SAP looks to redefine CRM with three new hybris offerings

SAP pledges a rethinking of customer engagement with new three SAP hybris offerings, but at this point they are still a futures offering, being announced later this year and early next.

Jamie Anderson SAP

Jamie Anderson, Senior Vice President, Marketing for SAP hybris

Today, SAP is announcing new digital enterprise technologies designed to redefine CRM and transform digital customer engagement. Two are slated for availability in Q4 and one in Q1 next year.

“We believe the time is ripe for a proper redefinition of CRM,” said Jamie Anderson, Senior Vice President, Marketing for SAP hybris. “There was a day when the contact centre was the ultimate tool of convenience creating an immediate shared brand with the customer. As technology accelerated, it was driven by an inside-out methodology around reducing time spent on each customer. But reducing time spent with customers is really wrong, and that’s what CRM became. It let you identify groups of customers with common KPIs and build things around that. You could have a market automation system that measured how many times you could touch a customer, but not whether those touches were meaningful or whether the customer felt spammed. CRM started with the relationship at the heart of it, and that has been replaced with Customer RECORDS management.”

The imperative today is to be able to connect the front office and back office in real time, linking people, inventory, supply chain, pricing, and customers together, and to do so in a way that appreciates the realities of today’s customer relationships.

“CRM was originally built for a time when the company was trying to control the relationship, but the shift now is that the customer owns it, based on the channel of interaction,” Anderson said. “An original CRM product like Siebel was only 13 years old when Oracle acquired it in 2005, and it is already a legacy application.”

Today’s CRM requires that the new front office must go beyond the traditional marketing, sales and service automation functions and include things like integrated, real-time personalization, Web and mobile commerce, and social customer service.

“The three new product innovations we are announcing have this basic premise, the recognition that the state of CRM needs to change,” Anderson said. These new tools from SAP are intended to simplify the front office, giving organizations a single, contextual view of their customers, while giving each customer a consistent, personalized experience across all channels.

“To run simple, you need to think about your common digital core,” he added.

SAP hybris Profile is a followup to the hybris Marketing suite, and is designed as the customer-centric foundation of the system, capturing all interactions, contexts and behaviors to create a real-time, continually evolving and dynamic customer profile.

“It provides a dynamic customer profile that takes feeds from the business and tracks that behavior to build a model of customer behavior,” Anderson said. “It gives insight to run your business model.”

SAP hybris CX, with the CX standing for customer experience, is envisioned to be the omnichannel delivery capability of the future, offering the visual contextualization of the customer’s experience.

“It is a native product like the first one, made available across the whole portfolio to provide more access to real time insights,” Anderson added.

The solution is planned to offer management and delivery of dynamic, targeted, consistent content, offers, products and service interactions, with a focus on cross-touchpoint real-time optimization and context. It will integrate with other SAP hybris products for simplified deployment and management of integrated experiences.

The third announcement is the new SAP YaaS service architecture, available on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, which is designed to be the modular business microservices layer for the planned SAP hybris front office.

“This is business process as-a-service,” Anderson said. “It focuses on front end capabilities for marketing services, like embedding a better payment mechanism, such as a buy button giving a single click enablement of a purchase. This extends the core of hybris capabilities.” YaaS is currently in public beta, and over 3000 developers have signed up.

Several large system integrators are involved in the launch, who are committed to building on top of YaaS, but Anderson said the channel opportunity is broader than this.

“For channel partners, it is a new service they can offer, so is a significant opportunity for the channel,” he said.

It is an opportunity however, that is still a while away. This is very much a ‘futures’ announcement. SAP YaaS is scheduled for availability in October. SAP hybris CX is available now as a module with SAP hybris Commerce, and is scheduled to be available as a standalone product in Q1. Q1 is also the timeframe for the arrival of SAP hybris Profile.