The future of CRM – as seen by Salesforce

The future of CRM – as seen by Salesforce

The News On June 13, 2018, during its annual Connections event, Salesforce announced a number of additions to their marketing cloud and their ecommerce and service clouds. The announcement goes into three main directions: Based on the strategic alliance that Google and Salesforce entered into in November 2017, the Salesforce Marketing Cloud will get a deeper integration with Google Analytics 360. Starting now it will be possible to combine Google Analytics 360 data and Salesforce Marketing Cloud data in a single customer journey dashboard within Marketing Cloud. Conversely, Google Analytics 360 can now leverage Marketing Cloud campaign data to better deliver targeted content to consumers. Both integrations enable a deeper understanding of customers and their behaviours. Later, in Q3 this year, Salesforce plans to offer a beta release of an integration that enables marketers to create audiences in Analytics 360 and to activate these audiences for engagement within the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Marketing Cloud Einstein gets a segmentation and a split capability. The segmentation ability enables the uncovering of patterns in consumer behaviour and the discovery of new audiences that then can get reached with personalized messages. The split capability enables marketers to create unique personalized journeys for each customer with simple means, getting an optimized path for them, based on the marketing objective. There are a number of innovations to enable engagement across touch points. First, Salesforce announces their B2B ecommerce ability, second the new interaction studio that enables the creation of contextually relevant engagements and experiences in real time and third, the broadened availability of Service Cloud LiveMessage in 17 more countries. Live Message enables companies to...
SAPPHIRE 2018 – The Return of the Suite

SAPPHIRE 2018 – The Return of the Suite

SAPPHIRE 2018. In an Orlando convention center, far away from Walldorf SAP holds its annual conference, boldly going where no one has gone before. But enough of this poor allegation to Star Trek although it reasonably sets the tone. The first two days gave a deep view into the company strategy. Condensed into two press releases the company laid out its vision of the future of CRM and intelligent enterprises. And, doing so, shot a few broadsides at the competition, especially Salesforce. The News “The legacy CRM systems are all about sales; SAP C/4HANA is all about 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” said SAP CEO Bill McDermott. SAP intends to achieve this link of front- and back office by fully integrating an augmented suite of solutions that base on the SAP Hybris Cloud solutions into the digital core, the transactional back end. This integration is done via the SAP Cloud Platform. Additionally, it is fusing the new high profile acquisitions Gigya and CallidusCloud into the solution. C/4HANA; source SAP The Customer Data Cloud is what has been Gigya. This model, as well as S/4HANA, will be supported by the SAP HANA Data Management Suite, which is essentially a beefed up Master Data Management Solution around the SAP Data Hub. The second press release is about AI, IaaS, and more AI. SAP starts to talk more about conversational AI and Leonardo, as well as blockchain get more to the forefront. Mostly on the back end. The bigger Picture The...
Adobe and Magento tie the knot – a great move

Adobe and Magento tie the knot – a great move

The News On May 21, 2018 Adobe announced that it has entered a definitive agreement to acquire Magento Commerce. The obvious objective of Adobe is to integrate Magento’s commerce capabilities into their own experience capabilities. According to Brad Rencher, executive VP and general manger, Digital experience, with this acquisition Adobe is the “only company with leadership in content creation, marketing, advertising, and now commerce – enabling real-time experiences across the entire customer journey”. Magento Commerce (Magento) is a ”leading provider of cloud commerce” software to merchants and brands. Magento covers both, B2C and B2B vendors. The company is listed as a strong performer for both, b2b- and b2c ecommerce solutions in this year’s Forrester Waves on Commerce Suites. The Bigger Picture Adobe is all about ‘delivering experience’. You should read the second part of friend Paul Greenberg’s recent ZDNet article on Adobe where he explains customer experience, brand experience, and consumable experiences – and where he sees Adobe in this triple – in his uniquely great fashion. A marketing suite like Adobe’s Experience Cloud needs channels into which the insights, that the marketing solution generates, are pushed. The most important one being e-commerce. E-commerce is also the channel that offers most potential. The technology is no more bound to just a commerce web site. The site is just one possible interface. As is a chat bot in Facebook Messenger. As is Alexa. Or Siri. Or Google Assistant. You get the picture. Further, an e-commerce site is not only the foremost channel to send marketing communications to (and to deliver experiences), but also one of the most important input channels...
SAP Strategy – Decyphered

