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Omni-Channel is the new Multi-Channel…

I’ve been talking about how mobile technology is changing every aspect of the customer relationship for years. That’s why I’m particularly excited about SAP (my employer) acquiring hybris, a leader in commerce technology.

Mobile is redefining advertising, payments, coupons, loyalty and response tracking—all customer touch points, really—making interactions more tailored, more targeted, and more precise. There’s huge potential with all the various pieces, and even more if you can get them all working together. Since we’re still in the early days of this technology, not all of the pieces are available from a single vendor, and they don’t always integrate with each other, much less existing backend systems.

That’s what so interesting about hybris. On its own, the software suite is a great solution. It helps a company run all its various sales processes simultaneously, giving businesses a single view of customers, products and orders, and giving customers a single view and unified experience. The solution’s data and process management engines ensure consistent inventory, pricing, promotion, order and other information across channels: Web, mobile, phone or retail.

It helps a company move beyond multi-channel, or simply offering more than one channel, to omni-channel, or behaving like the same company in each one.

SAP, obviously, provides the solid back-office enterprise software that ties into hybris, plus mobile solutions. The companies plan to combine agile, omni-channel commerce solutions of hybris with robust enterprise technology and industry leading in-memory, cloud and mobile innovations from SAP to create new levels of customer insight and engagement.

In the digital/mobile age, power has shifted to the customer. Companies need to make sure they’re providing the same, great service in every channel, delivering a consistent experience.

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