The buzz about SAP CX – Diving Deep into C/4HANA

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Delivering a cutting edge customer experience is the single most effective way of increasing sales, improving customer retention and establishing your brand in the digital era of industry 4.0. B2C and B2B companies have both shifted their concentration from simply selling as much as possible, towards a more customer-centric approach.
They have placed customers at the centre of all operations trying to provide them with a unified customer experience across all platforms by gauging measuring and cataloging their preferences through data collection and insight-driven software to create a customer’s digital footprint. 
In the B2C arena, most transactions are taking place on digital platforms, these days a company without a well thought out digital CX strategy (especially mobile optimised CX) loses out on large amounts of business. Although B2B CX still lacks behind their B2C counterparts, in the Australian market and globally we are observing an increased demand for vendors portals, customer portals and B2B marketplaces.
These digital hubs are on the rise globally due to the shifted focus in enhancing the customer’s journey. In a nutshell, customers don’t care whether you provide an omnichannel or a multi-channel experience they want a unified CX across all platforms that optimise their digital buying journey at all stages from their desired platform of choice. 
Australia is believed to be one of the most mature markets in terms of customer experience. A research article by Gartner in 2016 predicted that 89% of companies would compete primarily on the basis of CX. This number, according to our understanding, has become the real differentiator in 2019.
Some key pillars defining CX are personalisation, time & effort, resolution, integrity, expectations and empathy. KPMG’s Customer Experience Excellence report pointed out some interesting points about CX in Australia. The report observed that international companies are the trendsetters in CX with ideas flowing in from different parts of the globe. Furthermore, the report illustrated that personalisation still remains the most important pillar in providing a cutting edge CX and the businesses providing a highly personalised experience such as Singapore Airlines, Bendigo Bank and PayPal are consistently perceived by customers as providing the best experiences.
The Australian consumer has also become more conscious about how their data is extracted and utilised in order to provide hyper-personalisation. However, consumers believe that “differentiation” in Australia is lagging, Australian brands fail to stand out or provide a unique CX to its customers, we often see the same CX with different packaging.
Overall, Australian consumers believe the retail industry has been providing the best CX for the past several years, while utilities and the government departments are falling short on providing a customer with a highly desired experience. A recent podcast by Blair Morgan on ABC Radio also highlighted that big business still fails to provide their customers with satisfactory customer services through their contact centres and they constantly hit roadblocks causing an ungratifying experience for the customer. 
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SAPs role in CX

Disclaimer: This article is not aimed at being an advertisement for SAP but as SAP Specialist consulting firm and SI partner we find it essential that companies should be aware of what SAP CX suite has to offer. As subject matter experts we find it mandatory to impart what we know about the capabilities of SAP CX suite as we know it better than others and also its limitations and the myths around the platform. 

SAP along with Oracle, Microsoft, Salesforce and IBM have been in a  race that has lasted decades, each enterprise is competing to provide the ultimate CX system, through varied CRM offerings. SAP has been investing in the CRM space since the early 2000’s.

In 2013, after acquiring the German company Hybris, SAP the leading enterprise omni-channel platform has shown its steadfast commitment to the SAP Cloud For Customers  (C4C) and recently has completed a full SAP CX suite with all its 5 clouds aptly namedC/4HANA.

In C/4HANA the C represents the customer, while 4 stands for the “4th generation CRM,” and HANA is the inbuilt database that C/4HANA operates on. With new leadership taking charge and several recent acquisitions of various competing and complementing platforms clearly shows SAPs’ seriousness/commitment towards transforming the CX space, notably investing in Gigya in 2017, core system and Callidus cloud in 2018, and most recently by acquiring Qualtrics in early 2019.

Although branding decisions over the years might have been questionable (it’s hard to keep up with the changing brand names), it has now all boiled down to SAP providing 5 clouds: SAP Marketing Cloud, SAP Commerce Cloud, SAP Service Cloud, SAP Sales Cloud and SAP Customer Data Cloud. These clouds separately and combined provide the most comprehensive solutions in their respective categories and help give a unified customer experience and companies to have a single customer view.

Let’s take a look underneath the hood of the SAP CX Suite and how it’s being used across Australia by these iconic brands such as Bunnings, Woolworths, IDP education, SA Power, Leverage Technologies and Caranity amongst others.

