SAP Hybris Americas Summit: Lessons Learned


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Salesforce COO Keith Block had best take a seat because it’s not South Florida’s white sandy beaches that the attendees of SAP’s Hybris Americas Summit are raving about. 

The group of around 1,200 marketers gathered here managed to light up Twitter yesterday, which suggests that many, many others are watching and retweeting from afar. This isn’t SAP’s version of Dreamforce or Oracle Open World, mind you. SAP holds its own version of those conferences — SAPPHIRE NOW — each May.

SAP’s Summit News

The enthusiasm is partly around the architecture of the SAP Hybris omnichannel commerce solution. It is a combined commerce and order management platform that spans the entire customer lifecycle (commerce, marketing, billing, service and sales) at every touchpoint — anywhere, anytime, any device, even no device. 

While the labeling may appear to be somewhat commoditized, the product’s technology is leading edge and the potential seems tremendous, analysts told CMSWire.

Constellation Research analyst Holger Mueller said, “There can be no question at the moment Hybris has a more modern architecture in the market than practically anyone.”

We should note both Mueller and Constellation Research CEO R. “Ray” Wang qualified that Hybris is still new and that it might take another 24 months to win wide adoption and prove its worth.

A Bet on Innovation

That being said, the Hybris team was somewhat ballsy three years ago when they rewrote Hybris, according to Mueller. He noted that they were practically “scalded” by SAP brass for choosing Cloud Foundry and a microservices architecture. But, hey, here’s proof innovators can not only cause disruption at industry giants and win, but become champions, too.

“Cloud Foundry is now the base of SAP HCP (Hana Cloud Platform) and the Hybris guys are the microservices poster child at SAP,” Mueller said.

Hybris is open, modular at its core, leverages microservices and uses well-known, much loved standards such as Spring, SOLR, Groovy, and Apache Commons. It is also highly scalable.

And that’s not marketing hype. Developers, the boot-strapped kind who win TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathons and work with edgy tech like augmented reality are now actively choosing Hybris components when they build products.

Hybris Spans the ‘Entire Front Office’

But enough about the gears under the hood. An equally important differentiator according to Johann Wrede, global vice president of Audience, Brand and Content Marketing at SAP Hybris, is how  SAP Hybris will advance knowledge of customers across touchpoints.

“Hybris isn’t just CRM. Its portfolio spans across the entire front office,” he told CMSWire. This includes marketing, customer service, billing, sales, commerce, eCommerce and more. 

It can also pull in external data from tweets, browsing history, forming a rich customer profile. From there SAP’s predictive analytics smarts can be applied.

The intent is that when you as a customer call into a call center, open a dialogue box on a website or approach a salesperson, they will know who you are and be able to predict what you want.

‘Who Are You?’

In other words, “Contextual shopping starts with the question ‘Who are you?'” Scott Palashoff, Hybris Practice Leader, North America at Capgemini told Summit attendees.

Wrede told CMSWire Hybris can not only provide a “well-educated” guess to answer that question, but also serve up the relevant content for the interaction to follow as well.

Getting this right, according today’s leading thinkers, may be more important than price or product features.

Brainstorming the Future of DX

There are other conversations happening at the summit as well that businesses are only beginning to think about, such as separating the payment process from consumption. 

New York University professor and author Adam Alter talked to the crowd about how the brain reacts when you are paying for a product or service. It seems that the same part of it lights up as to when you are in pain.

Something to consider when you are mapping out a customer journey, eh?


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