How Does SAP’s C/4HANA Help You Deliver Personalised Customer Experiences?

January 13, 2020



In today’s increasingly competitive ecommerce scene where markets are dominated by digital savvy customers, ecommerce companies must take a customer-centric approach. C/4HANA gives organisations a 360-degree view of their customers so they can get to know each one better to deliver seamless, personalised experiences based on empathy and trust. In ‘C/4HANA’, the ‘C’ stands for customer, the ‘4’ signifies the 4th generation of CRM and ‘HANA’ refers to the enhanced database management system developed by SAP. C/4HANA was created because legacy CRM systems focused more on sales when they should focus more on improving customer experiences.


Why Do Customer Experiences Matter?


Based on a recent study, MarketingWeek.com said “Just 10% of brands in the UK excel at customer experience. These companies deliver great customer experiences consistently, which translates into how they deliver great end-to-end customer experience.”

Many brands believe they deliver great customer experiences… but customers don’t agree. Customers buy experiences, not just the product or service. Providing positive customer experiences helps you gain a competitive advantage, increase sales, increase profitability and brings many benefits to your organisation as a whole.

C/4HANA enables an organisation to see and treat customers as individuals with individual preferences to deliver personalised customer experiences that are connected, meaningful, lasting and based on trust.


Why Does a 360-Degree View of Customers Matter?


Before the iPhone, customer search and purchasing behaviours were linear, so limited to just a few devices. Today, search and purchasing behaviours span multiple devices and touchpoints—with sales increasing as a result.

A 360-degree view allows various departments within an organisation to build a complete, end-to-end picture of a customer’s experience from data gained in real time at multiple touchpoints on a customer’s journey: data that is comprehensive, up-to-date and relies on a single source of truth, also referred to as Master Data Management (MDM). The single source can be accessed from anywhere online and from any device by various departments like sales, marketing and customer support. Not taking a 360-degree view means data will differ according to multiple sources and departments and is usually out-of-date, in-accurate, siloed and un-synchronised. A 360 view ensures you can accurately predict customer behaviours and personalise the customer experience. It helps you gain insight into who your customers are and their preferences relating to products, services and brands, so you can offer the right product to the right customer at the right time.

C/4HANA enables sales, marketing and customer support to learn and act fast in real time to deliver seamless customer experiences at every touchpoint and identify, reward and increase customer loyalty.


A Brief Overview of 5 Solutions in the SAP C/4HANA CX Suite


C/4HANA is a new generation of CX suite from SAP that uses cutting edge technology to provide enhanced capabilities. It is made up of five ecommerce solutions: SAP Customer Data Cloud, SAP Commerce Cloud, SAP Marketing Cloud, SAP Sales Cloud and SAP Service Cloud… all five were previously referred to under the Hybris name. C/4HANA brings together the previous CX suite (SAP Hybris) and previous acquisitions of market leaders: Gigya for personal customer data management, CallidusCloud for sales data management and Coresystems for customer service data management.

SAP Customer Data Cloud

Helps you manage customer profiles, data security and personal data. It helps you stay compliant with various laws like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). And allows your customers to register easily and self-manage consent and preferences.


SAP Commerce Cloud

Personalises the omnichannel shopping experience, simplifies the commerce setup, reduces the total cost of ownership and increases team productivity. It supports all ecommerce processes: product content management, checkouts, order management and promotions. Supports multiple go-to-market models (B2C, B2B and B2BC). Offers industry-specific templates (for example, travel, financial services and media). And allows you to quickly and easily integrate and extend its capabilities.


SAP Marketing Cloud

Helps you keep a 360-degree view of the customer and gain customer insights from past and current behaviours to anticipate future behaviours. It identifies trends and segments, allows seamless and personalised marketing experiences and campaigns. And allows you to optimise customer experiences to increase sales and customer loyalty.


SAP Sales Cloud

Helps your sales team build relationships with customers and keep track of every customer and sales opportunity in real time. It helps you manage invoices, quotes, orders and contracts. And improve sales strategy, manage sales incentives and territories.


SAP Service Cloud

Provides insights on customers and feedback from customers to allow you to serve them better. It enables agents and technical support to respond faster to customer issues. It features self-serve options like conversational AI and chatbots. And helps bridge the gap between back and front office processes to deliver faster resolutions for customers.


Key Benefits Offered by the SAP C/4HANA CX Suite


Provides a 360-degree view of the customer to seamlessly personalise experiences across all touchpoints

Enables sales, marketing and customer support to build a complete picture of the customer based on a single source of truth (also referred to as Master Data Management or MDM) that can be accessed from anywhere online and from any device in real time, so an organisation can consistently personalise customer experiences and increase sales conversions and customer loyalty in the process.


IaaS, PaaS and SaaS models mean scalability, integration and deployment are quicker and easier

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platforms as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) allow ecommerce businesses to outsource some or all components relating to infrastructure, platforms or software.

