News Column

Patent Application Titled "Providing Configuration Recommendations as Part of a Sales Process" Published Online

August 21, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Computer Weekly News -- According to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews journalists, a patent application by the inventors Muench, Ulrike (Bruchsal, DE); Razvi, Nadim (Speyer, DE); Sachs, Marco (St. Leon-Rot, DE), filed on January 30, 2013, was made available online on August 7, 2014.

The assignee for this patent application is Sap Ag.

Reporters obtained the following quote from the background information supplied by the inventors: "The present disclosure relates to computer-implemented methods, computer-readable media, and computer systems for providing configuration recommendations as part of a sales process. Some buyers may directly purchase software applications off the shelves or online, and install the purchased software applications on a computer with little or no further customization. Certain software applications, however, are purchased by sophisticated buyers that desire the ability to customize the software applications prior to purchase in order to meet specific requirements. Current configuration systems usually present a buyer with selectable available configuration options used to configure the software application but fail to provide configuration recommendations for the software application throughout the sales process. This inability to provide configuration recommendations is a lost opportunity to influence the configuration of a purchased software application, increase overall revenue associated with the sale of the software application, offer additional configuration options, and ensure the needs of the buyer are met by the purchased software application."

In addition to obtaining background information on this patent application, VerticalNews editors also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present disclosure relates to computer-implemented methods, computer-readable media, and computer systems for providing configuration recommendations as part of a sales process. One computer-implemented method includes determining that a general recommendation engine (GRE) is available to make a GRE configuration recommendation for a selected software application, generating, by operation of a computer, the GRE configuration recommendation for the selected software application based upon GRE-applicable recommendation data and recommendation rules, determining that a private recommendation engine (PRE) is available to make a PRE configuration recommendation for the selected software application, determining that the PRE is permitted to make the PRE configuration recommendation based upon analyzed coordination rules, and generating, by operation of a computer, the PRE configuration recommendation for the selected software application based upon PRE-applicable recommendation data and recommendation rules.

"Other implementations of this aspect include corresponding computer systems, apparatuses, and computer programs recorded on one or more computer storage devices, each configured to perform the actions of the methods. A system of one or more computers can be configured to perform particular operations or actions by virtue of having software, firmware, hardware, or a combination of software, firmware, or hardware installed on the system that in operation causes or causes the system to perform the actions. One or more computer programs can be configured to perform particular operations or actions by virtue of including instructions that, when executed by data processing apparatus, cause the apparatus to perform the actions.

"The foregoing and other implementations can each optionally include one or more of the following features, alone or in combination:

"A first aspect, combinable with the general implementation, wherein the software application is selected by a buyer to be configured with respect to optional software application configuration options.

"A second aspect, combinable with any of the previous aspects, further comprising determining a configuration complexity level for the software application.

"A third aspect, combinable with any of the previous aspects, wherein at least one of a GRE recommendation complexity or a PRE recommendation complexity is based upon the configuration complexity level.

"A fourth aspect, combinable with any of the previous aspects, further comprising determining a configuration process stage associated with a configuration sales process associated with the selected software application.

"A fifth aspect, combinable with any of the previous aspects, further comprising: accessing the GRE-applicable recommendation data and recommendation rules and analyzing the GRE-applicable recommendation data and recommendation rules.

"A sixth aspect, combinable with any of the previous aspects, further comprising: accessing the coordination rules and analyzing the coordination rules.

"A seventh aspect, combinable with any of the previous aspects, further comprising: accessing the PRE-applicable recommendation data and recommendation rules and analyzing the PRE-applicable recommendation data and recommendation rules.

"The subject matter described in this specification can be implemented in particular implementations so as to realize one or more of the following advantages. First, additional configuration options provided by a third-party solution partner can be made available for a software application that would not normally be provided by a solution provider. Second, the additional configuration options can enhance the functionality of the software application as well as increasing revenue though the sale of the additional configuration options. Third, the configuration of the purchased software application can be influenced to both increase revenue and enhance the functionality of the software application. Fourth, the buyer of the software application can be provided is presented with an efficient and easy-to-use software purchasing platform coupled with a more personalized/tailored software purchasing experience which may increase customer loyalty and repeat purchases. Fifth, the known/projected needs of the buyer can be met to help ensure the satisfaction of the buyer. Sixth, leveraging known technology of the solution provider allows for consistency and a shorter implementation cycle to provide varied and up-to-date configuration recommendations to a consumer and/or maintain the configuration and/or recommendation environment. Other advantages will be apparent to those skilled in the art.

"The details of one or more implementations of the subject matter of this specification are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features, aspects, and advantages of the subject matter will become apparent from the description, the drawings, and the claims.

DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

"FIG. 1A is a block diagram illustrating an example distributed computing system for providing configuration recommendations as part of a sales process.

"FIG. 1B is a block diagram illustrating configuration recommendation generation and display as part of a sales process according to one implementation.

"FIG. 2 is a block diagram illustrating different complexity levels of a buying center store.

"FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating scope of general versus private recommendations associated with a buying center store configuration process.

"FIG. 4 is a flow chart illustrating a method for providing configuration recommendations as part of a sales process.

"Like reference numbers and designations in the various drawings indicate like elements."

For more information, see this patent application: Muench, Ulrike; Razvi, Nadim; Sachs, Marco. Providing Configuration Recommendations as Part of a Sales Process. Filed January 30, 2013 and posted August 7, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1087&p=22&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140731.PD.&OS=PD/20140731&RS=PD/20140731

Keywords for this news article include: Sap Ag, Software.

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Source: Computer Weekly News


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