Moving to the Cloud requires process know-how. In addition to the technical understanding of the SAP CX Suite and HANA Cloud Integration, those who want to master the customer journey really need to work on their process understanding.
Unfortunately, this is often pitched like an instant coffee: Just add a spoonful of coffee powder into the cup, add hot water, and stir. It seems so easy and there are so many companies wanting to implement CRM applications in the cloud.
But you don’t have to be a fortune teller looking into the glass ball to see it: The requirements for customer loyalty are diverse, challenging, and becoming ever more complex.
When, where and what the customer clicks on is not hidden and the challenge is to use this data purposefully for the next contact. If you want to play in this space, this means aligning processes with the much-discussed “Customer Journey”. This means managing the data complexity and having an appropriate system architecture for enhancing this journey.
An incentive to buy – many participating systems
Just think of the interdependencies that can come from creating a customer experience in an online shop: Customers are motivated to buy an object via a digital game. If they win the game and make the purchase, they receive a coupon that can be used on the next purchase.
There is a lot to unbundle in this process: The marketing system identifies customers who have an affinity for buying incentives (“has already redeemed a coupon”). In order to further define the target group, only customers who have visited the shop multiple times in the recent past without a purchase are selected.
The marketeer can now run the campaign, but first has to ensure that the master data system will check whether or not the corresponding consents are available under GDPR. A specialized system is used to send the emails to the target group. “Is the customer gonna bite,” wonders the marketeer as he opens the shop via the competition link. He decides to play the game and wins a 10% voucher himself. Anyone who thinks this is mere chance or believes that every customer receives that 10% discount is mistaken.
Of course, all this is happening in real time; the sweepstakes solution working together with the marketing system. Depending on the products that the customer has looked at in the past and the expected shopping cart, a coupon is issued which increases the probability of completed purchase.
So where’s that “high-tech coffee machine”?
From our experience at Nagarro ES, companies with the 5 clouds of the SAP Customer Experience solution are well positioned for a process of this type. They have a wealth of potential functions that only need to be properly merged for the process to be completed – it’s a task for C/4HANA experts with high architectural and process competence.
For our process snippet, a cloud architect would select the following solution elements:
- Data Cloud: Providing customer data, in particular, consent and customer profiles
- Marketing Cloud: Segmentation and campaign execution
- Commerce Cloud: Web shop experience
- Systems for sending emails and the completing applications
The data carousel is already spinning – the question is how effectively. Without a highly integrated solution such as the SAP HANA Cloud Platform, it is difficult to manage such complex data exchange.
Data integration often underestimated
Our projects show that the first, often the most controversial questions regarding integration, begin with the master data. This includes questions over the initial system selection from the business partner, which systems the data sections are to be synchronized in, and the timeframe for these activities. These determinations are the basis for operational processes.
If the initial data is created in several systems and additional systems have to be supplied in succession, it’s clear there will be a very demanding integration.
Does each software solution communicate with everyone else, or is there a fixed order to the data flow that comes with a possible data enrichment of the root data?
The many discussions about the best solution design variants then brings up the question of who is responsible for the topicality, correctness and conformity of the data.
After looking at these issues, it is clear that processes and responsibilities must be clearly defined first, before the functional requirements can be implemented in the CX Clouds and data integration in the SAP Cloud Platform. Answering all of these questions takes time and process expertise, showing that Cloud implementations are no different from on-premise projects – just like brewing a really good cup of coffee.