During the SAP Customer Experience Live event, held virtually for the first time, CEO Christian Klein doubled down on the company’s road map for customer centricity. He emphasized that customer experience drives success, and that SAP is homing in on providing an end-to-end platform that delivers the best experience for any organization’s customers.
“With more than 15,000 customers and 1,000 partners, we’ve built on your feedback to understand what an exceptional customer experience looks like,” Klein said. "We will increase the speed of innovation to deliver a beautiful experience to your customers and further accelerate your growth.”
According to Klein, customer experience (CX) is the fastest growing category in the SAP portfolio. The plan, going forward, is to continue innovation and a commitment to the platform. He outlined two areas attendees of the event should focus on. First, he said they’d learn more about the importance of CX as an integral part of an intelligent enterprise, and second, they would better understand the differentiating capabilities that set SAP apart from the competition.
Why Is Customer Experience an Integral Part of an Intelligent Enterprise?
As this year has revealed, organizations not tuned in to customer experiences—and adapting to improve CX—have found it particularly hard to not only remain competitive, but to even survive. Klein noted how almost all of us have changed our buying and consumption patterns. As a result, the pandemic has challenged organizations to accelerate business transformation and has forced them to reinvent the experiences they offer their customers.
“You cannot think about CX separately,” Klein stressed. “It needs to be considered as an integral part of an intelligent enterprise.”
To meet your customer’s expectations at every junction, you need to have end-to-end capabilities across the entire enterprise, which includes an intelligent ERP in addition to an HXM (human experience management) solution. “CX is one key element of SAP’s holistic strategy,” Klein said. “While we will continuously evolve our CX portfolio, we will also keep our focus on areas including SAP Commerce Cloud, SAP Marketing Cloud, SAP Sales Cloud, SAP Service Cloud, and the new SAP Customer Data Cloud.” By focusing on a holistic approach, SAP can provide an entirely seamless experience for both the organization, as well as the customer. “By doing a holistic business transformation,” Klein emphasized, “and by adapting existing processes end to end and integrating data flows, even beyond company borders across the whole customer journey, you can meet customer expectations.”
What Sets SAP Customer Experience Apart from the Competition?
During the keynote session, Klein introduced the new SAP Customer Data Platform and discussed the recent announcement to acquire omnichannel customer engagement leader, Emarsys.
“Truly meaningful customer experiences have three main characteristics,” Klein noted. “They are hyper-personalized, they are seamless, and they are delivered across all the channels your customers opt for. At the center of these experiences is one key ingredient—data.” According to the press release, the new SAP Customer Data Platform is designed to help organizations create individual but anonymized 360-degree customer profiles using data from multiple sources within and outside of a company, including online sources and social channels. “We don’t just talk about a 360-degree view. We have it,” Klein noted. “You can translate these insights into tangible actions and engage with customers in completely new ways, all while ensuring the highest data security standards.”
The Emarsys acquisition is another signal that SAP is doubling down on its CX investment and committing to its customers that it will continue building this portfolio. The fully integrated, cloud-based marketing platform will allow an organization to deliver truly personalized customer interactions across a variety of channels. “This demonstrates our commitment to the CX market,” Klein said.
What Does SAP Going all-in on Customer Experience Mean for Customers?
Throughout the virtual event, SAP and its presenters hammered away at one main point—experience drives success, and SAP has the ability to connect that experience from the front office all the way through to the back office and beyond. This is true for B2C and B2B scenarios.
During a pre-conference media briefing, SAP Customer Experience Chief Revenue Officer Paula Hansen noted, “Our customers have come to trust SAP for scale and for agility, which is so important right now especially during this pandemic. Customers are making dramatic pivots, and that requires their business to be able to support high levels of commerce and high levels of management of data.” President of Engineering and Operations Bob Stutz added, “What the SAP Customer Data Platform does is bring everything together. So that experience that a customer has at the point of interaction with, whether it’s a commerce system or a sales rep in a business-to-business scenario, it is highly personalized, highly interactive, and all the data is there so that brands can know their customers so much better.”
ASUG asked about how SAP is improving the process for organizations to capture customer data today—especially regarding the regional regulations they must comply with. Klein responded, “We are providing synchronized master data…and when a customer asks to have their information removed, you can press one button that fulfills data privacy commitments in accordance to regional and local regulations.”
As SAP continues to go all-in on customer experience, the message is clear: The software company recognizes what is driving business decisions. “To remain meaningful, you must provide relevant, hyper-personalized experiences by leveraging your customer’s data footprint,” Klein said. “Second, you must provide seamless experiences based on a tightly integrated front office all the way through the supply chain. And third, you must provide experiences wherever your customers choose to engage.” He added, “As I speak with customers across every region, and every industry, it has become so clear to me that customer experience is the cornerstone to their digital transformation. With our portfolio, SAP is perfectly positioned to be your transformation partner to not only help you reinvent how your business works, but also to help with how you deliver superior experiences to your customers.”
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