Expanding Brand Image to Align with Changing Market Demands – SAP CRM in the Cloud?


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SAP CRM in the CloudI started this blog with the goal of shedding a bit more light on the cloud based CRM offering from SAP.  Rather than making this blog an overt sales pitch however, I thought it would be most interesting to consider “why” many in the market may be completely unaware of SAP’s CRM cloud based solution.  What I discovered was a challenge that many traditional software companies are starting to face: Expanding brand image to align with changing market demands.   

Over the past few years Salesforce gained a reputation for being the “anti-software” alternative for companies seeking a cloud based CRM solution.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, SAP has a long standing reputation as a software behemoth providing CRM solutions to large enterprises. 

With these somewhat surface level reputations, it was not a surprise that SAP’s cloud based CRM solution was released without a whole lot of fanfare.  Perhaps because of SAP’s long history with large scale CRM implementations, the market just doesn’t associate SAP with quick, easy and inexpensive.  On a daily basis, we engage a multitude of prospects that consider either an on-premise solution from SAP or a cloud based offering from Salesforce.  These prospects are often shocked when we show them our SAP CRM cloud solution.  These prospects are even more surprised when they see that pricing of SAP CRM in the cloud is competitive with similar offerings from Salesforce.

From a business standpoint, this brings up an interesting case study that many software companies currently face.  In the past decade, rapid technological advances created new market demands that forced companies to modify or add to their product and service offerings.  For example, in the not too recent past, Apple was primarily known for personal computing products.  However, as a result of the consumer market’s increasing demand for mobile devices, Apple developed the iPhone.   Now, a whole generation exists that primarily thinks of Apple as a mobile phone developer rather than the computing company many of us grew up on.

From a consumer’s standpoint, if there is anything to be learned from this challenge, there are times when a company’s established brand identity does not always offer the best picture of that company’s current range of products and services.  In today’s dynamic market, companies continue to push the boundaries of their product and service offerings.  The ultimate beneficiary is the consumer.  Salesforce helped usher in a new era of innovation for cloud based solutions.  SAP followed suit, stepping up to the plate with their own rendition of CRM in the cloud.  As a result, consumers now have an ever evolving set of cloud based CRM offerings to choose from. 

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