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How SAP and hybris Will Revolutionize Customer Engagement

The future of business is in the coupon you got on your smartphone from the coffee shop around the corner. And SAP intends to be on the leading edge of this customer engagement frontier, announcing Thursday that it has completed its acquisition of Zug, Switzerland-based commerce software company hybris.

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The acquisition of hybris will help SAP dominate in the enterprise commerce technology landscape, according to Forrester Research.

Enterprises need systems that can predict and adapt to customers in real time, wherever and however they engage. Acquiring hybris, whose users include General Electric, Thomson Reuters and 3M, expands how SAP can address customer engagement across marketing, sales, service and commerce.

In turn, hybris — now officially “hybris, an SAP company” — will operate as an independent business unit, likely using SAP’s mobile, cloud and big data innovations to continue driving its commerce platform. hybris’ Commerce Suite features product content management and unified commerce processes, offering a single view of customers, products and orders for its users.

“With this acquisition, the enterprise commerce technology landscape is now dominated by four large software companies: SAP, IBM, Oracle and eBay,” Peter Sheldon, a principal analyst at Forrester Research, wrote in Forbes last month. “The enterprise commerce space has entered a new phase of maturity and is now firmly entrenched as a strategically key product line alongside ERP and CRM.”

The acquisition is all about innovating new levels of customer insight and engagement. The two companies plan to accomplish this by combining hybris’ omni-channel commerce solutions with SAP’s in-memory, cloud and mobile solutions, as well as its enterprise technology.

The end goal is to provide the next-generation customer experience for businesses and consumers. SAP hopes the hybris commerce platform will help enterprises achieve unprecedented intimacy with customers in real time — and do so across all devices, delivery channels and touchpoints.

SAP’s Tim Clark will have more on the acquisition next week, after he attends an event for press and influencers in New York on Tuesday. The event will feature executives from SAP and hybris, as well as a customer of both companies.

Until then, go out and enjoy that coffee coupon you got on your smartphone.

Follow Derek on Twitter: @DKlobucher

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