SAP Puts a Bullseye on Salesforce.com
TAKE NOTE (Insights into Emerging Technology)
Betting it can expand and elevate the CRM market as digital business is reshaping the global economy, SAP is taking direct aim at SaaS powerhouse Salesforce.com and its market leadership in CRM with SAP CEO Bill McDermott promising to deliver “next-generation business modeling for the perfect customer experience.”
SAP’s going all-in on its belief that its bigger and broader portfolio of SaaS applications—including broad sets of apps for HCM, ERP and CRM—will give it a significant competitive advantage over Salesforce because SAP’s wider range of apps will allow its B2B customers to know more and understand more about their consumers—and that those deeper insights will help those B2B companies create new business models centered on what customers want rather than what the seller happens to be able to deliver.
Using SAP’s recent digital-transformation engagement with Emirates Airline to highlight that distinction, McDermott hammered on the paradigm shift in the CRM market away from an orientation around the salesperson to a 360-degree focus on the customer.
“Emirates is a great example in terms of next-generation CRM versus Salesforce pipelines and leads and forecast calls. We’re now talking about next-generation business modeling for the perfect customer experience, including the financial implications of what seat they get, what treatment, what service provision that they get, including customizing the trip just for them,” McDermott said.
“So if I’m in coach, but it’s my birthday and I want a bottle of champagne, in that customer experience online I expect you to deliver that, Emirates. So that personalized CRM—down to the individual consumer calling the shots—is where it’s going,” McDermott explained.
“It’s the customer’s customer, it’s mass customization at scale in a highly personalized way—and that requires a common data model, a common platform and an unbelievable end-to-end capability so that you can satisfy the perfect experience.
McDermott expanded on the ability of a broad and fully integrated suite, supported by a common data model, to deliver that type of superb customer experience that he believes will become the norm in most businesses:
- “With Hybris, we got omnichannel e-commerce.”
- “We have our own SFA and marketing that we have developed organically.”
- “We tucked in Gigya [a recent acquisition] so we would have the customer profile and the GDPR requirements of that customer under control in an omnichannel e-commerce world.”
- “And recently, we announced Callidus because we want to own the lead-to-cash process. So we’re deep now into the psyche of the sales professional because we’re in their pipeline.”
- “We’re now into how they configure price and quote a service or product—and that also ties to how they get compensated on that sale….. We use it ourselves to run SAP. It’s a nice tuck-in, and it’s going to present enormous challenges for our competition.”
“That’s the new CRM. That’s the one SAP intends to take over.”
DIG DEEPER What does SAP mean by 360-degree focus on the customer?
UNDER DEVELOPMENT (Insights into Emerging Technology)
Building your First Appian Quick App
Last month we took a high-level view of the Appian intelligent BPM (iBPM) platform. We saw that Appian iBPM Solutions remain the best-in-class primarily due to its focus on the business user by enabling them to improve business decisions. The Appian Platform is designed to make it easy to build robust enterprise applications with a combination of low-code development and business process management (iBPM) tools. So let’s build our first Appian Application together…
Get The Appian FREE Trial
You can register for a free trial. Appian will not accept non-business emails for the trial, so you will need to use your work email. If Appian does not accept your credentials, then you can try again or contact customer support for a download key.
Appian will send you a verification email. After you verify your email address, Appian will email you a username, a one-time link to the free trial, and a temporary password. The link expires after one week. Click on the link, enter your information, and you will arrive at the Appian Platform Home Page. Go ahead and sign in..
Creating an Appian Quick App
Click on the red “Get Started” button. This will take you to the Quick Apps Designer page. This is the home page for where you can build BPM applications customized to your needs. It’s called an app development area, but Appian has designed it so that you don’t need coding or development skills. The idea is that anyone can use the interactive tools to create a workflow that tracks data in spreadsheets, documents, emails, and so on. Appian designed to be easy to create and modify, so let’s see walk through an example…
Creating a Quick App is a 3 step process:
1. Name and describe your Quick App.
2. Design the interfaces
3. Share access with others
Name and Design Your Quick App
Open the Quick App Wizard by clicking on the New Quick App button. It’s a little hard to see because it has no color, but it’s on the top left of the Quick App Home Page.
Q&A (Post your questions and get the answers you need)
Q. Our AppDev lead keeps asking the team to explore the use of ABAP channels. I have never heard of this. Is this something new?
A. ABAP channels enable event-driven communication and implement a publish/
subscribe mechanism. The ABAP messaging channel acts as a broker for the message
exchange between ABAP sessions in different application servers. Any ABAP session can subscribe to channels, and any ABAP session can publish messages through channels.
There are 2 types of ABAP channels –
ABAP messaging channels
Designed to send messages between programs running on different application
ABAP push channels
Designed to send messages to and from the Internet using WebSockets. ABAP push channels are used in web applications such as Web Dynpro ABAP, SAPUI5.
So, to drive this home, lets take an example…
Say you have an ALV report that displays up-to-date sales data. This report fetches
the sales data from the database and displays it as a report output. While you’re looking at the report output, if any new sales are entered in the system, those new sales won’t appear in the report.
What if you want the report to always display up-to-date sales data? One way of doing this is to refresh the report frequently or use the CL_GUI_TIMER class to auto-refresh the report. However, this approach will put an unnecessary load on the database.
What would be useful is a mechanism through which the report could be informed to refresh as soon as data is updated in the database. This is where ABAP channels and messages can be used. Using ABAP channels, the program that updates the data can act as a producer and raise a message to which the ALV report can subscribe as a subscriber.