SAP has spent several years acquiring companies large and small to piece together a cloud CRM suite. At Sapphire Now in Orlando last week, SAP unveiled SAP C/4HANA, the vendor’s newest product aiming to put CRM’s focus more on the customer and less about the sales staff.
The brands of Hybris, Callidus Cloud and Gigya are gone, now components in the six modules of C/4HANA. SAP Sales Cloud combines the SAP Hybris Revenue Cloud and SAP Hybris Cloud for Customers solutions. SAP Customer Data Cloud is built on Gigya, while SAP Sales Cloud includes CallidusCloud. Additionally, C/4HANA is comprised of SAP Marketing Cloud, SAP Commerce Cloud and SAP Services Cloud.
“We think there is significant change taking place [in CRM],” said Alex Atzberger, President of SAP’s new Customer Experience division, during the opening Sapphire Now keynote. “Customers are looking for trusted relationships. The data needs to be protected.”
That’s where the Gigya technology comes into play. SAP acquired the vendor in 2017 to bolster its identity management capabilities. That’s important piece for customer trust, and it becomes even more vital with the implementation of the EU’s GDPR regulations in May.
Atzberger summed it up when he said, “Don’t be creepy.”
C/4HANA’s Impact on Retailers
SAP says C/4HANA’s goal is to create a “single view” of the customer and connecting that to the supply chain, utilizing the underlying SAP HANA platform, and it calls this the “4th generation” of CRM. That means integrating across SAP’s suite of products to provide a more tailored experience for the customer.
For retailers, connecting the customer experience to the supply chain could prove to be highly beneficial. For one, the better a retailer can predict customer behavior, the more likely they are to accurately predict necessary supply. That means less overstock, less markdowns, and less waste.
Additionally, taking a customer-focused approach with CRM can flip the script for the sales end. Rather than focusing on the products that need to be moved, retailers can put a greater emphasis on the products that customers want to buy. That creates a better experience for both sides of the equation.
Finally, SAP’s own native integration of C/4HANA with its own suite of applications is key to the new CRM’s success, but SAP has also fostered partnerships on the content side with companies such as Hootsuite. This should enable retailers to better integrate their content marketing strategies with sales goals and customer profiles.
Bottom Line for SAP Customers
The promises of a natively integrated cloud SAP CRM suite, the ability to analyze customer data in a trusted way, and connect that data to supply chain information is an intriguing prospect for retailers and all SAP customers.
Overall, this is a major development for SAP and its customers. For many years, SAP has not had a cloud CRM to match its competitors, and many SAP ERP and SAP S/4HANA shops have looked to integrate with third party CRMs. With the introduction of C/4HANA, those SAP customers can once again put an SAP CRM suite on their technology roadmap.