SAP’s unmatched industry expertise has been a cornerstone of our leadership for the past 50 years and will continue as the foundation for success. As we work with business leaders to manage their digital transformation and navigate their pathways to sustainable growth, they trust us to not just understand and deliver industry standards, but industry specifics.

Our customers have also been clear with us: they need greater agility in their business processes while also reducing the costs of integrating a patchwork of solutions from multiple vendors. From finance to supply chain to commerce, the user and customer experiences need to be seamless. This requires the underlying applications to service the user and customer journeys in real time.

SAP has the rare combination of unmatched industry depth as well as the breadth of business process solutions to meet this moment. While our ERP has always had deep industry capabilities, we have now aligned the SAP Customer Experience (CX) portfolio to an industry-first approach to accelerate value to customers by enabling end-to-end, integrated business processes.

Some voices across the market are recasting SAP’s commitment to an industry-first strategy to suggest that SAP is no longer committed to key needs of our customers, starting with our CX portfolio. Let us be clear: SAP will continue to deliver customer experience (CX/CRM) solutions. Now we’ll focus on adding an industry lens, delivering industry-tailored CX solutions and bringing the front office together with the back office to provide the unmatched value customers expect from SAP solutions.

Together with our global ecosystem, we can solve the most relevant challenges of customers in all industries. In fact, today, 80% of industry solutions are ecosystem-led. With this approach, customers will get solutions that natively connect the cloud ERP through to the last mile of a customer’s experiences spanning e-commerce, sales, service, and marketing — all with the industry-specific best practices they rely on from SAP and our ecosystem.

Here are just a few examples of where industry-first CX has bridged gaps often seen between business process-led ERP and experience delivery:

  • Retail: Maintaining optimal inventory levels in stores and distribution centers is crucial to ensure customers get the products they want. Predictive replenishment uses artificial intelligence (AI) to help retailers automate the restocking process, drawing on the deep retail expertise built into our customer experience product and our cloud ERP. Retailers benefit by reducing their environmental footprint while avoiding both overstock and out-of-stock situations and delivering personalized customer service if things go wrong.
  • Consumer Products: By automating 80% of the trade claims process and enhancing cash flow by about a month, consumer product companies free up billions of dollars tied up in settlement processes as well as hours of time for key account managers. SAP uniquely sits at the intersection of accounts receivables (finance, ERP) and revenue growth management (sales, service, and marketing), which allows us to provide not only native integrations but also faster time to value and lower TCO in this space than any other vendor.
  • Automotive: SAP improves production planning and forecasting based on real-time demand; we boost logistics optimization thanks to end-to-end integration from dealership sales and service to group production and logistics processes. Dealers can also optimize sales strategy and marketing spend as well as improving upsell, retention, and overall customer lifetime value thanks to data aggregated from the front and back office into SAP’s customer data platform. This enables dealers to strategically upsell subscription services or entertainment system software updates while updating customers on production progress, delivery, warranty, and service notifications.

SAP CX customers including Pizza Hut, Carhartt, and smart Europe are among those already benefiting from our unique industry depth. We are excited about the additional value we can deliver to our customers with our industry-focused approach to delivering holistic, integrated business process solutions together with our ecosystem. Examples include the retail solutions we showcased at NRF 2023, from customer engagement to inventory fulfillment to sustainable manufacturing. We will demonstrate this same industry value for manufacturing at the Hannover Messe in April.

Stay tuned for more exciting updates in the coming months.

Thomas Saueressig is a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE, SAP Product Engineering.
Julia White is chief marketing and solutions officer and a member of the Executive Board of SAP SE.