SAP integrates Hybris into a customer experience and commerce service

SAP has further integrated its 2013 acquisition Hybris, a customer engagement software company

SAP has further integrated its 2013 acquisition of Hybris, a customer-engagement software company based in Switzerland.

The supplier said it is making “several cloud-based innovations and industry-specific applications” that will take its customers beyond “traditional customer relationship management (CRM)”.

Hybris, founded in 1997, has around 1,000 SAP employees. It offers “a complete omni-channel commerce platform that incorporates web, mobile, call centre and store” ways to shop and uses master data management to unify “commerce processes”.

Ariel Lüdi, CEO of Hybris, said: “The CRM experiment has failed. Today’s empowered customer requires a new model for engagement.

“In a world where the consumer journey is fragmented across a range of different channels, devices and touch-points, it is more critical – and challenging – than ever for organisations to provide highly consistent and personalised brand experiences that engage and delight customers every step of the way”.

The supplier has now brought Hybris into its stable of customer engagement products, including SAP Cloud for Sales, SAP Cloud for Service, SAP Cloud for Marketing and SAP Cloud for Social Engagement.

The supplier has added industry-specific, cloud-based versions of its customer engagement suite for insurance, retail, utilities and now banking.

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Brian Walker, chief strategy officer, Hybris, said: "We are very much beyond retail. Our biggest growth verticals lie in telco, B2B manufacturing, wholesale and distribution, for traditional companies who want to be digital. 

"In certain emerging markets, like Russia and Brazil, it is retail. But retail is often how we describe and intellectualise what this is, but that customer experience and set of expectations, that we all have as consumers now, manifests itself in other jobs and tasks that we all do as business people.”

He confirmed that “last year we had 75% year-on-year growth for Hybris, and we will be close to that this year”.

Jamie Anderson, a vice-president at SAP, said: “For two to three years our customers have been finding that systems they have relied on, like CRM or campaign management, are not meeting the needs of the customer they are now dealing with.

“CRM used to be a strong business philosophy about serving the customer. The contact centre then became a ‘lowest cost to sell’ channel after the internet bubble burst at the turn of the millennium. CRM became an IT system of record to serve the business’s need but not a system of engagement”. 

He said the social media “phenomenon and the adoption of mobile” has made possible the rebirth of a customer-centric business philosophy based on “customers taking control of the conversation”. He said SAP’s efforts, with the Hybris acqusition and integration, and other activities, are aligned with this trend.  

“Hybris has brought to SAP a design principle to the applications, an agility to how we focus on application development to meet customer need. We have a single leadership under Ariel and Carsten [Thoma] and that means we innovate faster as a team and our customers get the benefit of that”.

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