data in CRM. Only in this way can all relevant documents be available at the push of a button, which are also stored in Sharepoint, for example.
In order to design his campaign processes professionally, the marketeer first needs a sound database, which he can find in the SAP system. Requirements such as “select all technical contacts of companies that use a machine of type XY and where the machine is 10 years old or older” must be met. This data should then in turn be easily transferred, i.e. without cumbersome Excel uploads, into a marketing automation system, which then provides the option of an automated campaign route with integrated landing pages.
itmX crm suite: fully integrated CRM also under SAP S/4 HANA
So much for the theory. If you wanted to map the processes just described with S/4 Customer Management, you would quickly reach your limits. Mobile applications for sales are not included in the standard, nor are marketing processes. For this, you would have to implement the Marketing or Sales Cloud on top. And that, in addition to additional costs, requires interfaces that make the whole thing complicated.
But, as the title of the article promises, we would like to show you an alternative here, with which you can implement contemporary customer relationship management interface-free under S/4HANA as well.
The itmX crm suite is a CRM solution that is fully integrated into S/4HANA or even SAP ECC, offering users the option of mapping the complete customer journey with all touchpoints, from the first contact via the website, to the telephone call, via e-mails to the web store on one basis. Thanks to complete integration with the underlying ERP, you also have access in CRM to all the data that is available in the ERP. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the equipment used, payment terms, special conditions granted or the customer’s payment history. You have everything at your disposal with just a few clicks. Your marketing department will also thank you, because even the most extensive selections are no longer a problem. And thanks to the direct connection of the CRM to itmX marketing automation, the next campaign is ready to go in no time.
In a nutshell: The itmX crm suite takes SAP’s grandiose idea of using the ERP system as a central hub to its logical conclusion.