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SAP Commerce Cloud

SAP Commerce Cloud after acquiring the German company Hybris was rebranded as SAP Hybris Commerce and it was believed to be the most comprehensive and robust omnichannel enterprise commerce platform in the market. SAP realising the exponential growth of e-commerce and the need for scalability worked on cloud-first strategy and began to move from on-premise towards upgrading to cloud infrastructures, teaming up with Microsoft Azure in recent years for some versions of SAP Commerce Cloud.

SAP Commerce Cloud continues to be a dominant platform in the e-commerce market it boasts some great built-in integrations and one of the most extensive integration frameworks (SAP Cloud platform extension factory) which continues to provide multiple microservices and options to enhance and accelerate the performance of the platform. This is done by combining its capability with other tools, legacy systems and headless platforms.

One of the key advantages of the platform is that it supports and provides B2B businesses with specific functionalities which fit their b2b interaction requirements allowing their customers B2B platforms or B2B marketplaces to perform better than others.

From cataloging to billing, SAP Commerce Cloud is one of the most extensive commerce platforms which has one of the most attractive UX and automatic optimisation for available for true omnichannel experiences.

Bunnings and Woolworths are two of the most popular retailers in Australia. They both provide an excellent CX and as a result, have been chosen by the Australian market as the top companies providing the best CX outlined in the KPMG CX excellence report 2018.

Both companies are using SAP Commerce Platform which speaks volumes about SAP Commerce Cloud’s CX capabilities. Woolworths and Bunnings both have also added several microservices over the years to their platform to facilitate their customers better and both are leaders in the field of digital retail innovation.

What is SAP Commerce Cloud
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SAP Marketing Cloud

SAP Marketing Cloud, like the rest of the SAP CX suite, is a highly intelligent platform with the intuitive SAP Leonardo embedded in the system providing state of the art actionable insights and analytics. SAP Marketing helps create singular customer profiles by extracting data through the use of AI, ML and IoT. The module apart from providing a hyper-personalised CX gives real-time recommendations and offers for customers which helps boost sales immediately.

Campaign execution across all channels is optimized by default thus there is no need to adjust campaigns individually for each medium. Despite its highly advanced customer retention and loyalty programs, SAP Marketing has still not gained the popularity they strive for. This is also due to the strong prominence of Salesforce in the marketing arena, with the acquisition of Pardot and Tableau amongst others salesforce are really a force to be reckoned with in the marketing cloud platform domain.

IDP Education is an example in the region that effectively utilised the SAP Marketing cloud. It is a leader in helping students find suitable education that fits their requirements. They were able to reach the right target audience worldwide and successfully place students in Australia, New Zealand, the USA, UK, Ireland and Canada. Not only were they able to identify and segment various student personas but they were able to target them with various automated campaigns using the SAP Marketing platform. Marketing costs were significantly reduced and campaign conversion rates went up significantly.

What is SAP Marketing Cloud
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SAP Service Cloud (C4C)

The recent acquisition of Core Systems has enhanced the already existing SAP Service Cloud which combined with SAP contact centre which was already top-notch customer services solutions for big businesses.

The Field Service Management system in the new SAP Service Cloud really sets it apart and the common complaint of customers reaching dead ends through contact centres can be eliminated by using this platform. Utility companies that majorly lag behind in CX and have loads of customer complaints and queries to deal with can effectively utilise this solution to improve the mediocre CX most utility companies currently provide.

SA Power is one of the companies that successfully utilised SAP Service Cloud to transform its operations. Field crew workers were previously overburdened with customer complaints and the process of resolving these complaints seemed tedious. SA Power utilising SAP Service Cloud simplified their complaint handling system and made it more efficient so that their field crew had more time for conducting other important activities. It helped SA Power Networks concentrate on being one of the front runners in the utilities sector when it comes to CX and bring about innovation in the industry.

What is SAP Service Cloud
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SAP Sales Cloud

SAP Cloud for sales combined with SAP revenue cloud and recently acquired Callidus Cloud combined to form the new SAP Sales Cloud. Features from these 3 solutions combined to give an end-to-end sales solution for medium to large-sized enterprises.

While SAP Cloud for Sales looks after sales force automation and retail execution, Callidus Cloud provides in-depth sales force management and customer engagement and together CallidusCloud and SAP Revenue Cloud handle contract lifecycle handling along with billing and ordering functionalities. Order configuration along with quote generation is made simple through SAP Sales Cloud. This cloud not only helps in organising and consolidating sales execution at every step but also facilitates sales force management which is highly important in today’s mobile work environment. 

