This month, SAP announced updates to several of its OnDemand solutions: SAP Customer OnDemand, SAP Travel OnDemand, and SAP Financials OnDemand. These applications all belong to SAP’s loosely-coupled suite of business applications focusing on people, customers, money and suppliers which has been designed so that companies can pick and choose which parts of the business they want to support in the cloud.
SAP Customer OnDemand covers the customers segment of SAP’s loosely-coupled cloud suite to support sales, marketing, and customer service teams. SAP Customer OnDemand is composed of SAP Sales OnDemand, SAP Social OnDemand, SAP Service OnDemand, and SAP Social Media Analytics by Netbase. The latest update to Customer OnDemand adds the SAP Customer OnDemand Support Portal, a web portal that allows customers to submit and track support tickets online or browse a library of possible solutions. The portal integrates with Social OnDemand and Service OnDemand to provide a unified ticket queue for the customer service team.
To help improve efficiency for users who do much of their work by phone in an office or call center to gain efficiency, SAP added support for telephony integration to SAP Service OnDemand and SAP Social OnDemand. To support salespeople who need access to customer information when they are on the road the latest release of SAP Customer OnDemand includes an iPad app with offline capability. Another new feature for salespeople is a customizable home page.
The latest version of SAP Customer OnDemand also provides some updates made with marketing teams in mind. The latest version comes with pre-built integration to BazaarVoice, a set of tools for gathering, analyzing, and responding to consumer feedback and sentiment on social media and customer reviews. Another new integration is with Fan Appz, a platform capable of delivering targeted promotions and advertisements to customers based on data from social media. For marketers who promote products around the world, SAP has added support for 19 new languages to the SAP Social Media Analytics component of SAP Customer OnDemand. Social Media Analytics also has a new tool from NetBase, the Focus Wizard, which allows market researchers to run queries on data from social media for specific topics while efficiently excluding irrelevant results.
SAP’s other OnDemand applications to receive updates this March fall in the money management category of SAP’s loosely-coupled suite and are younger than SAP Customer OnDemand. While SAP Sales OnDemand, the first component of SAP Customer OnDemand, has been available for two years, SAP Travel OnDemand had its general release just over a year ago, and SAP Financials OnDemand was launched less than six months ago.
SAP Travel OnDemand provides a set of tools for business travelers to book travel according to corporate compliance standards and approval processes and to submit receipts and expense reports. It also comes with mobile apps for iPad, iPhone and Blackberry so that business travelers can use Travel OnDemand to submit travel expenses at a hotel, airport, or train station rather than waiting to return to the office. The newest version adds an Android app as well. SAP also added role-based analytics, increased support for pharmaceutical representatives who have to comply with new US regulations, and expanded country coverage so that now over 100 countries are supported. SAP Travel OnDemand already included integration with SAP Financials and SAP HCM, but the new adds some updates to that integration and adds a completely new integration with SAP’s newest OnDemand product, SAP Financials OnDemand.
SAP Financials OnDemand is the main component for managing money in SAP’s loosely-coupled cloud suite, and is aimed at midsize companies and divisions or subsidiaries of larger companies. Financials OnDemand was launched in late 2012, and this month marks its first round of feature updates. Along with the integration to SAP Travel OnDemand, Financials OnDemand now features improved integration with SuccessFactors Employee Central Payroll. Just as expanded country coverage was added for SAP Customer OnDemand and SAP Travel OnDemand, SAP added support for more countries to Financials OnDemand, bringing the total countries that the new solution supports to eleven. SAP has ported Financials OnDemand to HANA, SAP’s in-memory database and application platform, which provides stronger capabilities for financial analysis.
The new version of SAP Financials OnDemand also includes support for integration with SAP Jam, SAP’s new collaboration platform based on Successfactors Jam. The integration with SAP Jam can help users collaborate about exceptions in financial processes. Support for integration with SAP Jam was recently added to SAP Customer OnDemand as well.
SAP’s OnDemand Solutions are still relatively new, so we’re likely to see many more updates in the near future.