This means you only pay for what you need on a subscription plan. Solutions are more cost-effective and can be tailored according to individual business needs: they can be fine-tuned or scaled up or down without capacity issues. These models also allow solutions to be flexible, so quicker and easier to deploy, extend and integrate, especially for businesses with fluctuating demands.

Reduces operational costs so SMEs can compete with larger brands while lowering the total cost of ownership (TCO)

You only pay for what you need so reduce operational costs and TCO as a result.


Supports multiple go-to-market models (B2C, B2B and B2BC) and offers industry-specific templates

Allows you to quickly and easily integrate and extend its capabilities to meet your specific business needs.

Minimises disruption to an organisation

Less downtimes as updates, upgrades and maintenance for software and hardware are managed by the cloud services provider. Data security, compliance and data security are also managed by the cloud services provider. Managed support (available 24/7/365) means you don’t have to worry about hyperscaling and infrastructure internally.


Makes targeting new markets and countries quicker, easier and less costly

With no physical hardware/software limitations, and the benefits offered by the cloud, a business can expand easily and quickly to get its products to market faster and cheaper.


Is future-proof to meet growing demands

The pay-as-you-grow model allows organisations to fine-tune, scale up or down in a flexible and cost-efficient way to meet growing or changing demands. Depending on your choice of cloud services provider (for example, Azure or AWS), there are many solutions that can benefit your organisation now and in the future.


Has built-in compliance concerning the use of customer personal data

Compliance can be a lengthy process and difficult to implement. Cloud-based solutions have compliance already built-in to help you stay compliant with various laws like GDPR, especially around the use of a customer’s personal data.


Makes data security easier to manage

The risk of data breaches can be a major concern for an organisation. Cloud-based solutions help you manage sensitive data: you can erase sensitive data remotely from any device or transfer it to another account.


Makes disaster recovery quicker, easier and inexpensive

Data cannot be lost permanently as it is always available and accessible online via the cloud. Cloud-based backup and disaster recovery solutions are quicker, easier and less expensive to implement and require less up-front investment.


C/4HANA can run on various public cloud services like Microsoft’s Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Hybrid or on-premise setups

The public cloud version allows SAP to utilise the cloud to deliver IaaS, PaaS and SaaS models, as opposed to an on-premise setup which keeps most of the hardware and software on-site. Hybrid uses a combination of on-premise and the cloud to deliver solutions.


Uses the HANA database management system for faster, data-driven decisions in real time to improve customer experiences

HANA is an in-memory relational database, that makes it much faster than traditional, disk-optimised databases which need to load data into memory (a slower process). With HANA, data can be added, read or changed instantly. This enables quick access to useful data and analytics for data-driven decisions in real time to enable an organisation to personalise customer experiences and increase productivity.


Uses Qualtrics CX analytics to improve customer experiences

Qualtrics CX analytics are specifically developed and tailored to improve and personalise customer experiences. In C/4HANA, it’s available on four solutions: SAP Commerce Cloud, SAP Marketing Cloud, SAP Sales Cloud and SAP Service Cloud.


SAP Fiori is an option to improve user experiences

SAP Fiori allows designers and developers to quickly and easily create apps to provide great user experiences for any user, device or platform. Fiori allows you to install front end applications quickly and easily to meet the specific needs of your business and customers.


Uses SAP Cloud Platform Extensions, Kyma and Kubernites technology to make integrations and extensions simpler and quicker

SAP Cloud Platform Extensions enable streamlined and seamless integrations for different solutions to allow a faster time to market. Kyma and Kubernites technology allow you to connect and extend enterprise applications quickly and in a flexible manner.


Uses Leonardo to speed-up innovation and digital transformation

Leonardo combines different technologies (machine learning, big data, data intelligence, analytics, the Internet of Things and blockchain) to work more fluidly across the C/4HANA suite.


Helps improve collaborations, productivity and streamline the workforce

On the cloud, employees can easily stay connected regardless of their location, time zone or device. Each employee can access, edit and share information in real time without data silos, based on a single source of truth. Remote-working opportunities are also possible to reduce in-office costs.


Enables customer support and technical support to resolve customer issues faster

Insights on customers allow your teams to serve customers better and faster. Self-serve options like conversational AI and chatbots help deliver faster resolutions.


Reduces an organisation’s carbon footprint

Cloud-based solutions aren’t reliant on traditional, on-premise data centers which consume a lot of energy. They require much less software usage and hardware resources on-site compared to on-premise setups. It all enables an organisation to significantly reduce its carbon footprint.


Jon Brooks
Jon Brooks

Jon Brooks Chief Technology Officer and founder of Weaveability, is a certified SAP developer with over 25 years of experience in SAP. Jon’s responsible for the technical side of the sales team, ensuring we’re using the latest technologies in the SAP product set to meet our customer needs. Outside of work, Jon is an avid football watcher and golfer.

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