SAP Launches Customer Data Platform

Customer experience has become increasingly essential for businesses, SAP CEO Christian Klein said during his company's Customer Experience Live virtual conference today.

"Our CX business has grown 20 percent faster than the industry average since the start of the pandemic," Klein said. "CX is an integral part of the intelligent enterprise."

CX has been especially important during the COVID-19 pandemic as people's shopping habits have changed, Klein said. "Even our grandmothers have shopped online and have waited at the door the next day for the delivery."

Large retailers that have focused on in-store experiences have had to shift to new engagement models offering high personalization via digital means. But to deliver that, they need to be able to collect and integrate customer data in a meaningful way across the entire customer journey, Klein said.

That data includes traditional customer data like interactions, purchases, and demographic information, as well as details like weather, supply and demand, and other factors that influence customer behavior.

Recognizing the importance of CX, SAP continues to expand its CX portfolio, Klein said.

Key to that strategy is the release of the SAP Customer Data Platform, which the company introduced at the conference. Klein said SAP's new CDP would be among the tools companies can use to help meet their CX goals.

The platform is designed to add rich context and personalization to commerce, sales, and service experiences. Among its features are the following:

  • The ability to collect customer data from every source within the company, including first-, second-, and third-party data; offline data, and event and activity streams, along with transactional, behavioral, experience and back-office data. All data is maintained, with context, on top of the operational data.
  • Privacy, by merging inbound data to customer profiles only if required consents have been obtained.
  • Scalability, with segmentation and activity indicators calculated in real time to help obtain a true understanding of customer preferences and behavior, providing a data foundation for audience-building and activation. According to SAP, centralizing this audience management helps companies deliver consistent experiences across their marketing, commerce, service, and sales solutions.
  • Hyperpersonalized engagements by unifying large amounts of back-office operational data with front-office and experience data for actionable, permission-based, customer insights in real time, which SAP says will lead to relevant engagements at the right time and place in the preferred channel and on customers' terms.

SAP's entry into the CDP market adds one more tech giant to the list of business software vendors that have recognized the effectiveness of the tool. CDPs now have buy-in from leaders like Microsoft, Adobe, Salesforce, and Oracle, just to name a few.

"We did not invent CDP, but SAP Customer Data Platform opens the concept to a new world of opportunities," SAP Customer Experience President Bob Stutz said in a statement. "SAP Customer Data Platform is one of the most advanced enterprise-grade CDPs. It can truly deliver personalized experiences that nurture anonymous users into known, loyal customers using the customers' preferred channels, unifying vast amounts of front-office, back-office, and experience data as only SAP can."

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