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Summary

In June 2018, SAP’s announcement with some fanfare of C/4HANA had echoes of its back-office ERP S/4HANA naming convention. It provided both a certain symmetry to its major enterprise applications and consolidation of various front-office CRM and commerce applications into a single brand name. So far so good for technically adept SAP watchers, but a bit opaque to the uninitiated.

SAP Customer Experience says what it does

Like many vendors with a history of regular acquisitions, as SAP’s stable of enterprise applications has grown, customers and prospects have been met with a potpourri of product names that did little to reveal their purpose. In June 2020, this time without fanfare, that changed.

SAP Customer Experience is not just a relaunch or even a simple rebranding of C/4HANA. It is both an indication of SAP’s intent and an evolution from a suite of modular applications, to a more purposeful and holistic platform to create a trusted environment that puts customers in the driving seat. This most probably reflects the understated and behind the scenes philosophy of CRM veteran, Bob Stutz, president of Engineering and Operations for SAP Customer Experience. To flourish in what he refers to as “the experience economy,” any transformation worth its salt must start and end with the customer. The Customer Experience portfolio provides an environment, when deployed as a platform, to deliver a joined-up customer experience across any channel, physical as well as digital, that customers traverse throughout their various and often ad hoc journeys.

Key elements of the platform add the greatest value to a business when they work together. This starts with SAP Customer Data Cloud, which not only opens up the enterprise’s data arteries across the value chain or network but also gives the end customer control and transparency in its use—essential for trust. Marketing, sales, service, and commerce complete the front-office line-up and Qualtrics XM, provides a complementary source of customer signals to monitor the quality and customer perceptions of the experience. Intelligence and automation tools such as ML, NLP, and intelligent RPA, provide the triggers to tee-up relevant contextual responses.

Omdia has argued consistently over the last few years that legacy CRM thinking (and siloed efforts) must be consigned to history. Today, it is all about intelligent and relevant customer engagement, and SAP Customer Experience illuminates that objective and provides the lodestone to harness the Intelligent Enterprise.

Appendix

Further reading

SAP's Intelligent Enterprise Moonshot takes off at SAPPHIRE NOW Converge, INT001-000193 (July 2020)

Author

Jeremy Cox, Principal Analyst, Customer Engagement Strategy & Platforms

[email protected]

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