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Author's profile photo Pinaki Ray

The Idea of Giving Data Purpose in Intelligent Sales and Service

Giving Data Purpose in Intelligent Sales and Service.

In a recent meeting with a customer, the CIO mentioned that he has two main issues that need to be resolved. He wants to ensure he can provide intelligent data in applications to his internal users which are intuitive, and second to ensure he can make intelligent calls on data coming from the ecosystem of suppliers, partners, and consumers.

What that tells me is SAP customers really want to have concrete conversations around platform, technology and data management and want a platform that is open where necessary business adaptations can be carried out quickly.

During that conversation with the CIO, we tried to understand and identify the challenges experienced by businesses in sales and service.

  • There is immense cost pressure to ensure the business runs efficiently.
  • Customers are more empowered than ever before; they have information on their fingertips and are able to compare products and services whilst at the store for instance. We all have done that while browsing at Media Market store and in parallel checking offers online.
  • It is a challenge to identify new revenue streams. For e.g. Nutrition companies use non-traditional channels like Instagram to place their products endorsed by influencers.
  • Technology is changing rapidly, and the challenge is how to harness these emerging technologies to benefit your business.
  • New Business models is a big exam question, and pertinent as you have to beat non-traditional entrants entering your space.
  • Using customer feedback and redesigning products and launching them in the market has become cutthroat. Therefore, time to market lead times is critical in terms of existence and value.



It is good to know the above challenges, but we need to have a deeper understanding of the pain points.

  • Most of our customers are running only one SAP CX solution and a plethora of 3rd party CRM systems. Integration is a known hurdle and is paramount to IT objectives. And the customer is running processes that are fragmented, leading to inconsistent views for users and end customers.
  • In addition to that, customers are managing multiple data landscapes internally which store operational data. Further complexity is introduced with the influx of external data from a variety of sources.
  • A big question is to harness new technologies such as AI, ML, RPA, Blockchain, etc. and finding the business benefit out of their implementations.
  • Similarly, how can intelligent automation be introduced for various user groups within the company and customers, on the basis of optimized processes?
  • Not adapting to new ways of going to market in this digital age is simply not an option. The earlier example of nutrition or sports companies leveraging sports celebrities on social media is a method to reach out to millions of followers almost instantly.
  • Lastly beating new entrants in their game is a huge challenge faced by our customers. We have seen big names vanish in the last decade or two due to slow R&D and product development and lack of customer focus.

The solution to that is the SAP Business Technology Platform which offers support to address the challenges we have seen above. This needs to be translated into winning strategies, to lay the foundation for our customers to be competitive and relevant to their customers in the future.


  • Using SAP Cloud Platform Enterprise Integration (B2B integrations, Open Connectors, etc), Customer 360° view can be achieved. Knowing your customers completely is the first strategy for understanding who the customer is.
  • Also, it’s important to get external data to understand customers’ unarticulated needs using tools like Open Connectors.
  • In today’s world, customers and users are generating content such as ratings for business based on their perception of products and services. Recommendations to fellow buyers and peers.
  • You really win a customer when the customer has a problem and its resolved satisfactorily. Strategic focus can be zeroed on faster resolution times and reducing servicing costs by adopting technology innovations using SAP Machine Learning, iRPA (Intelligent Robotic Process Automation) and Conversational AI
  • The above can be done when standard processes are optimized by understanding potential improvements and redefining the processes to achieve operational excellence.
  • Time to Market-based on customers’ feedback, taking it back to R&D and redesigning the product or service is of utmost importance.
  • Customers can redesign their product offerings by packaging their product as Services with attractive pricing options, thereby generating new business models.
  • This strategy is of existential importance to beat new entrants entering your space.


It was clear to me that our customers want to transform their business. Else they will see new entrants eating their lunch. Transforming a business into an Intelligent Business is driven by data and that can only happen when quality data is exploited in a qualitative form to be used for user groups making key decisions.

Here we employ the formula Volume x Quality x Usage = Value to explain #GiveDataPurpose concept. This formula is from CDQ Whitepaper “Managing data as an asset supported by AI” from 2019, which has been developed with Uni St. Gallen and Universität de Lausanne.

We start by talking about the importance of Data Management as the cornerstone of any decision-making process. It starts with managing the lifecycle of data and understanding the various sources of data on-premises, cloud and external entities.

Data Management builds the foundation, with the right amount of data, granularity, and quality to ensure its optimal usage. The efficient usage of data will result in concrete value in terms of an increase in revenue potential and an increase in efficiency, which means overall positive performance and profits. Additional value also means the reduction in risks based on indicators and adherence to compliance.

The usage of data can be seen in three categories:

  • As a foundation for decision making
  • Optimization of business processes
  • Development of digital products, service and derive new business models


How have SAP Customers changed their business, let’s have a look.

An SAP customer in the hygiene industry has embarked on a digital transformation initiative with SAP to reinvent the management of the soap, disinfectant, towel, and paper dispensers used by its large-facility customers such as football stadiums. The goal was to use cloud and Internet of Things (IoT) technology combined with advanced analytics to modernize washroom facilities and help customers increase efficiency, boost customer satisfaction, and strengthen compliance with health regulations. The result was the introduction of a new product solution, which would transform their business model and enable the company to differentiate itself from the competition.

Similarly, another SAP customer has redefined Remote Heating Service systems and are offering it as a service, with data-driven predictive maintenance and service resolutions before their customers feel the pinch of service disruption.

Transformations can also begin small. A Telecommunications player in France allows customers to receive information about their latest invoices and data consumption, as well as the ability to manage personal settings directly via a bot on the company’s website. SAP Conversational AI  ensures 24/7 end customer service availability & handles more than 5000 messages per day, 20% of all conversations, all of which would have gone otherwise to persons.

The transformations were possible as necessary digitization initiatives were carried out across the board from modernizing applications, enterprise-wide integrations across systems, analyzing data points to understand new business patterns and rolling out new business models.

Therefore, SAP shows that the combination of data management plus injecting intelligent technologies like AI, ML, RPA to unearth new patterns and insights, will enable timely decision making and understanding indicators for new business growth, thereby facilitating customers to embark on data-driven innovation and help in redefining themselves in the marketplace.



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      Author's profile photo Prapat Tripathy
      Prapat Tripathy

      Nice Article Pinaki. 

      Indeed the key is  Business Technology Platform that solves business challenges encapsulating the underlying technology from hyper scalers that enable customers  time to market and remain competitive.

      Author's profile photo Armin Puehringer
      Armin Puehringer

      Well done.