SAP Hybris Summit 2016
The SAP Hybris Summit has come a long way in the last 6 years I have attended. The Zenith venue in Munich has now hosted this global event for the past three years and the scale of the attendees, speakers and general engagement continues to grow each year (there were 2,700 attendees in 2016 according to organisers!).
Here are some of the key themes discussed during the event and musings on my experience and takeaways from this year’s Summit.
The trinity of the partner / customer / hybris relationship is evolving
The customer is now the primary partner of SAP hybris – so the traditional hybris implementation partner needs to be something else rather than just be an IT services implementer. This sentiment was expressed in the Keynote address by Carsten Thoma, the President CEC (Customer Engagement and Commerce) at SAP. I understand the general point he is making, but I don’t think SAP Hybris delivery is a commodity service – however the quality of the partner and their approach is still key to a successful project. Going live is not success in my view – digital growth and revenue increase is.
The partner needs to pivot
The value of the traditional partner needs to become the differentiator in the community. We need to be thinking about what else we can do to make our customers successful. Just writing code and delivering software is not enough – we need to be thinking about the services we can offer on-top of solution enablement after the initial commerce platform is in place. The journey should not end at the the point of commerce launch – this is just the start of the posibilties!
“Death of the Salesperson”
We need to be in a partnership with the clients today. This is not a sales role, but a business engagement where we understand the clients business well enough to affect change and help deliver the digital transformation that is demanded in today’s environment. Carsten talked about the need to Reinvent, Challenge, Disrupt and Digitally transform how businesses work. A customer facing and focused strategy needs to be developed, it’s not just a case of taking features and benefits from a platform and implementing them for a client.
‘System of engagement’…not ‘System of record’
The recording and centralising of all the customer touch-points across all channels facilitates the ability to engage the customer in a way that matters…being relevant! Knowing your customer behaviour and then acting on the data to anticipate and recommend the customers next best action is what will drive best-in-class experiences and service for the customer. In fact the customer of tomorrow will expect to be known by the business and companies will need to meet these customers’ expectations by offering them a personalised and relevant engagement, whether they are researching, exploring, buying or looking for after-care.
The ecosystem is always evolving; be disruptive
The evolution of personal music consumption was given as an example to show how a whole market was created from an area the world thought was mature. From transferring music that could have gone back to the Walkman, but today sees an iPod changing via iTunes to streaming music directly using Spotify, it showed a billion dollar industry was created when the technology and related tools became available for the market and re-energised the sector. Entrepreneurs will always find new ways to engage the current mature market of commerce end-experience engagement by using the SAP Hybris suite in new and exciting ways they merge the exciting possibilities and commercial challenges of digital retailing – this is Yaas (see next point).
Microservices is Cloud 2.0
With the continued investment and push of SAP Hybris As A Service – Yaas – the next generation of cloud architecture and solution creation will be the catalyst for commerce enablement, evolution and disruption. We just need to wait for the service to come out of beta at the end of the year to see where we can take it and where it can really go.
Another great event well executed by the team at SAP Hybris! See you there next year.
Kevin Murray is Managing Director of Greenlight Commerce and has over 15 years experience of running projects in the technology, eCommerce and Omnichannel retail space.