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SAP CRM Tied to Verizon Cloud

SAP AG has moved to make its CRM applications available to workers using Verizon Communications' Computing as a Service (CaaS) cloud offering.

With the move, announced last week, SAP customers can use SAP CRM from their computers or mobile devices through Verizon's cloud-based managed service offering.

That was made available thanks to the release of SAP's Rapid Deployment Solution (RDS), which the company said includes templates that allow for the deployment of SAP CRM-type apps in the cloud in an eight-to-12-week time frame.

"It significantly reduces implementation platform for a CRM deployment," said Kevin Flynn, SAP's senior director for business development. The release of RDS for CaaS is the latest move in a relationship between Verizon and SAP inked last year.

Verizon will provide the services to customize and implement the SAP CRM apps in a browser-based interface: The user ultimately is given a URL to launch and run the CRM app, explained Jeremy Webb, a cloud principal at Verizon.

"We have preconfigured architectures already designed that we can quickly deploy in our Computing as a Service environment and we've built an implementation methodology around this where we're going to be sending a resource out to the customer site," Webb said.

Typically, the Verizon team will work onsite during a six-to-10-week implementation period. "We will work with the customer. We'll gather requirements and we work with them for the overall implementation of the service," Webb said.

Despite some of the preconfigured architectures, Webb said the engagements do involve customization. "This is a fairly robust CRM solution, so there is still a level of customization to the customer's business needs," Webb said. "We sit down with them, they can have a set level of customizations that they can make as part of the overall scope of the service, and that's why the implementation period is so long."

SAP's CRM offering is the first of a number of apps from the company that Verizon will offer over time, Webb said. As for other partners, Webb would only say Verizon is on the lookout for other opportunities. SAP CRM is Verizon's first fully managed cloud offering.

Back in November, SAP made its mobile apps available with Verizon's Managed Mobility Platform. Through that pact, companies can integrate their SAP CRM apps with Verizon Managed Mobility, which hosts SAP's Sybase Unwired Platform (SUP). In this instance, SUP provides an interface between SAP's CRM suite and multiple mobile device types.

Verizon is also the first certified global partner for SAP cloud services but SAP's Flynn said there are other partners as well. Also certified to offer RDS in the cloud is IBM. Meanwhile, SAP is working with 20 certified cloud service providers to date.

"As you would expect, most of our customers run their applications on premise," Flynn said. "SAP sees systems running on the cloud. We're in the early stages of that market."

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/23/2011 at 1:14 PM


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