June 19, 2018, 7:59 pm
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SAP triggers more disruption in CRM space

by Gregory E. Bautista

“SAP was the last to accept the status quo of CRM and is now the first to change it,” CEO Bill McDermott said in his keynote as he declared the company’s fulfillment of its ambition to further disrupt the customer relationship management (CRM) marketplace. SAP did this by formally introducing two new suites of applications at the company’s annual SAPPHIRE NOW conference.

The German software and platform specialist introduced SAP C/4HANA and the SAP HANA Data Management Suite. At the conference it also revealed its overall strategy, focused on helping businesses run as intelligent enterprises, highlights the demand for a balanced approach to automation in the workplace, helping its customers hit digital transformation faster.

SAP C/4HANA is an integrated offering to upgrade and automate the sales-only function of legacy CRM solutions. After SAP acquired market leaders Hybris, Gigya and CallidusCloud, it can now tie together these different solutions to support all front-office functions, such as consumer data protection, marketing, commerce, and sales and customer service. 

“The legacy CRM systems are all about sales; SAP C/4HANA is all about the consumer. We recognize that every part of a business needs to be focused on a single view of the consumer. When you connect all SAP applications together in an intelligent Cloud suite, the demand chain directly fuels the behaviors of the supply chain,” McDermott adds.

Building on the company’s reputation as an end-to-end business solutions provider, the new SAP C/4HANA suite offers full integration with its business applications portfolio, led by its market-leading ERP suite, SAP S/4HANA. The combination of assets features new machine learning capabilities from SAP Leonardo, a set of intelligent technologies the company introduced last year, as well as the new SAP HANA Data Management Suite, which enables companies to gain visibility and control of their highly distributed data. 

SAP also announced it has acquired Switzerland-based Coresystems AG to improve field-service customer experience, especially in the manufacturing, energy, high-tech and telecommunications industries. Coresystems’ platform service provides real-time scheduling for customer-service requests and uses artificial intelligence-powered crowd-service technology. This  broadens the service technician pool to include company employees, freelancers and industry partners to assign the best-qualified technician to each call by taking into account expertise, location and availability of the individual service expert.

These announcements come on the heels of Europe’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which took effect last May 25. The massive regulatory change has caused businesses to take a critical look at their legacy CRM investments.

All systems rely on data, yet the challenge facing companies today is distributed data — data that is not just in transactional systems but scattered across products, machines and people. It is about data that must be ingested, prepared and made enterprise relevant. SAP HANA Data Management Suite enables enterprises to turn massive amounts of data — both structured and unstructured — into valuable, usable knowledge, no matter where it resides, allowing customers to maximize the potential of their data safely, simply and efficiently. –with reports by GEB
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