It appears that SAP has been working hard to develop some very exciting, feature rich functionalities, in the space of Customer Engagement solutions, sometimes referred to as Simple Front Office, Customer Engagement & Commerce (SAP CEC), or, sometime back, CRM.
One thing I’ve noticed is the speed-of-change in this space. And by ‘change’ I’m referring to the wave of new solutions that have been steadily added to the Customer Engagement suite over the last few months. These include: Hybris commerce, Hybris marketing, Cloud for Customer offerings and, let’s not forget, the original CRM On-premise, which has also received further enhancements.
With the introduction of the latest components and features, SAP can move away from a somewhat siloed SAP CRM approach and enable companies who use these latest solution capabilities to bring together sales, service, marketing and commerce functions into one integrated front office. This means they can provide customers a truly consistent, enriched and real-time experience across all touch points, regardless of device (which customers, in B2B as well as B2C, are more and more demanding and expecting).
Adopting new technology for technology sake doesn’t obviously make sense, but neither does ignoring the benefits these new solution components can offer. However, as is often the case with any new journey, the first step is often the hardest and where to start with this new wave of shiny Customer Engagement toys can be equally confusing and mind boggling.
Five things that I would at least recommend you do to start you on your journey
- Review your current customer engagement strategy. Assess capability, and areas, where the business feels it wants to improve. This should cover sales, service, marketing and commerce functions
- Review your current customer engagement technology solutions. See what is working well and what could be improved
- Investigate further the new SAP Customer Engagement offerings. Remember to see the capabilities as part of the wider end-to-end processes and don’t just view them as silos. For example, a component like hybris marketing can add value into the marketing, sales and service functions
- Dust off your old roadmap and consider how it could change. I’d recommend doing this based on what is available today, and what the short-term SAP roadmap looks like
- Ask for help. Trying to make sense of it on your own can be tough. External perspectives can help to uncover completely new business models for your organisation, which early adopters of new technology are already capitalising on.
I like to think of the new wave Customer Engagement offerings from SAP as really exciting with lots of potential as opposed to confusing – with such an attitude you might be very surprised just how much benefit your organisation could get out of them – I challenge you to take a closer look right now, who knows what benefits for the business you might uncover…including ensuring that you don’t allow your competition to race ahead without you.