The Customer Revolution: An Open Letter

Today SAP is launching SAP C/4HANA, our new customer experience suite to revolutionize customer relationship management (CRM).

Just as the customer experience has reached the top of every CEO’s agenda, today’s systems are fatigued and incomplete. Businesses want choice. It’s clear the time has arrived for fourth-generation CRM.

The Desire for Experience is Fueling the Customer Revolution

I call this a revolution because disappointing customer experiences have led people to revolt. They are exerting their independence and taking charge of relationships with their favorite brands. They don’t think in terms of B2B or B2C. This is the “Me2B” world. The implications are clear: the customer dictates the terms and determines how they interact. If they aren’t happy, they don’t stay. Whether your customer is an individual or a business, their expectations have shaped the design construct of fourth-generation CRM:

  • Protect your data: People don’t want their data used without their knowledge. Once consumers lose faith, trust is gone.
  • Treat people like people: Customers are not sales opportunities. They want businesses to know their preferences, anticipate their needs, and act accordingly.
  • Deliver on your promise: Finally, given all the choices, channels, and options, customers want a consistently great experience every time.

Next-generation CRM is not about automation and efficiency, it’s about intelligent engagement and effectiveness. It puts people at the center to deliver moments that feel genuine and earn trust.

Introducing SAP C/4HANA

SAP C/4HANA is a modern integrated suite that enables businesses to manage the complete customer experience. Instead of stopping when an order is processed, it modernizes the sales-only focus of legacy CRM solutions.

SAP Customer Data Cloud provides the complete consent-driven view of the customer and empowers them to see — and consent to — the data that businesses collect and use. Today, 1.3 billion identities are managed in SAP Customer Data Cloud.

Based on the identity of their customers, marketers can run individualized campaigns, digital officers can deliver omnichannel experiences, sales can create personalized relationships, and finally, service executives can make every moment count.

With the acquisition of Coresystems, a Swiss-based pioneer in field service management, we bring a crowd service that taps into the gig economy to our portfolio. Read more about the acquisition here.

Perhaps the best part of SAP C/4HANA is that it taps into the digital core of SAP S/4HANA in a way only SAP can do. The strength of the customer experience is defined by the strength of the digital core.

With this launch, SAP Hybris becomes SAP Customer Experience, reflecting our commitment to make trusted experiences the differentiator for your evolving business. SAP Customer Experience consolidates SAP Hybris, CallidusCloud, Gigya, and Coresystems under one brand for a simplified experience.

SAP C/4HANA is deeply rooted in our history of providing end-to-end integrated processes. It acknowledges that trust is given, not earned, and that every relationship is personal. Connecting with customers is easy, making lifelong relationships is what matters. It is a privilege for me to be at the forefront of the customer revolution with you.

Alex Atzberger is president of SAP Customer Experience.