thomas.wieberneit@aheadcrm.co.nz
SAP throws the CX Glove

SAP throws the CX Glove

It has been an intense 2 weeks. The CX or CRM or however you want to call it market got a serious makeover. After a long time without a tangible strategy, SAP announced a lot of things, starting with the intended acquisition of Emarsys, followed by an announcement about the release of a customer data platform as part of its SAPCXLIVE event, and then it also conducted its SAPCXLIVE online event in an impressive manner. I wouldn’t proclaim it ‘cineastic’, which is the current mot du jour, but still, it felt very much like a trade show, just virtual. And the week before, SAP president of CX Bob Stutz shook the players during an executive roundtable (very good discussion, intense 2:40 hrs) with representatives of the big 5 held by the CRMPlayaz Brent Leary and Paul Greenberg. He openly questioned the enterprise software vendors pricing policies by asking why the industry does not go for a utility bases billing approach – or should I say utilization based billing approach. Maybe it was just a challenge, as SAP applies usage based pricing with the indirect pricing model for its ERP software and intends to offer it for (at least parts of) its CX software. Pre event some pundits, e.g. Bob Evans of Cloudwars and myself, dared a look into the glass ball, interpreting the SAP world differently. What can be said is that any allegations of SAP withdrawing from the CX market, succumbing to the 800-pound gorilla that Salesforce is, should have been wiped out latest after the first few words of SAP CEO Christian Klein’s keynote of SAPCXLIVE. The...
CRMKonvos #17 – Entering The Dark Side of the Cloud

CRMKonvos #17 – Entering The Dark Side of the Cloud

#CRMKonvos #17 – The dark side of the Cloud – danger, hope, liability, subscription, privacy … are they all gone? Quo vadis on premise and managed services? We are looking at the dark side of the cloud, its effects, chances and possibilities. We are also analysing the acquisition of Emarsys by SAP, do a little breakdown of the Microsoft cloud services that got announced last week (MS Teams anyone?) and general perspectives. Is the coveted 360 degree on the customer an illusion? And there is some harsh reality facing some suboptimal corporate structures. Fair play, as lived by Zoho, is another topic to be covered … Expectations towards SAP and its Customer Data Platform CDP++ are going towards the next level. Is SAP planning to destroy the silos to create more transparency? Is CDP really some BS (hint: not really) or can it be used in a valuable (for the customer) way)? A CX platform or at least a #COTP (Customer oriented Transaction Platform) are possible ways. Lots of ground to be covered. This episode is in...
SAP to acquire Emarsys in an aggressive move

SAP to acquire Emarsys in an aggressive move

The News On October 1st, 2020 SAP announced its intent to acquire Emarsys, a leader in the personalization area and omnichannel customer engagement management specialist. The transaction is expected to be completed in Q2/2020 and still subject to regulatory approval. The purchasing price is not disclosed. According to Crunchbase, Emarsys was funded with $55.3M US by Vector Capital in two funding rounds 2015 and 2016. Not being a financial analyst, I would expect a purchasing price of north of $ 500M US. Emarsys positions itself as a customer engagement platform that combines omni-channel automation, personalization, loyalty management and reporting/analytics. The company has more than 1,500 customers, makes about 2/3 of its revenues in the EMEA region and has a pretty strong partner network including technology and agency partners. Key commerce integrations include Adobe (Magento), Salesforce, Shopify and, of course SAP Commerce. On top of this, the platform brings prebuilt industry specific use cases and analytics into the fold. According to Christian Klein, CEO SAP, “once the transaction closes, SAP will enable brands to connect every part of their business to the customer, including experience data. We will deliver a portfolio for a ‘commerce anywhere’ strategy allowing for hyperpersonalized digital commerce experiences across all channels at any time”. Bob Stutz, president SAP Customer Experience, adds that “with Emarsys technology, SAP Customer Experience solutions can link commerce signals with the back office and activate the preferred channel of the customer with a relevant and consistently personalized message, allowing customers the freedom to choose their own engagement”. The bigger Picture The ability to segment in real time becomes more and more important,...
SAP CX – A Deep Look into the Glass Ball

SAP CX – A Deep Look into the Glass Ball

Earlier this year, a few days after attending SAP Sapphire reimagined, I asked Quo Vadis, SAP. At that time industry legend Bob Stutz led the CX group already for 8 months, with Esteban Kolsky being his chief of strategy. At this event there was hardly any mention of SAP CX. This is in spite of the CRM market being the fastest growing enterprise software market and in contrast to then CEO Bill McDermott’s bold statements that SAP will take Salesforce heads on. Esteban meanwhile changed his role and has become Head of Product, Customer Service and Sales for the SAP CX unit, which indicates that there is an emphasis on execution. And then, there was the announcement that Qualtrics, the company that basically defined the experience management market and that SAP acquired barely two years ago, will be brought public. So, something is happening. But still, there is no word about a strategy or a vision besides a few hints that Bob and Esteban gave during various webcasts or a blog post, in which Esteban gave a glimpse at what he sees as the next generation CRM. It should not surprise you that his thoughts have to do with platform, as the overall market for business applications, and especially the market for customer experience, has morphed into a platform market. This void of communicated strategy was supposed to be filled in early May. This communication was cancelled in the wake of Jennifer Morgan leaving SAP and Christian Klein becoming the sole CEO. This void shall be closed soon, after it lasted far too long. This indicates some alignment challenges...
CRMKonvos – beyondCXM: How to turn customers and employees into raving fans

CRMKonvos – beyondCXM: How to turn customers and employees into raving fans

#BeyondCXM. To turn customers and employees into fans as a possibiility to achieve sustainable business is what Ralf Korb and Thomas Wieberneit as hosts discussed with Dr. Winfried Felser and Marc Schmid, CEO of Novadoo. Sometimes the magic of customer experience if found beyond normal processes and classic expectations and therefore individual, consumable, experiences. This happens especially if one offers a genuine and heartfelt ‘Thank you’ and with that creates an emotional bondo or relationship with the customer, instead of just a transactional one. Leading up to this: What are companies like Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce, SAP, or Zoho currently doing and how can these developments help with a Corona restart with ten times the current possibilities? Big topics, discussed in this CRMKonvos episode. The episode is in German...