You’ve likely heard about the customer experience and what it means for your business. You’ve also heard a lot from SAP about SAP C/4HANA and all the reasons why you should implement it as your customer experience platform for the future. But do you really know what SAP C/4HANA is and how it works to deliver the experience your customers expect?

ASUG News talked to Seema (Thomas) Vishnoi, SAP’s head of Americas outbound product management for SAP C/4HANA, to get a preview of the ASUG Pre-Conference Seminar she’ll be leading along with a team of other SAP experts in Orlando in May, “SAP C/4HANA: Connecting the Supply Chain with the Demand Chain.”

This full-day seminar will cover how to transition from traditional CRM approaches to the SAP C/4HANA suite, as well as the road map for each of the cloud solutions within the suite.

Seema (Thomas) Vishnoi, Head of Americas Outbound Product Management for SAP C/4HANA, SAP

Sharon: What is SAP C/4HANA and how is it different from a traditional CRM?

Seema: In a nutshell, SAP C/4HANA is a unified suite of cloud solutions that manages the customer experience based on one trusted customer data model. It consists of five cloud solutions previously on the market under the SAP Hybris brand name—SAP Marketing Cloud, SAP Commerce Cloud, SAP Service Cloud, SAP Sales Cloud, and SAP Customer Data Cloud—with some key updates and changes derived from recent acquisitions.

Each solution addresses one aspect of customer experience, but when you connect one with another or all five, you add value with the synergies existing between the cloud solutions by creating an end-to-end solution.

SAP C/4HANA suite provides a modern, modular, and open foundational layer to innovate new services and support integrated networks of consumer value across businesses. It future-proofs applications and operations ahead of new technological disruptions that are not known yet.

Sharon: What’s a good strategy for deciding whether to adopt all five solutions at once or the entire SAP C/4HANA suite?

Seema: There is no one answer that fits every business, but you can build your own road map according to your business needs.

For example, if a business requirement is to create a next-generation, state-of-the-art digital web storefront, then the SAP Commerce Cloud is where the journey will begin. But this doesn’t just equip you to sell a product or service online and be done, it is the first step in the digital transformation. The next step could be to further harmonize the personalization outside of commerce, for example, product recommendations across all channels with SAP Marketing Cloud solution.

It ultimately comes down to first identifying your business problem and selecting the solution that will address it. And then building from there until you deliver an end-to-end customer experience across departments, teams, and systems across the front office and back office.

Sharon: Why is now the right time for SAP customers to place a greater focus on customer experience?

Seema: We are living in the age of innovation. Technology affects the ways our customers interact with our brands. Customers want to engage with brands that are authentic. They want to engage with businesses on their own terms. They expect businesses to know their preferences and they expect to have a consistent experience across all channels, all devices, anywhere, anytime. Most companies struggle with that.

Companies need to think about how they will retain their existing customers and acquire new ones in this environment and how to continue meeting their customer expectations. We need to design our solutions, services, and business processes with the customer in mind. We need to cut through all the noise and focus on the experience today, so companies are ready for progressive growth.

Sharon: What has happened with the acquired products CallidusCloud, Core Systems, and Gigya?

Seema: They’re all part of the SAP C/4HANA suite, but that is what makes it even more powerful.

SAP acquired CallidusCloud in April 2018 because it was market leader known for its lead-to-money applications such as sales performance management and configure, price, quote (CPQ). It is now part of the SAP Sales Cloud solution, which provides customers with a complete digital salesperson-centric solution.

SAP acquired Gigya in 2017 because it was a market leader for customer identity and access management focused on customer experience and privacy compliance. It is now part of the SAP Customer Data Cloud, which converts unknown online visitors into known registered customers supported by a customer data management platform.

Last year, SAP acquired Coresystems, a Switzerland-based pioneer in crowd service and leader in field management. It is now part of the SAP Service Cloud, which orchestrates and delivers better service experiences throughout a customer’s journey.

All these acquisitions that became part of SAP family have strengthened the SAP C/4HANA suite. And we’re not done yet. The next step is to integrate Qualtrics—a survey company that SAP acquired last year—with the entire SAP intelligent enterprise suite to make the experience data and operational data come to life.

Sharon: Let’s shift gears and talk about the ASUG Pre-Conference Seminar. This is the first year the topic of SAP C/4HANA will be addressed in a full-day seminar. What should attendees expect to learn?

Seema: We will have a lot of information to share about the SAP C/4HANA suite and each of the cloud solutions, as well as seven attributes, like UX harmonization, suite intelligence, analytics, extensibility, and integration, that are stitching the suite together to create the complete end-to-end process. Attendees will learn how SAP C/4HANA can help their company engage, market, sell, and serve digital customers, and how to connect their supply chain to the demand chain seamlessly.

This is the only time during SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference where attendees will have an entire day to dedicate to learning about everything SAP C/4HANA can do for their business.

Sharon: Who will benefit the most from this seminar?

Seema: It’s appropriate for business users, solution architects, business analysts, and IT teams.

Sharon: What can attendees expect from the format? Will there be an opportunity to ask questions?

Seema: It will absolutely be interactive. Attendees can engage throughout the day with questions. We will have presenters from SAP and customers who have already adopted SAP C/4HANA. We will also have solution demos and videos. Attendees can ask questions of both SAP product experts and customers who use SAP C/4HANA.

We will have three customers—GlaxoSmithKline, TTI Inc, and Bentley Systems—present their stories, particularly on how they started with one cloud solution and then expanded. Attendees will hear about what these customers learned from their deployment, what they achieved after implementing, and what their ROI has been.

It will be an action-packed day that will begin with an overview and introduction and then lead to more details and interaction.

Sharon: In your opinion what else makes an ASUG Pre-Conference seminar valuable? How is it different than other education opportunities throughout the conference?

Seema: An ASUG Pre-Conference Seminar is dedicated time to focus on one topic. You get the full picture from A to Z. From there, you can take that information and make an educated decision on how to spend your time during the rest of the conference. You will know what interests you the most and what you need to learn more about.

Sharon: What do you want attendees to take away from this seminar?

Seema: We are in a fast-moving, fast-changing environment—not only in our IT industry, but in our personal and business lives. I want attendees to be able to learn where SAP is going from where it’s been. I want attendees to see how our solutions are evolving to be ready for tomorrow’s business.

I want attendees to walk away with a clear view of the SAP C/4HANA vision, mission, strategy, and understanding of how they can provide connected and personalized experience and build trust with their customers.

Learn more about SAP C/4HANA and how it can put customer experience on the road map for your business at “SAP C/4HANA: Connecting the Supply Chain with Demand Chain.” If you’re planning to attend SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference, don’t miss the day of learning beforehand at an ASUG Pre-Conference Seminar. Register today and save your spot.