Last week was a big one in the digital and customer engagement space, with a couple of key industry events taking place. The first of these was the SAP Hybris Live Digital Summit which took place across Singapore, Munich and New York on the 8th of March. For the first time, the conferences were also streamed live to huge audiences worldwide. With the tagline of “going beyond disruption”, SAP Hybris showcased a world in which changing customer demands, emerging technology and viral ideas are changing the way businesses operate in every industry.

The second event was CXO Disrupt, which took place in Auckland on the 9th of March. This series of conferences, held across ANZ, showcases the technologies disrupting the world’s business models. With new customer platforms being created, and born-digital players entering every major market, C-Suite technology executives must respond. The impact of this change is not only disrupting business, but the very roles of C-Suite executives themselves.

In this blog article, we’ll provide a snapshot of both of these events, with some analysis of key talking points from a big week in digital customer engagement.

CXO Disrupt

The Digital Mindset

The organisational mindset required for true digital transformation was a major theme which came out of our day at CXO Disrupt last week. There were a few different branches to this:

  1. Digital customer engagement is about more than technology. You will have heard this before, but it’s worth reiterating. Customer engagement in the digital era is about so much more than technology. Simply putting in a new system or piece of software will by no means solve your customer experience issues. It’s about taking the whole process back a step and putting yourself in your customer’s shoes, whilst tying the customer experience to everything your organisation does. ‘Disruption’ has been around for a long time – even though the term itself may be a reasonably modern one it is already being overused. The point is businesses have always faced challenges from evolving customer needs and innovative new players – the lightbulb, refrigeration, television, mobile phones, Internet and many more developments all significantly disrupted organisations. The difference today is that the rate of change has skyrocketed and consumer expectations are increasing – technology has made disruption faster and more apparent; the movement for better customer engagement is a driver of technology and not the other way around.
  2. Digital engagement starts with the customer. Multiple speakers at last week’s CXO Disrupt spoke about this key theme. There is no point in digitizing a customer process just for the sake of it. What value will it actually bring to customers? Do your customers actually want to buy online? Or does your product require more of a personal selling approach? Going digital isn’t a ‘cookie-cutter’ and it shouldn’t look the same for every business in every industry. Becoming a ‘disruptor’ is about delivering new and innovative value to your customer, or your customer’s customer, and making that experience unique for them personally. Deliver them what they want, not what you think they need. An example of this came in a presentation from Simona Turin, General Manager Digital Strategy and Capabilities at Air New Zealand. She spoke about the airline’s focus on making the entire travel experience easier for customers. In truth, the flight itself is only a small part of the experience – travel to the airport, hotels, insurance and car rental are just a few of the many things Air New Zealand customers need to think about. One small way the airline has made this whole experience better is by enabling customer to order a barista-made coffee through the app, and pick it up once you arrive in the Koru lounge. This is one small example of a relevant customer experience, facilitated through digital, which is making those early morning flights a little bit easier for Air New Zealand customers. Simona noted that two million coffees have now been served to customers through this means.
  3. Engaging digitally with customers in an effective way requires a cultural transformation within your organisation. True digital transformation will require a different way of thinking and engaging across traditional functional teams, who have often become inwardly focussed on systems and processes, rather than outwardly focussed on the customer experience. Overcoming these internal challenges and becoming an organisation that consistently delivers great experiences to customers, whether that be online or offline, requires a cultural shift. Specifically focussing on digital customer engagement, the following points were heavily discussed at CXO Disrupt:
    • Digital is not a department – it takes a collective approach from all parts of the business. Different business units need to be prepared to play their part and individuals must get on board with having their roles adapted. Departments not working together can cause breakages and gaps in the customer’s digital journey.
    • Companies looking to innovate need to embrace younger employees and graduates. This was a message for the more experienced members of middle and upper management – be prepared to learn from those less experienced, younger colleagues who see the world differently.

