Home > Columns

SAP Announces Powerful Line-Up of Hybris Tools at Yankee Stadium


Presented By: SAP

Over the years, legendary Yankee Stadium - the House that Ruth Built and George Steinbrenner rebuilt in the Bronx - has been the site of 27 World Series championships, innumerable memorable sporting events, and three papal visits. In the midst of yet another Yankee pennant race as well as the successful inaugural season of NYCFC, a new American Major League Soccer team, it was perhaps fitting that enterprise application software innovator SAP used the stadium to formally announce their bold initiative to go beyond CRM , which they call ‘The Simplified Front Office.’  

SAP’s hybris portfolio will offer an agile array of tools designed to empower up-to-the-second customer profiling, drive better digital commerce and improved community development as well as give companies the capability to stay connected with the constantly evolving needs of its customer base. “Businesses must not only know their customers, but be able to anticipate what they will want next,” said Robert Enslin, President of Global Customer Operations and Board Member, SAP. “They must be prepared to deliver the kind of engaging, personalized experience across all channels that today’s multi-device digital natives …and the not-so-digital older generations…have come to expect. Ours will be an end-to-end solution …following the customer from tweet to receipt.”

SAP acquired hybris in the summer of 2013 to expand its customer experience capabilities, support B-to-B and B-to-C commerce and improve product content management. It is now the key driver of the SAP CEC (Customer Engagement and Commerce) group. “We see CRM as more than opportunity management,” said Enslin. “Leads don’t only come from the sales team.”

In SAP’s view, businesses must now be able to move past the complexities created by legacy cloud-based CRM technologies whose foundations predate the rise of social media and mobility. “In the 90s, the original purpose of customer relationship management was to create intimacy and build mutual trust between brands and customers,” noted Jamie Anderson, Senior VP of Marketing SAP CEC, in a conversation at a recent conference. “But over the years, the technology became synonymous with sales force and marketing automation. Now the paradigm will shift to doing things for the customer as well as for the company.”

“Digital transformation is an imperative,” said Carsten Thoma, President/GM of SAP, who led the successful integration of hybris into SAP.  “Marketing is broken with people receiving more and more junk email for irrelevant offers, and customers are now in control. The customer journey is very different, involving social media, touch points and the Internet of Things. Omni-channel is business; it enables companies to support point-of-sale (POS) by personalizing the product catalog. Context makes the difference: offers must be relevant, consistent and in real time. Data is the fuel that makes it all possible.”

SAP’s goal is to serve the need of businesses to connect the front office and back office in real time — linking together people, inventory, supply chain, pricing and customers. The new simplified front office will advance from the traditional functions of marketing, sales and service automation to include integrated, real-time personalization, Web and mobile commerce, social customer service and more. System components will include:

SAP hybris Profile solution  which is envisioned to be the customer-centric foundation of the system, capturing all interactions, contexts and behaviors to create a continually evolving and dynamic profile of the customer. Companies will be able to translate these insights into actions for real-time, one-to-one engagements with all customers across all touchpoints.

SAP hybris Customer Experience software which will drive the system’s exceptional omni-channel delivery capability, providing real-time visual contextualization of the customer’s experience. It is projected to serve as a next-generation, responsive omni-channel content management system, offering a tool set that will enable customers and partners to develop experiences over a variety of areas.

  • SAP hybris as a Service on the SAP HANA Cloud Platform is slated to become the modular business microservices layer for the SAP hybris front office. It is seen as a platform for innovation, offering a wide range of diverse business services and integration with SAP hybris applications. The platform makes customers partners: it will allow the creation an ecosystem where solutions providers can develop applications at low cost with fewer barriers to implementation.

The SAP Yankee Stadium event was billed as “From Fan to Brand: A Celebration of Customers.” and the sports motif was evident throughout the presentation. The program was introduced by Tom Glick, President of NYCFC (New York City Football Club), the fledgling MSL soccer franchise and co-tenant of the New York Yankees, who has used SAP CEC to better serve and optimize merchandise sales to the team’s rapidly growing fan base. Brian Walker, Chief Strategy Officer at hybris software /SAP CEC, demonstrated the capability to reach potential customers in real time by sending out a sample tweet that would allow followers to purchase an NYCFC product within seconds after a campaign had been launched.

The event featured a panel of customers and partners.  Representatives from the world of sports included  Mike Lane, vice president and CIO, Technology & Broadcasting, for the New York Yankees, who use SAP solutions to pull together ticketing and merchandising data and Steve McArdle, EVP, Digital Media & Strategic Planning, of the National Hockey League. McArdle sees SAP as instrumental in evolving NHL enthusiasts from fans into customers. In stage one of their plan, they have moved from SAP HANA to hybris, giving fans access to 100 years of player data and statistics, allowing them to compare players across the ages and in stage two, they will have the ability to segment specific merchandising offers to people based on their use of this historical data.

The panel which also featured speakers from Ernst & Young, Ralph Lauren, Sprinklr, Insight Enterprises and was led by Steve Lucas, President of SAP’s Platform Solutions Group. Lucas made a key point to illustrate the need for updated commerce/customer engagement solutions. “Even the greatest rider could no longer win the Tour de France on a 10-year old bike.”  But perhaps the most tweeted and repeated comment of the day from the panel was by Mike Brinker, Global Lead, Deloitte Digital who said “ Digital transformation is like teenage sex: everyone thinks everyone else is doing it…and doing it well…but the reality is quite the opposite.”