Corner Office: Q&A with SAP's Bill McDermott
Bill McDermott is always on the move. As President & CEO of SAP® Americas & Asia-Pacific and Japan, he travels the world to run a multi-billion dollar business that is part of the largest business management software company in the world. Whether he's traveling globally, or taking in some personal time (when he can find it), his BlackBerry® smartphone is always at his side.
Find out how his BlackBerry smartphone has become an integral part of Bill's work life, and an essential tool for SAP, in this Q&A with BlackBerry® Connection.
BlackBerry Connection (B.C.): How do you use the BlackBerry smartphone to manage your work life?
Bill McDermott: I'm constantly on the go. I get 200+ emails a day from various touch points. Being able to review and act on them on my time while on the run is hugely productive. I remember the old days of travel, tethering myself to a wire in a hotel, downloading for hours, spending most of my night on email. With my BlackBerry smartphone, I don't have that anymore. When I land, I'm ready to work. And I have a life.
B.C.: How have you integrated the BlackBerry smartphone into SAP's operations?
Bill: We have integrated our mySAP Customer Relationship Management (mySAP CRM) application into our BlackBerry smartphones and enabled that for our entire customer-facing workforce. Being able to view customer opportunities, relationship plans and the changing dynamics of the business is working very well.
B.C.: How are your customers benefiting with mySAP CRM on the BlackBerry smartphone?
Bill: Since our sales force is equipped with the most up-to-date information, their conversations with customers revolve around issues in real time. For instance, in a customer escalation we have a virtual "source code" of the problem, so we can better say when and how things will be resolved. Our clock speed with customers had increased significantly and they appreciate it.
B.C.: What's next for the BlackBerry smartphone at SAP?
Bill: The next big area is applications "on your hip." To me this means taking SAP's integrated applications suite – which deals with information all the way from the shop floor to Customer Relationship Management – and having it at your side. This is on everyone's mind, including the carriers. The more dependent on these applications customers become, the more they'll depend on reliable carrier services. Carriers stand to grow and the end client is more satisfied – everybody wins.
B.C.: SAP is both a customer and a partner with RIM. What has that experience been like?
Bill: I think RIM has proven itself to be a strong partner. I have a "thank you" for RIM because their innovation [the BlackBerry smartphone] has created massive productiveness in the knowledge workforce. Sometimes I think that we should just take a little bit of a breather and recognize that we're a lot better off than we were before RIM.
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