SAP Hybris Digital Summit Live

The launch of SAP Hybris Revenue Cloud

A major highlight from last week’s SAP Hybris Digital Summit was the announcement of the new SAP Hybris Revenue Cloud. Superseding the already established SAP Hybris Billing, SAP Hybris Revenue Cloud takes the quote-to-cash process a few steps further. New capabilities are included for order configuration and orchestration, as well as pricing, quoting, subscription billing — and it’s all in the cloud. To satisfy the needs of the personalised digital business model many customers are striving to achieve in the digital era, SAP Hybris Revenue Cloud includes fully omni-channel capabilities and allows enterprises to go beyond the tactical integration of billing, to make this more of a strategic activity. The solution is now available in the United States only, but will be rolling out globally throughout 2017.

This exciting announcement further strengthens the SAP Hybris product portfolio. One of our favourite sessions from the Summit this year came from Marcus Reubsam (Global Head of Solution Management, SAP Hybris). He gave a full overview of the SAP Hybris product portfolio, detailing the company’s vision and goals, and how each product fits within this.

In summary, he noted that SAP Hybris’ vision is to attack the customer engagement problem at the core. It’s largely about breaking down the silos that make delivering a true omni-channel customer experience impossible for many organisations today.

  • “SAP Hybris’ vision is to enable our customers to deliver contextual, consistent, and relevant experiences regardless of channel or device, throughout the customer journey” – Marcus Reubsam, Global Head of Solution Management, SAP Hybris

Below is a quick overview of each of the SAP Hybris product portfolio:

Landscape overview

SAP Hybris landscape overview

1. SAP Hybris Marketing CloudUnderstand your customers and give them relevant contextual experiences throughout their journeys.

SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud

Key points:

  • Real time profiling of data – to provide contextually relevant customer experiences adapted to consumer behaviours in real time.
  • Responsive journey experience – user experiences tailored to user demographics, device and location.
  • Analytics – In January 2017, SAP Hybris acquired a small company called Abacus, who specialise in digital attribution. They solve the marketing ROI question and give a single view of performance.
  • Security and privacy control – data has to be private, with very strict legislation in many countries today.
  • Extendable – organisations’ data needs to be accessible by partners and agencies for collaboration.

2. SAP Hybris Commerce CloudCustomers expect a great experience when they buy from you. You have to meet those expectations and deliver experiences that gain their loyalty.

Key points:

Hybris was founded on the idea of an omnichannel platform. Omni-channel is a combination of three things:

  • Content
  • Products
  • Commerce

 SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud

3. SAP Hybris Sales Cloud (Hybris Cloud for Customer)The buyer is changing. In the digital economy, customers don’t rely on salespeople for information.

SAP Hybris Sales Cloud


Key points:

  • SAP Hybris want to enable sales people to become trusted advisors, by focusing on two key areas:
    • Sales Performance Management – for sales leaders, one of the biggest challenges can be onboarding new sales people. For SAP Hybris, there has been a focus on better aligning all of these elements around how they travel, how they spend and the like.
    • Sales Execution – can sales people easily access the product catalogue and pricing? Are they able to effectively track pipeline and forecast accurately? SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer is built with this in mind.

4. SAP Hybris Revenue CloudInnovate with agility and increase transparency across the entire process from customer management to revenue recognition through flexible, scalable and highly automated billing, invoice and revenue management.

Key points:

  • “There’s a lot of talk about digital transformation. Yes, the customer is becoming more digital. So I need to understand that and be able to communicate with them digitally.”
  • Business models are changing. It’s no longer about the face value but the bundling of products and services (e.g. pay per use). You have to be flexible and agile enough to change that value chain at the point where it’s most critical for your customers, and at the moment they are about to purchase a product.
  • In the new SAP Hybris revenue cloud, three core elements are combined:
    • Configure, Price Quote (CPQ)
    • Order Management
    • Subscription Billing

SAP Hybris Revenue Cloud

Last week, we hosted a live blog during the first three hours of the SAP Hybris Digital Summit Live. This features highlights from the presentations as well as analysis from some of our experts. Click here to read through the live blog feed.