In the first part of our blog series, we showed you why S/4 Customer Management represents real added value, at least for those responsible for the system. Compared to the tried-and-tested SAP CRM, the new CRM variant under S/4 is now actually integrated into the ERP. This means that data migration from the legacy system is quite simple to implement and the infrastructure is much simpler in the new S/4 world, since the interface between CRM and ERP is no longer required.

In the second part, Michael Stump, Managing Director and SAP CRM expert at itmX GmbH, now sheds light on another perspective. Specifically, that of the users.

Mobile solution for field service only possible with additional cloud solution

We have already gone into more detail in the first part of this blog series: SAP has turned to its very own strengths and offers an integrated CRM system under S/4 – without interfaces. This simplifies the system landscape considerably and eliminates problems with data exchange.

Gone are the days when complex and, above all, usually expensive interfaces had to be developed in order to make the customer data collected in CRM available in SAP ERP. The heart of every SAP system manager will now beat faster.

However, if we now look at the new S/4HANA Customer Management from the user’s point of view, for example from the perspective of the sales force, it becomes apparent relatively quickly that the system does not have a mobile component in the standard. Here, SAP refers to the SAP Sales Cloud, which has a mobile component and can be connected to S/4 via SAP Cloud Integration.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud CRM

In today’s digital and networked world, however, in which the demands of software users are becoming ever higher in addition to those of customers, mobile apps that support employees in sales or even service field service in particular are indispensable.┬á Today’s needs require that information – using sales as an example – a complete 360┬░ view of the customer, their latest orders, open sales opportunities, complaints, and perhaps even an overview of payment history is easily and quickly available on the smartphone or tablet without much searching on the go. The same goes for following up on appointments. Simply record a summary of what was said quickly, attach the transcribed voice memo to the customer record and send it to the office staff for further processing. This not only saves time, but often has a direct impact on sales, because the sales force can spend much more time in the field and the office days that used to be common are often eliminated completely or reduced to a minimum.

In our opinion, this should be a component of CRM that should be implemented out-of-the-box without major development efforts and, above all, without complex interfaces – because CRM and ERP play closely together here.

Added value for internal sales, deficits for marketing

From the point of view of the internal sales force, the advantages of the system should be emphasized first. The user no longer has to deal with two different systems in the sales process and thus no longer with different user interfaces (UI). The processes from lead processing to order entry are mapped in one system. Opportunity Management enables transparent control of the sales process. An absolute added value.

However, if the type of customer communication is considered, which often takes place via e-mail, the system is now cut off again. There is no appointment synchronization with Outlook, and one also looks in vain for an e-mail integration. Other integrations, such as those of collaboration tools like MS Teams or Sharepoint, which are required in modern office environments today, are also not available.

In Marketing, the Segment Builder fell victim to one of the Simplification Lists. With the Segment Builder, marketers could create target groups in SAP CRM and use them in various marketing activities. Conversely, however, this now means that the marketing functionalities are no longer available in the standard due to the removal of the Segment Builder. It is therefore no longer possible to control classic marketing campaigns from CRM with S/4 Customer Management. This is where SAP strategically relies on the Marketing Cloud. This is certainly a modern solution for today’s marketers, but it must be connected to S/4 with extensive interfaces. Not to mention the implementation and operating costs.

Conclusion: The integration of SAP CRM under S/4 HANA is technologically successful. For mobile scenarios, in sales and also in service, subsystems are necessary that also partially map the functionalities of S/4 HANA CRM. Due to the lack of Microsoft integration and the complex connection of marketing, the customer journey is only connected with massive effort and now with more interfaces than it was before the switch to S/4. In addition, the use of the Sales and Service Cloud creates duplicate functions, which means that many processes overlap where one would actually only need one tool.

In the next and last part of our blog series, read whether there is a real alternative to SAP CRM and its CRM functionalities even without an interface under S/4HANA. Stay tuned.

Michael Stump
Michael StumpManaging Director itmX
Michael geh├Ârt zum Gesch├Ąftsf├╝hrungstrio der itmX und wei├č mit seiner langj├Ąhrigen Projekterfahrung immer, wo den Kunden der Schuh dr├╝ckt. Bereits seit Mitte der 90-er Jahre ist er im SAP-Business t├Ątig und zeichnet sich hier als Experte f├╝r die Themenbereiche Marketing, Sales und E-Commerce aus. Mit seiner Expertise unterst├╝tzt er unsere Kunden bei der Umsetzung ihrer Digitalisierungsstrategien.

Read also the other parts of our blog series