SAP CEO McDermott Plans a New Push Into CRM Market

By:  Steven Norton

SAP SE on Tuesday said it would release a new raft of customer relationship management applications aimed at tying front- and back-office processes as businesses pursue a “single view of the customer.”

In an interview, CEO Bill McDermott said CRM has moved beyond sales and now is about creating a seamless customer experience from marketing all the way down to product fulfillment.

“The consumer has now taken charge, so sales processes are being disintermediated by the way consumers interact with enterprises,” Mr. McDermott said. “It’s not enough anymore to have good hygiene with sales. You need good relationships with seven billion global consumers.”

The company says its acquisitions of Hybris, Gigya and CallidusCloud work together to support front-office functions including consumer data protection, marketing, commerce, sales and customer service. The suite of applications, collectively known as C/4HANA, can connect to back-office functions including supply chain and enterprise resource planning systems.

C/4HANA also will include machine-learning capabilities from SAP Leonardo, introduced last year, as well as a new data management suite unveiled Tuesday at its SAPPHIRE NOW conference in Orlando.

The announcement signals a desire by SAP to increase its footprint in the CRM market currently led by Inc. SAP captured 8.5% of the CRM market in 2017, second behind Salesforce’s 18.8% market share, according to Gartner Inc. Other players include Oracle Corp., Adobe Systems Inc. and International Business Machines Corp.

“SAP has made a determination, from which we will not bend or waver, to take over the CRM marketplace,” Mr. McDermott said.

The German firm Tuesday also said it acquired Switzerland-based Coresystems AG, a field-service management platform.