One Year After Announcing SAP C/4HANA, a Preview of SAP Customer Experience LIVE

With a week to go until SAPPHIRE NOW and SAP Customer Experience LIVE, I am reminded that it’s been less than a year since we announced SAP C/4HANA.

Last year, we threw the gauntlet down to announce a new push for the customer relationship management (CRM) market by redefining customer experience (CX) as the new battleground for business. It was the first time in years that front-office solutions were at the center of the keynote and show. Since then, we’ve achieved many other milestones, the biggest being the acquisition of Qualtrics to further SAP’s journey to the cloud.

As I prepare for my opening keynote at SAP Customer Experience LIVE, there are three questions that I would like to answer for our customers.

The Business Question

How do I set up my business to win in the experience economy?

Companies have recognized that their customers are increasingly deciding where and with whom to spend their money based on the customer experience they receive. In fact, 80 percent of consumers will choose to switch brands due to a poor customer experience. This gap between the experiences that customers expect and the experiences that businesses think they deliver is what we call the experience gap. The experience gap leads to companies being disrupted, losing market share, and going out of business. I spend a lot of time talking to other CX leaders, and one thing is clear: The experience gap is top of mind in every C-suite and boardroom. I look forward to exploring this topic further with CX leaders across B2C and B2B industries at SAP Customer Experience LIVE.

The Solution Question

What progress has been made with SAP C/4HANA?

We launched SAP C/4HANA last year with five clouds covering marketing, sales, service, commerce, and customer data cloud. While each cloud area has made phenomenal progress over the past year and our customer base has grown substantially, our customers have made it clear to us that functional silos in the front office create siloed customer experiences. This is why we’ve created a roadmap for each criterion that connects the five cloud areas and integrates them to SAP’s digital core. At SAP Customer Experience LIVE, we will go one step further by showing our customers the foundation of a modern CX suite – from deployment to extensibility – across all areas, from marketing to service.

The Industry Question

Why is Qualtrics so important and what is the role of experience management?

Steering a business to successfully compete in the Experience Economy requires a different set of solutions and innovations. Most importantly, it requires a different and more holistic view of the customer across the enterprise.  While only a few months have passed since the acquisition of Qualtrics, we’ve already infused its capabilities across the SAP portfolio. You will hear more on this at SAP Customer Experience LIVE, but by combining experience (X) data with operational (O) data, we can now provide a richer and clearer understanding of the quality of a customer’s experience.

A lot has happened over the past year, but I’ve never believed so strongly that the future is bright for SAP.

Join me next week at SAP Customer Experience LIVE to discuss these questions in detail, and to hear more from our customers that are leading in the Experience Economy!


Alex Atzberger is president of SAP Customer Experience.