Leverage Technologies is one local example where SAP Sales Cloud helped Leverage Technologies. They streamlined their Sales & Marketing efforts by effectively utilising the large database they had gathered over a decade of operating in the region. They utilised this gained useful insights from the data to improve their lead generation and opportunity. management activities.

Capacity, for a nonprofit organisation providing aged care is another Brisbane based example of a company that had to improve the CX they provided in order to stay competitive against the fierce private sector. They used SAP Sales & Services cloud to make the onboarding process more efficient. Significant time and cost reduction were witnessed in various processes and an improvement was witnessed in customer engagement and customer opportunity management. The sales process was streamlined with a significant reduction in unnecessary customer touchpoints in managing all inquiries.

What is SAP Sales Cloud
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SAP Customer Data Cloud

SAP Customer Data Cloud earlier is known as Gigya acquired by SAP is the last piece that fits in the SAP CX suite. It was rebranded as the SAP Customer Data Cloud in 2017. This 5th cloud helps create customer profiles with the help of a comprehensive identity management system. The platform also helps set the user access restriction (UAR) which is pivotal when it comes to data handling. After the GDPR rules and regulations opening up new debate towards data privacy, consent management is also an important aspect that this platform handles.

Australian consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of how their data is collected and being utilised thus SAP Customer Data Cloud has already set rules when it comes to data acquisition and utilisation. The SAP Customer Data Cloud is compliant with geographic and global data privacy regulations.

Myth Buster: One of the myths that surround the SAP CX suite is that all the cloud platforms run on a singular data model. Let me clarify, this is not at all true. None of the solutions even run on the same infrastructure or technology. All the clouds, even the Customer Data Cloud which utilizes data from other clouds has its own separate infrastructure and data model.

What is SAP Customer Data Cloud

What sets SAP CX suit apart

One extension Framework

SAP Cloud Platform has 65+ built-in extension capabilities such as security, integration, IOT, etc. The extension framework for whichever solution you plan to extend Commerce, Marketing, Service or Sales Cloud remains the same. The cloud-native extensibility option makes it easy to build extensions for all cloud solutions.

The future vision is to have a complete Kyma based microservices platform where one extension platform allows you to seamlessly add microservices in order to create extensions and customise your cloud-based solution as per your business requirements.

Better intelligence (Built-in intelligence system SAP Leonardo)
The built-in intelligence system SAP Leonardo provides better insight with the help of digital innovative package leveraging Machine Learning, Blockchain, Data Intelligence, Big Data, IOT (Internet of Things) and other Analytics technologies. It has pre-integrated industry innovation kits that accelerate critical problem solving and the SAP Cloud Platform powered by microservices, APIs and Integration services make it easy to be utilised with new innovative technologies with better intelligence.

This helps you gain better actionable insights at every step of the customer journey, reduces your costs by increasing efficiency and equips your organisation a better response to give a better response to new challenges in the ever-changing business landscape.

Beautiful UX

And finally the Holy grail of it all the SAP CX solutions provide a beautiful and easy to navigate UX. However, there is no singular UX and UX is fragmented for different platforms.

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Let's Wrap It Up:

The new leadership at SAP has made it clear that their key focus and revenue-driving area will be SAP CX suit. SAP is definitely looking to take on Salesforce the dominant force in the CRM market. The Co-Chairman Jennifer Morgan has clearly stated her intentions in her first earnings call that she aims to utilise newly acquired Qualtrics. the experience management platform, with SAP’s CX platforms to dominate the future of the global CX market.

After the acquisition spree SAP went on it has much to do in terms of leveraging and combining the potential of these platforms with the already existing SAP CX Cloud Platforms. SAP has already moved to a more customer-centric approach placing customers at the centre of their operations offering free upgrades and migrations to some of its clients.

With SAP placing most of its cards in the CX space they definitely have a combined vision to make the CX business their primary target in the coming years. If SAP is able to utilise the newly acquired platforms such as Core systems, Gigya, Qualtrics and Callidus Cloud to their full potential with the existing SAP Cloud platforms there is no doubt that they will have one of the most capable and holistic CX suites out there.


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