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SAP CRM Upgrade Offers Access From iPhones, BlackBerrys

Other vendors offering access to server software via iPhone include on-demand ERP vendor NetSuite and business intelligence vendor Information Builders.
SAP this month will deliver an upgraded version of its CRM software, SAP CRM 2007, the company said Tuesday at its fifth SAP Influencer Summit in Boston .

Highlights of the upgraded software include a customizable screen for desktop users and access to a slimmed-down CRM app from Apple's iPhone and RIM's BlackBerry devices.

SAP is touting the "Web 2.0" features of CRM 2007 desktops, such as the ability for salespeople and marketing professionals to use their mouse to move around parts of the interface based on their preferences.

With the new version, SAP also joins a small camp of business software vendors looking to appeal to iPhone users. Those users will be able to tap into some customer information on their companies' CRM 2007 servers via a wireless network, but will need to reserve any "heavy duty functionality" for the desktop, says an SAP spokesman. SAP CRM 2007 for both the iPhone and BlackBerry will be available this month, too. Other vendors offering access to server software via iPhone include on-demand ERP vendor NetSuite and business intelligence vendor Information Builders.

Beyond the interface and device, SAP also has built some new capabilities into its CRM offering. The upgrade includes SAP Business Communications Management software and SAP Real-Time Offer Management software to better connect to field-based staff.

SAP Real-Time Offer, for example, incorporates business intelligence to help call-center professionals bring in more sales during customer interactions. SAP also enhanced its software for managing trade promotions and marketing development funds to include more visibility, control and traceability.