Takeaways from SAP Customer Experience Live 2018
Last week concluded SAP Customer Experience Live, a gathering of bright minds and change-makers working in the field of customer-facing solutions powered by SAP. For those of you who didn’t make it to the annual event in Barcelona, I’ve pulled together a few takeaways. First of all, I need to say thank you to all who made my visit possible. I very privileged to be part of this amazing event and a great community. I collected a lot of information to share. This review is supposed to be the first in the series. Stay tuned! Part 1.
- Event details
- Customer-centric business
- C/4 HANA as a new suite
- K-Worlds: Microservices, Kyma and SAP Cloud Platform Extensions Framework
- SAP Upscale Commerce
Event detailsThis year, the event is hosted by Barcelona. Alex Atzberger, the president of SAP Customer Experience, noted in his keynote, that the 2018 event is two times larger than SAP had a year ago.
- over 4000 attendees,
- over 1500 customers,
- over 1000 partners
- 150 speakers
- 571 sessions
RebrandingThe first and major announcement is, of course, changing the name of the product line. SAP has rebranded its Hybris division as SAP Customer Experience. That wasn’t breaking news to any of the guests. Alex Atzberger explained the change: what 10000 clients have in common is simply this, customer experience. This unifying factor led to the new name, Customer Experience, or CX in short. The important consequence of this “brand revolution” is a growing number of consultants with a mixed and comprehensive set of skills. In responding to demand, many SAP Hybris Commerce developers, consultants, business analysts and solution architects took an active interest in other products from this umbrella brand, myself included. In previous years, Hybris consultants were finding themselves in their own circle of interests limited to the Commerce product family. From a technical standpoint, what was SAP Hybris was built with a completely different stack of tools than the majority of other SAP products. The shift from one stack to another is difficult and painful, especially if they are based on different architectures and concepts. However, despite all this, we are observing an increasing number of people well versed in more than one products of the family. Of course, it creates new opportunities both for the customers and partners.
Customer-centric businessThe summit started with an opening keynote address from the president of SAP Customer Experience Alex Atzberger. “There was a very serious battle between two sides. On the one side, there are “digital natives”, the companies with data in their blood, born on the Internet, and on the other side there are incumbents, the companies that have decades of investments and assets, and supply chains.” He noted that in this battle, there is no winners and losers, and the new dividing line has become customer experience: those that truly understand the CX and those that don’t. SAP’s goal is to reinvent CRM by shifting a focus from sales and accounts to customers and their experience. Next day, this concept was greatly illustrated by Moritz Zimmermann, chief technology officer of SAP Customer Experience. He provided the personal example: “Two weeks ago I wanted to go hiking with my little kids. A week before, I went online and bought a stroller. Two-day delivery was a promise, as stated. However, it didn’t come Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. On that weekend, we went on hike anyway, and, of course, I had to carry my eldest child for two hours and my back hurt for three days.” Which just goes to prove that everything is connected: when one part of the system breaks, and the whole experience breaks. The companies need to invest in both the digital supply chain and the physical infrastructure to keep their promises under control and keep their customers happy. This explains why SAP discontinued their CRM solution and created from scratch C/4HANA-based products. The unification of UI and data model is a cornerstone of success.
C/4HANAIn the keynote, Alex Atzberger announced a new suite of applications, C/4HANA. This change was initially presented on SAP Sapphire Now in June 2018 (along with retiring Hybris as a brand), but now the concept has been better developed and packaged. “What is C/4HANA? It’s an umbrella term for SAP’s combined customer experience solutions: five clouds and seven attributes make up the suite,” Alex explained. In a nutshell, SAP C/4HANA is what was known as SAP Hybris plus some recent acquisitions:
- Marketing Cloud (“Customer data, smart marketing services and campaigns”: a single view of customer data for marketing purposes, personalised experiences at scale and intelligent marketing)
- Based on what was SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud
- Sales Cloud (“Sales”: helping organisations connect and guide customers throughout their buying journey),
- Based on what was SAP Hybris Cloud for Sales
- Based on what was SAP Subscription Billing
- Based on what was CallidusCloud (acquisition; announced on Jan 2018)
- Commerce Cloud (“eCommerce platform”: a comprehensive commerce platform that includes product content management (PCM), experience management (CMS), personalisation and order management (OMS))
- Based on what was SAP Hybris Commerce
- Now running on Microsoft Azure Hyperscale Platform
- Service Cloud (“call-center”: allows businesses to offer multiple service channels, access complete and contextual customer information and gain real-time insight into a call center, self-service and field service performance)
- Based on what was SAP Hybris Cloud for Service
- Based on what was SAP Customer Engagement Center
- Coresystems (acquisition; announced on June 5, 2018)
- SAP Self Service Accelerator for Utilities by SmartEnergyWater
- Customer Data Cloud (“Identity, consents and privacy”: consists of identity and authentication, consent/data privacy, and a cross-cloud single customer profile)
- Based on Gigya (acquisition; announced on Sep 2018)