Nimble Mobile CRM 3.0 – A Quantum Leap?

Nimble Mobile CRM 3.0 – A Quantum Leap?

The News On February 14, 2018 Nimble announced the launch of Nimble Mobile CRM 3.0, their new powerful mobile contact, relationship and pipeline manager for Office 365 and G-Suite. The company also announced a bundling of PieSync’s B2B cloud integration platform to become an end-to-end social relationship management platform for all company contact records, regardless of where those records are stored. The new mobile app “unifies contacts from siloed mobile, cloud based and desktop records into a comprehensive relationship manager. It delivers the history of conversations and social context for everyone you meet, and it enables you to easily follow up and follow through on opportunities …” Besides introducing important features like business card scanning, the ability to send templated and tracked emails, and a mobile pipeline manager for tracking follow-through, Nimble Mobile 3.0 provides easy access to all company contact records, including social enrichment and history of email and Twitter interactions. In addition, the software introduces the ability to research new contacts on the fly via a deep integration with the iOS share menu. The latter enables users to stay within one app instead of toggling between them, which is a drag on mobile productivity. The ability to research new contacts on the fly gives teams and professionals valuable sales intelligence by using the iOS Share menu to “Nimble” a person, i.e. discover their social profiles, areas of influence, company, work description, etc. In other words, it is possible to build a Nimble record for contacts in your email, calendar and contacts apps, on the Internet or for a variety of other apps, in real time. The application...
CPQ delivered in Customer Experience Fashion

CPQ delivered in Customer Experience Fashion

In all likelihood you know that CPQ stands for Configure, Price, Quote. CPQ software helps mainly B2B companies to more efficiently sell highly configurable products. As the name suggests, the software helps sales people during the three steps of configuring the product, getting and agreeing a price for it, and finally initiating the quotation process. The more variables, or parts, a final product has the more advantage a CPQ tool offers to both, sellers and buyers. It is geared for streamlining and accelerating the sales process while reducing errors. A CPQ system typically ties into CRM- and ERP systems and, apart from being made available to channel partners, is often also exposed through an e-commerce system (have you ever configured your car online?). CPQ currently being a hot topic (and not only since the planned acquisition of CallidusCloud by SAP) there is a good number of companies offering this functionality. But in many scenarios CPQ also needs a CLM. Now I hear you asking: what is CLM? After all there are many possible long terms for this abbreviation. Why does it connect to CPQ? And why does this combination make an appearance in a blog that distinctly focuses on CRM, customer engagement and ultimately an improved customer experience? Starting from the end: CPQ, and by extension CLM, is more and more becoming a link between the front office and the back office and therefore has considerable impact on the customer engagement process, and hence influences the customer experience. So, what is CLM? CLM is an abbreviation for Contract Lifecycle Management. As such it deals with the creation of contracts,...
Customer Experience is a Platform Play – Always Was

Customer Experience is a Platform Play – Always Was

The most important tool that enterprise software vendors have in their respective arsenals is their platform. While Vinnie Mirchandani rightfully states that Enterprise Software Platforms have so far underwhelmed, Denis Pombriant proclaims them the new battleground. In my opinion it is not that new a battleground but as part of the Clash of Titans it is becoming more evident as a battleground. An enterprise software platform was always part of the battle for dominance in the customer engagement – or putting it into (marketing) industry lingo – customer experience market. It is actually an integral part of it. This is largely because of the ongoing commoditization of transactional business applications. But it was sexier to talk about shiny topics like engagement and experience than to talk about the grease and the machinery behind that drives and enables the technical delivery of engagements – note, that there are systems of engagement, but there is nothing like a system of experience. And now topics like chatbots, machine learning, AI, ambient computing, IoT, to name a few, made the machinery – the platform – the new black. A – perhaps not so – brief history When looking at the broad topic of CRM, customer engagement or customer experience, we have seen a lot of change happening since the early days of Sales Force Automation, SFA. Back in the early 90s one of the first topics has been SFA, with a focus on making a distributed sales force more effective and efficient. Contact management came even earlier, call center software and field service quickly followed. The emerging industry was dominated by little players...
SAP acquires CallidusCloud – A Snap Analysis from Down Under

