What is SAP C/4HANA and why should you care?
Update: Read about how SAP C/4HANA is included in SAP Cloud for Utilities.
Why you should care
The most successful companies understand that achieving high customer lifetime value is the result of consistently delivering excellent customer service and customer experience. This is particularly important in Utilities, where the industry is ranked 2nd worst for customer experience and listed at the bottom for reputation.
Companies that successfully implement a CX strategy achieve higher customer satisfaction rates, reduce customer churn, and increase revenues and employee satisfaction.
The opposite is also true. In the UK alone, in 2016 bad customer service cost businesses over £37 billion. According to an ombudsman survey, more than a quarter of consumers (28%) spent less with a company or took their custom elsewhere after receiving poor service.
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it” – Warren Buffet
Ok, I care now, but what is SAP C/4HANA?
SAP C/4HANA is an umbrella term for SAP’s combined customer experience solutions. After completing acquisitions of market leaders such as Hybris, Gigya and CallidusCloud, SAP C/4HANA now ties together solutions to support all front-office functions, including consumer data protection, marketing, commerce, sales and customer service. It is an integrated portfolio of cloud solutions, designed to modernise the sales-only focus of legacy CRM products.
“The legacy CRM systems are all about sales; SAP C/4HANA is all about the consumer.” – Bill McDermott
The graphic below illustrates what makes up SAP C/4HANA and key aspects of the roadmap.
In a nutshell, SAP C/4HANA is:
What was known as SAP Hybris + Recent acquisitions, namely: CallidusCloud, Gigya and Coresystems + a comprehensive roadmap to be first or second in each domain, deliver one unified (but still modular) suite of cloud solutions and integrate Front-to-Back office in an unrivalled way.
SAP C/4HANA consists of five cloud solutions:
- SAP Customer Data Cloud. Based on Gigya, this consists of solutions for building more trusted and valued relationships with customers. Essentially turning unknown online visitors into known, loyal customers. It consists of identity and authentication, consent (including data privacy), and a cross-cloud single customer profile.
- SAP Marketing Cloud. Based on what was SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud this delivers a single view of customer data for marketing purposes, personalised experiences at scale and intelligent marketing.
- SAP Commerce Cloud. Based on what was SAP Hybris Commerce Cloud but now running on Microsoft Azure Hyperscale platform, this is a comprehensive commerce platform that includes product content management, experience management, personalisation and order management. It allows utilities to sell “anything” in single or complex bundles if so desired.
- SAP Sales Cloud. This brings together what was SAP Hybris Cloud for Sales, SAP Subscription Billing and CallidusCloud to help organisations connect and guide customers throughout their buying journey.
- SAP Service Cloud. Combining SAP Hybris Cloud for Service, SAP Customer Engagement Center, Coresystems and SAP Self Service Accelerator for Utilities by SEW, this allows businesses to offer multiple service channels, access complete and contextual customer information and gain real-time insight into call center, self-service and field service performance.
While SAP C/4HANA is the product portfolio, SAP Customer Experience (or SAP CX for short) is the overall business capability and organisation. It consists of the five cloud solutions that make up SAP C/4HANA underpinned by the SAP Cloud Platform and integrated with SAP S/4HANA.
The organisation of the customer experience suite is focused on resources and architecture that make it easier to integrate customer-facing business processes with SAP S/4HANA and SAP Leonardo.
This also represents a simplification of several brands (SAP Hybris, YaaS, C4C, CallidusCloud, Gigya…) and branding terms (Beyond CRM, Customer Engagement and Commerce, Customer 360…) into just two:
- SAP Customer Experience – the business capability
- SAP C/4HANA – the product portfolio
Is it ready now?
Yes. The five cloud solutions are available today and there is already machine learning built into the core business processes. There is also plenty of integration content already present via APIs and SAP Cloud Platform Integration. Utilities customers globally have been implementing and operating one or more solutions of C/4HANA since 2016.
“SAP C/4HANA is the biggest development initiative within SAP by far.” – Hasso Plattner
At SAPPHIRE when SAP introduced SAP C/4HANA, Hasso Plattner stated that it was the biggest single development initiative within SAP by far. So, what are we working on?
- Developing and enhancing the five clouds as best of breed functionality.
- Giving the solution more suite-like attributes such as automated and consistent provisioning of the portfolio.
- A unified, next generation user experience that will be conversational, contextual and intelligent.
- Creating a unified approach to extensions by making the SAP Cloud Platform the default extension platform for all the solutions.
- A microservices platform on the SAP Cloud Platform, which will replace the discontinued YaaS.
- Improving, extending and deepening the integration of the existing solutions and acquisitions amongst themselves as well as providing unrivalled integration with the back office.
- Adjusting the C/4HANA suite and its solutions to the needs of the industry world-wide for competitive and regulated utility markets.
Some frequently asked questions
To clarify a few other points:
Is SAP C/4HANA just a rebranding? No. It is part rebranding, part the inclusion of new acquisitions and part roadmap, as discussed earlier.
Is SAP C/4HANA a replacement for SAP CRM? No. SAP CRM is a separate product focusing on the call center-oriented customer service functions that were first made available in 2004. Also, a wide variety but not all SAP CRM functions are being made available as part of S/4HANA Utilities for Customer Management, which is helping customers simplify their back-office by consolidating their on-premise system landscape. S/4 HANA Utilities for Customer Management is planned to fulfil back-office functions for C/4HANA for example in order fulfillment.
Is SAP C/4HANA ready now? Yes. There is also a comprehensive roadmap for additional features and functions.
Does SAP C/4HANA require SAP S/4HANA? No. It will integrate with ECC as well as S/4HANA and additionally can be deployed standalone without an SAP ERP back end.
Do I have to use all five cloud solutions in C/4HANA? No. They can be deployed standalone or in any combination.
Are SAP C/4HANA solutions only available in the cloud? No. For now, most C/4HANA solutions are also available on-premise, apart from SAP Sales Cloud and SAP Service Cloud.
Customer experience is key for companies that want to succeed. SAP C/4HANA is SAP’s fourth-generation in-memory customer experience suite that addresses the shift from legacy sales-only CRM products and instead focuses on the consumer. It lets businesses know in real time what their customer needs and can tap into the digital core of SAP S/4HANA in a way only SAP can.
Utilities and Energy providers know they need to prepare for the digital prosumer and open new revenue streams. To do this they will need multiple relationships with their customers via both commodity and non-commodity products and services for company and customer owned equipment.
SAP C/4HANA is ready now to cover these requirements and there is a comprehensive roadmap charting the way forward.