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SAP Integration Strategies: How They Are Revolutionizing Customer Experiences

November 28, 2016
SAP Integration Strategies

The greater the competitive intensity of sales cycles, new product launches and keeping long-running product sales alive, the more important customer experiences become. Relying just on feature-to-feature comparative strengths is a short-term solution to a long-term problem. SAP integration is the difference-maker that puts you beyond feature competition to driving new experiences.

Defining a Customer-Driven SAP Integration Strategy for  Your Company 

Reinventing your company to deliver excellent customer experiences and meet customer-driven demands requires an all-out commitment to redefining how enterprise systems are integrated to meet customers’ needs, plans and preferences. Reporting, key performance indicators (KPIs), metrics and analytics must be accessible and transparent to reflect the extent to which internal operations, production and service teams are meeting customer expectations.

Add to this the fact the customers are becoming more sophisticated and increasingly selective in the channels they buy through, a very different competitive landscape emerges. Legacy systems and the integration strategies well-suited for simplistic multichannel selling can’t scale to meet today’s increasingly complex selling needs. In the manufacturing and financial services industries, the most common legacy systems are on-premise SAP Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.

Integrating Legacy SAP Systems To Create New Business Models 

90% of SAP’s revenue is generated from on-premise ERP systems. This illustrates just how locked in so many of their customers are to the business models that drove them to buy those systems in the first place.  Legacy systems restrict data that needs to be used for creating real-time experiences that bring in new customers, selling channels and growth.

Legacy SAP systems and the integration approaches from the past aren’t capable of delivering the on-demand customer experiences any company needs to grow.  There needs to be a revolutionary new approach to integrating legacy ERP systems with today’s analytics, CRM, pricing, services, and support cloud platforms. What’s needed is a revolution in how integration strategies are used to attract new customers and fuel fast revenue growth.

Providing Better Customer Experiences With SAP Integration

Unlocking real-time access to customer, pricing, operations and service data in legacy ERP systems is just the type of edge many companies need to create excellent customer experiences and drive more revenue growth. The challenge is to create entirely new integration frameworks that support how customers are changing and making purchasing decisions.

Improving the customer’s purchase experience drives a fundamental shift in how an entire company operates. The following are examples of where SAP integration is optimizing customer service experiences and the entire operations of companies:

  • Optimizing all aspects of Omni-channel strategies including mobile apps 

 When a single system is running marketing automation or just a few select systems are running marketing campaigns, multichannel marketing is the best any company can hope to achieve.  Yet if these same companies used SAP integration strategies they would be able to scale across all channels. Integrating with SAP legacy systems and enriching mobile apps takes the user experience to an entirely new level of contextual relevance to customers.  The greater the number of channels a company sells through, the more they stand to benefit from attaining SAP integration across all legacy systems.

  • Enabling end-to-end digitization of all physical assets and connectivity into digital ecosystems.

By relying on SAP integration, manufacturers will be able to connect across their production centers and improve real-time data and knowledge workflows. Instead of having each aspect of manufacturing be stand-alone, SAP integration can unify all departments into a single, coordinated system, attaining the vision of Industry 4.0, shown below.

Source: Industry 4.0 – Vision to Reality, Alan Norbury | Siemens UK Industrial CTO

  • Mass customization shifts from product strategy to delivering a greater customer

experience – Instead of just producing products for specific customers’ unique requirements, manufacturers are using SAP integration to gain more insights and customer intelligence. For example, when BMW produces a highly customized Mini-Cooper to a customers’ unique requests, they’re really delivering the experience of giving the customer the freedom to create their dream car. Using SAP integration to gain the essential data to accomplish this gives each customer an opportunity to be collaborators in creation.  And that’s what customers want most – the chance to be collaborators with your company and create great products. SAP integration is making that possible today and the more customer-driven these strategies are the more effective they will be.