By Scott Carey

SAP CEO Bill McDermott appears to be readying the company to lock horns with the cloud CRM incumbent Salesforce with a new product launch in June

SAP is preparing to launch a new cloud CRM product at its upcoming Sapphire event in June, in a bid to overtake the current market leader Salesforce.

Speaking on an earnings call for Q1 2018 last week, SAP CEO Bill McDermott fired the first shots in what could become a heated war of words between the two major vendors.

“So called cloud CRM is nothing more than overpriced software running on first generation SaaS architecture,” he said. “This is probably why so many have responded so eagerly to SAP’s recent statement about a new vision for CRM. They know, change is coming, we are coming.”

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This move comes in the wake of an indirect access scandal which has seen customers like Diageo effectively punished for using Salesforce software on top of their SAP ERP systems. It also follows the recent acquisitions of Callidus Cloud and Gigya, which at the time were referenced as useful assets for SAP to enhance its customer relationship management (CRM) software offering.

Going further McDermott responded to an analyst question by stating: “Basically we are going to rebrand the whole CRM category, it́s going to be a massive movement at Sapphire and we’re going to show every customer that they can be a best run business by running SAP and no longer do they have to be relegated to an outdated sales platform with complex integration layers trying to get that data out of the ERP system.”

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