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SAP announces new e-commerce software

The Internet Pricing and Configurator is designed to allow customers to design and price out products on their own over the Net.

SAP today announced new customer relationship management (CRM) software focused on e-commerce.

The German enterprise resource planning (ERP) and services firm said its SAP Internet Pricing and Configurator, which will allow companies to sell both simple and complex configurable products and services to customers over the Internet, is part of its Internet strategy.

SAP had launched, its new portal site, in May. As previously reported, the company had said that the site is intended to provide one stop for everything from ordering from an online catalog to scheduling corporate meetings internally to communicating with suppliers. Initially, the site will serve as a marketplace for customized third-party content--including personalized news and travel information and job market opportunities, for example, the company had said.

Today's offering, a component for e-commerce-oriented CRM, lets customers access a merchant's Web site, check configuration options for products and services they would like to purchase, and evaluate the options and pricing in real-time, the company said.

The Internet pricing and configuration tools give customers the ability to "design" their products with their Web server and price out the products, whether the products are as complex as medical equipment or as simple as new office furniture, SAP America CRM vice president George D'Auteuil, said in a phone interview.

The new product is now available under the SAP CRM offering. Additional Internet-oriented CRM products will be shipped throughout the remainder of 1999 to customers as part of the workplace.

Most of understanding the customer comes after a sale has been executed or a delivery has been made, D'Auteuil said. He added that SAP is developing a definite, "customer-centric" approach with its CRM strategy.