SAP acquires CallidusCloud – A Snap Analysis from Down Under

The News On January 30, 2018 SAP announced that its subsidiary SAP America, Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire Callidus Software Inc., a leader in sales performance management and CPQ software. With a price tag of around $2.4 bn this is the most expensive acquisition SAP has announced in quite a time. With this acquisition SAP gets closer to the target of assembling the “most complete and differentiated portfolio to manage today’s customer experience” and claims that the combination of the CallidusCloud Lead to Money suite in combination with its own (Hybris) customer engagement suite creates a “leading solution portfolio”. SAP intends to consolidate the CallidusCloud solution set into its Hybris portfolio, with the sales cloud being the technical integration point of the software. As usual, the existing management team will stay on board. The Bigger Picture According to the most recent Gartner Magic Quadrants for Sales Performance Management (dated 15 January, 2018) and Configure, Price, and Quote Application Suites (dated 29 January, 2018) SAP catapulted itself into the leadership position of Sales Performance Management and into a visionary position in the CPQ market. Forrester Research already in their Forrester Wave: Configure-Price-Quote Solutions, Q1 2017 placed CallidusCloud into the leader section of their wave. With SAP’s Hybris solutions, including Gigya, SAP already has a powerful customer engagement suite, albeit with some gaps, a significant of which got plugged with this acquisition. While SAP CPQ is fairly capable on the C and P there is some deficiency on the Q. And it bases on grandfather IPC – not a bad engine, but one that is getting tired. Friend...
SAP CRM for S/4HANA – News from the Customer Frontier

SAP CRM for S/4HANA – News from the Customer Frontier

It has been a little more than half a year now that I didn’t update on what is going on with SAP CRM and S/4HANA (which I will refer to as S/4 from now on; SAP it is time for you to change the unwieldy name to something more manageable). What Happened – So Far As you are well aware SAP is working on integrating a simplified version of SAP CRM into S4. The original roadmap offered a first customer release of an integrated product in early 2018, based on the September 2017 release of S4. The integration was planned as an add-on to S4. The initial scope of this CRM add on for S/4 was supposed to cover what is referred to as ‘core service’ functionality. This initial release shall be followed by ‘core sales’ functionality later in 2018. 2019 then is supposed to be dedicated to another round-off release covering further sales and service functionality, including loyalty management and migration tools. Roadmap and statements also so far have been fairly fuzzy about the strategic distinction between CRM as a part of S4 and the SAP Hybris line of CRM- and CEM systems. What does the Future have in its Basket? As it seems now, the release is not going to happen as fast as planned, nor in the originally planned way. Instead, in a webinar recently held for partners, SAP ‘announced’ two very interesting changes, with the second one likely also being a consequence of the first one. SAP CRM will no more be referred to as an add-on to S/4 but, at least for the service...
SAP and Microsoft bring their Partnership to the Next Level

SAP and Microsoft bring their Partnership to the Next Level

The News On November 27 SAP and Microsoft announced a new level of their strategic partnership. Their key messages are that S/4 is fully ready to run on Azure Microsoft is committed to SAP and will upgrade its internal financial systems to S/4 on Azure SAP will move a dozen (unspecified) “key internal business critical systems” to Azure SAP and Microsoft will “co-engineer, go to market together with premier solutions and provide joint support services to ensure the best cloud experience for customers” SAP and Microsoft will both provide documentation about their internal projects “to provide customers with guidance and enterprise architecture for deployment of SAP applications on Azure” Of course it is not much of a surprise to SAP “connoisseurs” that SAP is not running its business on just one instance of their own S/4 systems – still, twelve is a fairly sizeable number to migrate to Azure. It is also not much of a surprise that Microsoft is an important and committed SAP ECC customer. As such Microsoft, of course, has plans to upgrade to S/4. All in all this is the long due follow-up announcement to the 2016 SAP and Microsoft announcement of “empowering organizations to advance their digital transformation”. Back in the day I wrote that this announcement shows a lot of potential for the customer and that Microsoft likely will have more advantages to Microsoft than for SAP. In 2016 the announcement was also about Fiori. There is no word about it anymore today. As an interesting aside, Microsoft announced that it will use Azure AI (Cortana) and it’s analysis services for “more efficient...