Enterprise Apps

SAP Business One Adds E-Commerce, Boosts CRM

SAP Business One will incorporate new e-commerce and CRM capabilities from the company’s recently completed acquisition of Praxis Software, a privately held SAP Business One partner whose software allows users to set up online stores.

The new functionality will also augment Business One’s existing CRM capabilities with campaign management and self-service features, according to Gadi Shamia, senior vice president, solution management, small business solutions, SAP.

The Praxis addition is in line with SAP’s overall acquisition strategy, he told CRM Buyer, which focuses on smaller tech firms that can provide niche functionality missing from the company’s product line.

“For example, we do see a growing trend of smaller companies adopting e-commerce as a normal mode of doing business,” he said. The problem many of these companies have, though, is that their e-commerceoperations are poorly integrated into their other back-end systems.

New Functionality

Praxis, which has approximately 100 customers, offers the following modules:

  • NetPoint Commerce, an e-commerce package that includes shopping-cart functionality, theme templates, design capability, online customer support — and is scalable. Users can create multiple stores fromthe same database for business-to-business and business-to-consumer audiences.

    The system also offers deep inventory support. Vetco International, for example, a supplier of products, systems and services to the oil and gas markets, uses the application to sell and manage 200,000 parts online, according to Jose Barrios, CIO.

    “Because we no longer have to enter data multiple times into our different systems, our error rate on orders has dropped significantly,” he said.

  • NetPoint Focus, an online CRM package that offers campaign management and prospecting capabilities. SAP Business One says that these will be fully integrated into the sales force automation and customer service functionality already available in SAP Business One.

Going forward, the company says, Praxis’ application will be integrated into SAP Business One.

Competitive Landscape

The addition of e-commerce functionality puts SAP Business One in direct competition with NetSuite, which has made a name for itself by offering an integrated e-commerce, CRM and accounting application.

Even with the acquisition, SAP Business One does not meet NetSuite’s functionality, CEO Zach Nelson told CRM Buyer.

“By acquiring an e-commerce solution — rather than creating a seamless solution from the ground up as NetSuite has done — SAP is simply bolting on a Web store,” he said. “This will limit the functional capability of the SAP solution when compared with NetSuite.”

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