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SAP 'changes the game’ with predictive customer service

Christopher Tredger
By Christopher Tredger, Portals editor
Johannesburg, 11 Jun 2019
Andreas Heckmann
Andreas Heckmann

Customer experience is at the heart of digital revolution, SAP executives told South African users attending the Saphila 2019 Conference underway at Sun City, North West Province South Africa.

Going forward, SAP says it aims to predict customer support questions, anticipate problems, and roll out a solution for on-premises and cloud environments. It also announced plans to leverage AI, analytics and cloud, including SAP Cloud ALM (application lifecycle management), as part of evolution of its customer support services.

SAP Cloud ALM began with an implementation portal for SAP S/4HANA Cloud that has been available since January this year, and by 2021, the company intends to extend SAP Cloud ALM from implementation support for SAP S/4HANA Cloud toward the entire application life cycle of all cloud solutions from SAP.

Speaking at Saphila 2019,Andreas Heckmann, executive VP and head of SAP customer support services, said market research shows flat growth of on-premises licence revenue against an upward trajectory of cloud subscription revenue.

As hybrid business models gain popularity, the enterprise software giant has positioned next-generation customer service technology at the basis of its operational strategy.

According to him, when a enterprise becomes intelligent, its solution landscapes changes, and the role of IT will change too. “We are introducing a brand new cloud-based ALM offering for customers, specifically focused on the [SAP] Intelligent Suite, and it will be made available via the public cloud,” said Heckmann.

It’s about partnerships

Cathy Smith, MD of SAP Africa, said SAP’s strategy has never been clearer and hinges on partnerships. “It is not about us alone, it is about our partnerships, it is about working with our customers, it is about doing it together. We are living the experience economy. It is happening to every single one of us …. Experience matters and the experience economy is here.”

The company says its Intelligent Suite is brings intelligence into the applications used to manage customers, supply chains, networks, employees, and core business processes. All the applications are integration-ready and offer a consistent and intuitive user experience.

Says Smith: “Intelligent Enterprise looks at operational data, which we call our O data - things that we all know have been there for many years. It marries that with what we call the X data and that is the experience economy, bringing it together so that we can help our customers build the capability to compete and thrive in the new era.”