SAP rebrands to signal customer experience technology agenda

Enterprise software vendors drops hybris and introduces marketing, commerce, sales, service, customer data clouds to reflect integration of its core software capabilities

Stuart O'Neill at the 2017 CMO Momentum conference
Stuart O'Neill at the 2017 CMO Momentum conference

SAP is dropping the ‘Hybris’ name and repositioning its portfolio of marketing, ecommerce, service and customer data cloud platforms under SAP C/4Hana as part of efforts to capture the end-to-end customer experience management market.

During the vendor’s Sapphire conference in the US, the company unveiled its new-look suite of solutions, which it’s pitching as both integrated and modular capabilities that allow organisations to address and influence the customer journey from beginning to end, leveraging data.

The rebranding and repositioning is also designed to reflect the integration of SAP’s core enterprise technologies with those it has acquired over the last five years.

The SAP C/4Hana portfolio incorporates: SAP Marketing Cloud; Commerce Cloud, which is based on the Hybris commerce platform acquired in 2013; Service Cloud; Sales Cloud, which leverages the US$2.4 billion acquisition of Callidus Software’s HR, sales performance and quote-to-cash system in January; and the new Customer Data Cloud, created off the back of its 2017 acquisition of customer identity management vendor, Gigya, for US$350 million.

These, in turn, connect through to SAP’s core enterprise offerings, such as its S/4HANA ERP platform, as well as take advantage of SAP Leonardo, the vendor’s artificial intelligence play launched in 2017. They’re also integrated with the new HANA Data Management Suite aimed at better management of distributed data sets. HANA is the name of the vendor’s core in-memory database, underpinning its offering.  

SAP A/NZ GM of customer success, Stuart O’Neill, told CMO the new strategy is designed to showcase how SAP is addressing real-time, front- and back-end customer engagement.

“It’s about ensuring we have end-to-end suite of solutions modular enough but closely integrated, that enable us to influence a customer’s journey no matter where they start or finish that journey,” he said. “It also provides the ability to leverage that back-end data existing in an organisation and allow it to be used in real-time by customers.

“We have spent many years talking about experience and personalisation. At Sapphire, what our CEO [Alex Atzberger] talked about was it’s time to move away from creepy, and get to in-time personalisation.

“Creepy means the emails following you around and the way organisations treat someone likes a sales opportunity rather than as a person. This needs to be replaced with an experience personalised to what customers require and that’s contextually relevant at that point in time. That requires a level of solutions fully integrated with content. Being able to drive that dynamic personalisation by leveraging real content and knowledge means you’re able to influence the customer’s requirements.

“For marketers, it means in-time and real time, rather than this carpet bombing that marketers have focused on in previous years… that’s not working for you and I. As customers, what we’re interested in is something that makes sense to us.”

While the ‘hybris’ name has had its place, this will disappear in favour of a brand suite that more clearly defines the SAP proposition, O’Neill said. It also gives SAP the ability to more directly contrast its offering to that of marketing and experience cloud enterprise competitors such as Salesforce, Adobe and Oracle.

In an exclusive interview with CMO in March, Atzberger positioned SAP as one of the few with a truly integrated suite of solutions for the modern enterprise, from digital portal to operational back-end. At the same time, he recognised the vendor had a brand recognition problem.


O’Neill also struck out at enterprise competitors, suggesting SAP is one of the few with a highly integrated offering already.

“We have been selling these capabilities as SAP for some time; what we’re seeing now is all of our competitors moving in the same direction and finally start to integrate their solutions,” he continued. “What we have done is rebrand and come up with a clearer strategy and roadmap, so our customers can see what we have been doing for the last few years.

 “Yes, we will continue to make acquisitions, but it’s then very clear what the value is to the customer of these and how they integrate into the suite overall.”

O’Neill declined to disclose specific tech gaps currently. “As tech changes, there may be a need to address certain areas – which is what we did with Gigya for example in the consent area,” he said.

“We are seeing competitors doing something similar. It almost confirms what we have been doing for some time.

“Salesforce bought Mulesoft, for instance – what did that confirm? It’s something we’re doing already - making sure our stuff works together and that the customer is buying into a solution from us. It’s already integrated out-of-the-box.”

O’Neill also pointed to Adobe’s acquisition of Magento as overdue recognition that the vendor needed to provide ecommerce management as part of its Experience Cloud offering.

“One of the advantages we have over the rest of the market is we are essentially one of the first movers,” O’Neill claimed. “We acquired hybris in 2013, and developed that solution quickly. We already had CRM, and have started investing heavily in building those capabilities to move that from on-premise to cloud. We’ve developed marketing capabilities, tying it in to ensure it’s authenticated at the front-end. We have been doing this for some time. With a lot of the others, they’re really only starting to catch up in building an end-to-end suite, while being strong in some areas.

“There will always been customers who have made investments in other technologies and we’ll support that. But we’re being clear about where we’re going and trying to do – we have made a statement to the market this is the only way we see things working and adding value to clients moving forwards. We need to stop talking customer experience and start delivering it.”

O’Neill agreed this can’t mean SAP focuses exclusively on its own technology, however, and signalled partnerships with integrators and other vendors remain important. He noted the relationship between the HANA database with AWS, Google and Microsoft Azure, as well as between Commerce Cloud with Azure, as examples.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu   

 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Latest Videos

Launch marketing council Episode 5: Retailer and supplier

In our fifth and final episode, we delve into the relationship between retailer and supplier and how it drives and influences launch marketing strategies and success. To do that, we’re joined by Campbell Davies, group general manager of Associated Retailers Limited, and Kristin Viccars, marketing director A/NZ, Apex Tool Group. Also featured are Five by Five Global managing director, Matt Lawton, and CMO’s Nadia Cameron.

More Videos

Great read. I agree that it should be a perfect balance between interacting with your customers and knowing your brand. As a business, yo...

Caroline Scott

7 ways CMOs can improve their customer engagement game

Read more

Very true. Team development helps improve collaboration among the team members. I was able to improve my team's collaboration skills by t...

Quent Sinder

Why empowering others can help make you a great leader

Read more

CRM is a very good software that can help you succeed in your business. In my company, this system has allowed me to improve customer rel...

Anna Janicka

Sensis rebrands to Thryv and brings business software to Australian SMBs

Read more

AI Leasing Assistants have finally arrived for the multifamily industry. With so many to choose from it can be hard to figure out which i...

Alice Labs Pte. Ltd.

CMO's top 8 martech stories for the week - 6 May 2021

Read more

Nowadays, when everything is being done online, it is good to know that someone is trying to make an improvement. As a company, you are o...

Marcus

10 lessons Telstra has learnt through its T22 transformation

Read more

Blog Posts

Why if marketing is all you do, you’ll never be very good at it

OK, so you’re probably thinking: “Here comes another article to badger me about living in my bubble.” And also, “I bet this bubble-bashing piece will go on to explain how I can achieve better results through some heady dose of new life experiences, new routines and annoyingly different opinions on social media.”

Dane Smith and Toby Harrison

Ogilvy Australia

A leader’s role in rebuilding a culture of confidence

Every day, there are new predictions and studies on the future of work, the state of the economy and the unfolding global pandemic. All of which creates uncertainty and heightens the imperative of effective leadership.

Michelle Gibbings

Workplace expert, author

Confused About Your Customers?​

​I've worked in brand and marketing for more than 20 years. But there’s one area where I’ve found myself going around in circles and I must admit I'm becoming increasingly confused.

Rich Curtis

CEO, FutureBrand A/NZ

Sign in