At Sapphire Now on June 5, 2018, SAP revealed a full cloud suite of deeply integrated solutions with the individual customer right at the center. SAP C/4HANA is more than a rebranding of the former Customer Engagement and Commerce SAP Hybris applications. There is now an explicit push to create a unified platform to support customers across their myriad journeys and, from an enterprise perspective, harness demand signals to drive supply. In Ovum parlance: be customer-adaptive.
A new customer engagement platform category is emerging, and leadership is up for grabs
Few enterprises have mastered omnichannel customer engagement, yet most, if not all, have invested in CRM systems, often several. In this age of the mightily empowered customer, CRM doesn't cut it. It is yesterday's tooling, and the battle for CRM supremacy is another staging post in the annals of enterprise applications, a footnote in history soon to be forgotten.
Out of the ashes of CRM rises the phoenix of the customer engagement platforms (CEP), or CRM 4.0, if you prefer. With this emerging category, enterprises have the modern intelligent tooling, a platform to orchestrate value, and relevance for customers at every step on any of their journeys and across any channel. A CEP holds the promise of being able to inteligently orchestrate and deliver relevant responses from anywhere across the enterprise and connect supply to the demand signals of the customer. It is the new battle of enterprise coherence over departmental silos and systems and data fragmentation. With C/4HANA, integrated with S/4HANA, SAP has thrown down the gauntlet.
Let the battle commence.
A Customer-Adaptive Architectural Approach for Digital Business Transformation, INT001-000040 (April 2018)
Jeremy Cox, Principal Analyst, Customer Engagement Practice