SAP Goes All in with Customer Service: The 2019 CRM Service Rising Stars Awards
SAP is certainly no stranger to the CRM world, but the German company’s stake in the contact center space had been relatively small until recently. This year, the company spent a lot of time and effort rethinking CRM, culminating in the introduction last June of C/4HANA, a suite of customer experience applications. C/4HANA pulls together SAP Marketing Cloud, SAP Commerce Cloud, SAP Service Cloud, SAP Customer Data Cloud, and SAP Sales Cloud into one comprehensive bundle. While the company upgraded its SAP Sales Cloud with technology it gained during its acquisition of CallidusCloud a year ago, its SAP Service Cloud received a lion’s share of the attention. With C/4HANA, SAP set out to put service at the center of the customer experience by empowering organizations to create unified service experiences, provide next-generation self-service, develop teams of experts to help customers quickly, and capture and understand customer feedback.
SAP’s June acquisition of field service management platform provider Coresystems further expanded its core customer service offerings. Coresystems brought to SAP real-time scheduling for customer service requests and artificial intelligence-powered crowd service technology. These capabilities expand the pool of service technicians to include company employees, freelancers, and industry partners, enabling the most qualified technician based on expertise, location, and availability to be assigned.
The company made a number of other key acquisitions in 2018, starting in January with Recast.AI, a provider of a natural language development environment for chatbots. The acquisition allowed SAP to create SAP Conversational AI, a collaborative platform for developers to build, train, deploy, and monitor intelligent bots. Users can train bots to understand various inputs, integrate bots with messaging channels like Facebook Messenger and Slack, and improve bot performance through monitoring.
Then in November, SAP acquired experience management company Qualtrics, allowing it to combine Qualtrics’s experience data and insights with its own operational data to improve customer service experiences as well as employee, product, and brand experiences.
November also saw SAP acquire robotic process automation (RPA) company Contextor. In so doing, SAP is now in a position to expand its Leonardo machine learning capabilities for conversational AI and document processing. SAP calls it the next level of intelligent automation.