On October 1, SAP announced we have entered into an agreement to buy Emarsys, the leading omnichannel customer engagement provider. I couldn’t be more excited about this news – and here’s why.

More than ever, customers demand the freedom to choose how, and when, they engage. That could be as simple as browsing Instagram and seeing products that inspire them, making a purchase or upgrading a subscription in the early hours of the morning to unlock new tracks from their favorite band. It goes even further when you consider the COVID-19 crisis, and the impact that has had on buying behavior. Consumers may not want to go into a store, or they want to make more purchases online. It is critical for brands to have that understanding of their customer’s needs.

SAP has a very competitive, well rounded portfolio of products to help brands deliver a world-class customer experience. However, we are always thinking about how the pieces work together as a whole and ways that we can improve upon them. And that’s where Emarsys comes in.

Emarsys is not just another customer engagement provider. Emarsys is an innovative and easy-to-use fully integrated customer engagement platform that allows companies to deliver truly personal customer interactions across email, mobile, social, SMS, and the web at scale. Emarsys is recognized as a leader in the Forrester Wave: Cross-Channel Campaign Management (Independent Platforms), published in Q4 2019, and in the Gartner 2020 Magic Quadrant for Personalization Engines, published in Q3 2020.

To really put the strength of Emarsys in perspective, consider this: Emarsys systems manage 10 billion personalized interactions per month.

Those credentials already make Emarsys a perfect fit for SAP, but it is worth exploring what we see as a marriage of enterprise resource planning (ERP) and commerce. Most customer relationship management (CRM) systems are islands in a software landscape. This means organizations must use third-party systems to connect their commerce solution with their operations, which is cumbersome. The SAP Customer Experience portfolio already integrates the two, so brands can fulfill a commerce process seamlessly — for example, when an order is made and it flows back to distribution and fulfillment — without disruption, pause, or issue.

Put simply, with the strengths of our current portfolio and the addition of Emarsys, SAP CX will power “commerce anywhere,” a foundation of omnichannel personalized engagement, meeting the customers where and when they choose to engage, on their preferred channels and on their terms.

We anticipate that the deal will close in the fourth quarter of 2020. After the closing date, Emarsys will become part of SAP. We cannot discuss any joint plans until closing. However, I can tell you that SAP is committed to its focus and continued leadership within the broadly defined customer experience space. Our mission remains unchanged: we are focused on delivering a world-class customer experience portfolio of solutions to our customers. Acquiring Emarsys will bring us closer to those goals.

Bob Stutz is president of SAP Customer Experience.