As mentioned in our previous blog, Customer Empowerment Days are a powerful way to put the customer back into the driver’s seat. It’s essential for SAP to continue to strengthen relationships with accounts that are excited to engage with us – especially if we want to maximize co-innovation and contract renewals for the S/4HANA Cloud business. Moreover, these engagements help increase transparency between customers and SAP, creating an environment of mutual trust and clarity of vision. We understand what the customer needs and have a plan to help get them there.
“This was well worth my time“
One such engagement took place on May 5th in Johannesburg. Bright-eyed and clasping their morning coffee, 32 customers descended on the SAP office. A second event took place on May 15th at the SAP Tokyo office and was attended by 41 customers from Japan, China, and South Korea, 4 attendees from JSUG, 11 executives and experts from the SAP S/4HANA Cloud organization, and 3 interpreters. As mentioned previously, agendas for each of the Customer Empowerment Days are handcrafted to ensure they only reflect content that particular region is interested in.
During both events, continents apart, the following points were raised:
- Customers agreed that “fit to standard” is the right strategy, and the discussion centered around missing capabilities and the workarounds required. Customers asked for more support from SAP in the area of API integrations.
- Customers were very interested in learning what makes for a successful implementation. They asked for more information about planning for S/4HANA Cloud and the motivations behind it – specifically, they mentioned they’d be interested in hearing more stories from live customers.
- Product roadmap and understanding the evolution is critical for customers. For example, they want to know how they can help influence product roadmap and how SAP will ensure their requests are being managed. Furthermore, they’d be very interested in seeing industry-specific roadmaps.
- Change management was a key topic for many customers, and they want to understand what tools and resources are available from SAP. They asked that SAP provide more support in this area.
“I appreciate the authentic conversation.”
“In the first 15 minutes, I knew it would be valuable for me.”
To summarize the results, the Johannesburg and Tokyo Customer Empowerment Days was met with an overwhelmingly positive response, with 100% of the external attendees agreeing that “it helped better prepare them for future plans”. All planned sessions received a satisfaction score of 80%-100%.
The top reasons customers felt the meeting was a success was as follows:
- They greatly appreciated the customer networking opportunities and hearing stories from live customers. It was exciting to know that customers are already making the transition to S/4HANA Cloud and they took comfort in knowing they were not alone.
- The right information was covered in the meeting.
- No fluff or sales – authentic conversations and real discussions.
- Customers were most impressed by the customer influence on roadmap and roundtable on product roadmap sessions. They also greatly enjoyed asking about other customers experience with SAP and SAP S/4HANA Cloud. They appreciated the different viewpoints and reasons when asked: “why S/4HANA Cloud?”.
“I received some callbacks already – this event moved the needle with my prospects.” – SAP Customer Engagement Manager
“We need more of these days and include me anytime. Happy to support and be with customers.” – SAP Account Executive
If you are interested in learning more about the Customer Empowerment Days, take a look at this blog. If you have a customer you’d like to invite to a future event please reach out to Lori Paulin (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Dania Fayyaz (email@example.com).