SAP Strategy – Decyphered

Much has happened in the SAP world in the past few months that were covered by the requisite number of announcements – and a good deal of analysis, including mine. SAP has Released its first release of S/4HANA for Customer Management Acquired CallidusCloud, a software company that focuses on sales enablement Announced a new ERP licensing model ‚for the Digital Age‘ While these three topics seem to be very different, combined they give a good insight into SAP’s strategy, and how the ERP world – sorry, the S/4 world, and the customer facing world are going to shape up. So, let’s have a brief look at these three announcements separately, and then connect a few dots. S/4HANA for Customer Management I have covered the migration of SAP CRM into S/4HANA a couple of times. S/4HANA for Customer Management  is the ‘customer orientated’ part of S/4HANA and shall offer the core service- and sales functionalities of SAP CRM, using a unified data model. It  is supposed to focus on what SAP calls the ‘heavy lifting customer processes’ and to support comprehensive core processes, thereby providing one central customer database. In other words this means that S/4HANA for Customer Management as part of S/4HANA will have a strong focus on (business) transaction processing and enabling the logistics that comes with fulfilment. One could say that it becomes a transaction engine. Keep that thought in mind. CallidusCloud Acquisition CallidusCloud provides leading solutions for sales performance management, CPQ, Contract Lifecycle Management, and more. This portfolio nicely plugs a few holes in the SAP Hybris portfolio and offers SAP options or at least another...
Salesforce Field Service Ligthning – Bulls Eye on better Experience?

Salesforce Field Service Ligthning – Bulls Eye on better Experience?

The News On April 17, 2018 Salesforce announced their next-generation Field Service Lightning, which shall take customer experiences to new heights. The release implements four major improvements, which are: The ability to easily plug in an appointment management into a web site Simplified initiation and execution of return processes by customers and technicians The ability to select and dispatch repair crews for more complicated service jobs based upon abilities and availabilities A guided setup using a visual wizard to set up Field Service Lightning and that reduces the number of clicks necessary to get started by approximately two thirds on average. Below is the full text of the announcement. Alternatively you can read it here.   Next-Generation Field Service Lightning Takes Customer Experiences to New Heights Paolo Bergamo, SVP and GM, Field Service Lightning & Mobile 4.17.18   If you’ve ever spent a day waiting for the washing machine repair person or the utilities worker to show up, you know how trying it can be. But, when that employee shows up on time, armed with the right parts and is able to fix your problem on their first visit, you’re amazed. Even delighted. It feels like the company has your back.   Here at Salesforce, we’re laser-focused on provided a connected customer experience. That’s the main reason why we launched Field Service Lightning two years ago. We wanted to extend the world’s #1 service platform, Service Cloud, to field service – to equip mobile employees and dispatchers with all the information they need to provide customers with a connected  experience that simply “wows”.   And today we’re excited to...
SAP acquires CallidusCloud – Take Two

SAP acquires CallidusCloud – Take Two

The News SAP has recently announced the completion of the acquisition of Callidus Software, Inc. Unsurprisingly, CallidusCloud’s assets shall get consolidated under the umbrella of SAP Hybris leveraging the customer relationships that the existing leadership team, which shall continue to lead their team, has built. CallidusCloud is a leader in sales performance management and in the CPQ area and also has some more interesting assets, notably their contract lifecycle management offering, which ties nicely into the CPQ piece. The CPQ software has a (first) working integration into SAP’s Cloud for Sales, which got announced in September 2017 and that gets continuously improved. One seemingly simple, yet powerful feature of the CPQ software is the indicator for margin health that gets updated as a sales representative works upon a quote. The software’s ability to generate multi-level workflows based upon changes of prices or contract clauses creates an efficient workflow, which includes the customer when using the portal based delivery of documents during negotiations. All in all the software is geared towards making the sales process efficient. CallidusCloud’s solutions shall be sold standalone as well as integrated into SAP solutions and a roadmap shall get announced at SAPPHIRENOW in June 2018. I have done a brief initial analysis of this acquisition right after the plan got announced and followed up with some musings about how CPQ can be delivered in a customer experience fashion. The Bigger Picture With CallidusCloud’s CPQ SAP now has at minimum three configuration engines that can get used by customers: ERP Variant Configurator SAP Hybris CPQ CallidusCloud CPQ A fourth one comes into the picture if I...