The rapid diffusion of digital accessibility among all generation of consumers has led to an increased prominence for customer-focused strategy in many businesses. There are several cases of companies on the brink of bankruptcy or acquired by larger corporations even after producing superior quality products. This is because they were unable to cope with the advanced marketing and sales activities of their competitors. Companies such as Toys “R” Us, Abercrombie & Fitch, H.H. Gregg, Aerosoles, Compaq, BCBG, etc. could not get along with the increasing competitive pressures, changing customer behaviors, emerging technologies, and global sourcing.
Thus relying on an optimal Customer Relationship Management software has indeed become the need of the hour for both established businesses and startups alike. It enables them to fully utilize the digital capabilities in having flexible business models, innovative customer interaction, and identifying new sales channels. Moreover, with the increasing relevance of data and user privacy, organizations should remain versatile to change their customer engagements and marketing strategies.
In this context, this blog discusses, compares and guides business analysts in choosing from two different CRM software – SAP CRM and Odoo CRM system. These CRM systems were chosen, keeping in mind the versatile Enterprise Relationship Management (ERP) capabilities they offer for organizations planning to upgrade their business lines. These include Human Capital Management, Financial, Supply Chain Management, Supplier Relationship Management, Warehouse Management, Logistics, etc.
Moreover, this comparison could provide a general methodological framework to compare any other ERP systems to satisfy various requirements. The parameters of evaluating the software are selected based on the key inputs obtained from numerous consultations that we undertook across various industry satisfying business, stakeholder, solution, and transition requirements. These are:
- Functionality and Customizability – The major demands of new generation sales and marketing along with established practices should be supported by the CRM system. As organizations would not like to change their current proven business practices, the system should be versatile enough to have varying levels of customization.
- Usability and Mobility – When it comes to luring and engagement of customers, you need a CRM software that is easy to use and comes with a high degree of mobility. Customer details and their buying parameters at a crucial time could increase the chances of winning an opportunity.
- Time of Implementation – Unlike an ERP, you need to have an urgency in implementing a CRM system, as who knows, you may be missing out a high potential customer that could have changed the future of your company. In addition, the ease of migrating the legacy data to the new system should also be considered.
- Analytics and Business Intelligence – There is a great level of importance for the analytics and reports that provide an insight into the unknown buying patterns and other opportunities. Moreover, the massive data produced by the customers and other entities in social media and other digital platforms should be analyzed and monitored to keep up with the brand name and credibility of the organization.
- Cost and ROI – The investment costs involved in rolling out a CRM system includes the cost of software licenses, implementation, customization, hosting the server, subscription, maintenance cost, and so on. The returns involve tangible and intangible benefits such as an increase in revenue, customer base, brand value, customer satisfaction etc.
- Upgrades and Support – Software upgrades are significant for CRM systems due to the increasing novelty of customer engagements and evolving privacy regulations. Marketing requirements keep changing frequently. As a result, support and upgrading of the software become crucial to keeping up with the market demands. This support could be obtained directly from the vendor, implementation partner or local specialists.
- Scalability – Scalability in business applications ensures smooth functioning in an organization as their business expands. Moreover, the company would be able to invest in applications according to their use without any worry over future expansion.
- Integration with other Modules – It is a daunting task to integrate business software and enable them to talk with each other. There could be restrictions in integration, which creates a superior CRM system unusable in an organization.
SAP Versus Odoo CRM
Functionality and Customizability
While looking at the functionality of any CRM system, we need to perform a detailed analysis on the customization part that determines whether it is functional enough for actual usage. Through a quick analysis, we could infer that the functionality in SAP CRM systems seems to be lucrative with the addition of a Hybris suite of applications. These functionalities will cover the sales, marketing, and services related functionality in detail.
Moreover, it can also cover the business process across various industries such as retail, real estate, etc. Odoo, on the other hand, leads in terms of functionality with its modular structure. Users particularly SMEs could simply deploy new modules based on their needs to expand its functionality so that it suits their requirements well.
Usability and Mobility
Even though SAP application is robust and superior in terms of features and backend architecture, Odoo scores in extracting data from outside the organizational boundaries to enable greater usability and mobility. In an SAP environment, you require separate systems like the Netweaver gateway in addition to regular security systems such as firewall and reverse proxy setup.
But once the architecture is in place for SAP, we could use the Open APIs, which includes the rich set of OData and SOAP web services to create customized mobile applications. Odoo applications are compatible with mobile devices and as we choose the right template, it turns out to be a very responsive web application.
Time of Implementation
The time of implementation is closely linked to the level of customization offered. Odoo is the preferred application when it comes to the time it would take to make an instance into a working application if there are no customizations required.
There are certain restrictions in the level of customization that could be done in both the applications. Based on the complexity, the time to create a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) would vary. In our experience, clearly Odoo applications outpace in which we could Go-Live a CRM application.
Analytics and Business Intelligence
Analytics and business intelligence is crucial in closing critical deals and the pace at which it is received. The quality of data generated from SAP CRM systems is of superior quality. But if we cannot access them on the go, it may work toward its disadvantage. SAP Hybris systems could easily be integrated with an in-memory database such as HANA and could identify critical patterns from the big data.
Cost and ROI
It is a fact that the cost of SAP systems are much higher compared to Odoo. Odoo application contains a community version, which you could obtain under a free license (GNU AGPLv3). The absence of license fees is a notable boon of Odoo as it allows you to allocate that budget for customization and implementation. The community version can be obtained for a price of $100 for a single user per month (varies with country).
The cost of SAP CRM systems is not available openly. You need to contact their sales representative to obtain a quote based on your company size and feature requirements. Apart from the licensing and customization costs, you need to calculate the implementation and maintenance cost along with. The cost of customization of these features needs to be analyzed further considering the cost of the resources required to make those changes.
For example, the cost of an SAP Hybris developer is $86 per hour whereas it is $49 for a Python developer (for customizing Odoo application) according to payscale.com website. This will have an impact while calculating the cost of the changes. Return on Investment (ROI) varies based on your business and will play a crucial role in selecting the software and also in acquiring the funding. You could use the online tool provided by Forrester Consulting to calculate the ROI of SAP Hybris product.
Upgrades and Support
The upgrades and support for Odoo community version are provided solely by in-house developers or via crowdsourced initiatives. There are several modules created by various third-party organizations that could be further customized and integrated into both the community and enterprise versions of Odoo. The enterprise Odoo version and SAP products receive regular upgrades and support from the company to an extent.
The scalability of Odoo or SAP application is possible from an architecture perspective. Depending on the mode of deployment as if we are having the online version as SaaS product or in-house deployment, it has an impact on the possibility of scalability. You could tweak your licenses to easily increase your per-user usage of Odoo enterprise applications in the cloud.
Integration with other Modules
Both Odoo and SAP application provides APIs that could be easily integrated with other applications or ERP systems.
In conclusion, it is hard to give a clean verdict on which application is the ideal CRM platform to choose as it depends solely on your requirements. The choice is entirely yours, as Odoo edges out with it’s affordable, modular and highly customizable application. SAP, on the other hand, is the proven industry leader and is built to fit in with enterprise requirements with its backward compatibility feature. Fingent has wider experience in evaluating the requirements to suggest an appropriate CRM application that could transform your sales activity by making it more productive and quick.Benefits of an Integrated CRM – Odoo Experience[Source: Odoo]
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