Web Channel Experience Management was brought into the world by SAP with a lot of speculations and expectations. Almost all the predecessors of WCEM were able to collect only negative reviews from the eCommerce Market. But when WCEM 1.0 was launched into the market, people changed the way they looked at an eCommerce solution from SAP. The Look and feel of the UI part of WCEM was really appealing and the back end integration was also promising. With the introduction of WCEM, SAP demonstrated the sign of moving in the right direction on the eCommerce road map. A lot of SAP partner companies started a practice of WCEM and team building activities. But then came the breaking news as a shock from SAP; SAP acquisition of Hybris.
All the customers who spent a lot of money in WCEM and all the Partners who spent a lot of effort, time and money in building WCEM practice are now worried about the future of WCEM. I was also in research on the future of WCEM and in this blog I am sharing all the info I got from the various interviews from experts of SAP, WCEM and Hybris. There are quite a few questions in the mind of customers as well as partners, regarding WCEM and Hybris.
- What is the future of WCEM?
- Will Hybris become the only eCommerce offering from SAP?
- Will SAP stop the support of WCEM?
- Will WCEM and Hybris together form a new eCommerce Suite?
- What will be the future of eCommerce of SAP?
Earlier SAP had some confusion on their eCommerce offering; whether continue to build or buy? Now they have come to a decision. Mr. Volker Hildebrand, global vice president of CRM solutions at SAP was asked about the future of existing WCEM customers and he stated that, “We are fully committed to maintaining the Web Channel Experience Management solution. From a maintenance perspective, there shouldn’t be any concerns for these customers”. On August 1, 2013 the day on which SAP announced the completion of acquisition of Hybris, Forrester reported that Hybris will the only commerce offering from SAP. On reading the both the above points we can come to a conclusion that, SAP will stop investing on further R&D of WCEM and work only on Hybris eCommerce Suite, but they will continue their support for the existing WCEM customers.
Hybris has got some well-built and established omni-channel eCommerce suites and product content management under their belt. So I don’t think they would take a move to integrate WCEM and Hybris together. Hybris will continue to provide the current offerings plus they will integrate the SAP ERP/CRM as backend and sell it as the omni-channel eCommerce solution from SAP.
Both Bill McDermott, co-CEO of SAP and Ariel Lüdi, CEO of Hybris are excited on the recent developments to run Hybris technology on in-memory database HANA. When enquired about the effectiveness of the integration of SAP CRM with Hybris, Lüdi replied “the old CRM systems are now like dinosaurs in the context of the omni-commerce movement. They are not channel-aware, and so unable to get a single view of the customer. They also cannot react to information in real-time. They are very botchy. Our vision is for real-time systems”. According to Lüdi, 90% of the core team at Hybris favored the SAP option, and they are all very impressed by the in-memory database appliance HANA. McDermott and Snabe, SAP’s co-CEOs, said: “SAP and Hybris will deliver the next-generation customer experience for businesses and consumers in a world where digital and physical converge seamlessly. With the addition of the Hybris commerce platform, we intend to help enterprises achieve unprecedented intimacy with customers in real time and across all devices, delivery channels and touch points.”
Hybris will operate as an independent business unit under its existing leadership, including Lüdi and president and co-founder Carsten Thoma, and will be known as “Hybris, an SAP company“.