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Four Questions:

How SAP stays humanly relevant

New technologies are bringing humans together as never before. Yet, too often, this sense of connection resides only on the surface. Technology providers must desire to connect with business decision-makers on a humanly relevant level.

SAP Digital COO Madhur Aggarwal, who is one of our outstanding client partners, took a few moments to share how his company has created a culture that nurtures and inspires great, customer-centric thinking.

01
Madhur Aggarwal, COO of SAP Digital

CB:
Technology can often feel cold. How do you make your products humanly relevant?
MA:
People are now more aware than ever of how technology impacts their lives. They are more receptive to that message as well. But it is still key to think about and communicate what technology enables for that customer — moving from products to end-to-end experiences.
We have an end-to-end customer experience map that is board-approved and our single source of truth. With it, customers are at the center of all activities – from design/development to consumption.
For our products, the focus is on the consumer-grade experience. For example, we have invested heavily in our user interface/user experience with SAP Fiori. It’s the new face of SAP to business users that transforms business applications from process-centric to user-centric experiences.
To keep this customer focus continually evolving at SAP, we have created AppHaus. Here we invent the latest SAP apps. With 15 locations worldwide, we have developers, product managers, testers and designers all working in the same open space. It’s an environment that fosters collaboration, breaks down silos and accelerates innovation.
There are 400 apps that now incorporate SAP Fiori, which helps make the user experience personalized, responsive and simple.

02
Reimagine marketing to capture the voice of the market

CB:
How is this customer focus reflected in your marketing?
MA:
For the last three years, “Humanize the Brand” and “Audience Marketing” have been core pillars of our marketing. This year, we are taking it to the next level with “Run Simple.” To exemplify this idea, we are designing an inspired, unified and differentiated experience designed around the customer as the centerpiece of the strategy.
Each one of us serves as an ambassador for SAP. We will empower marketers to reimagine marketing to capture the voice of the market. This includes a clear articulation of our message supported by substantive content – thought leadership and storytelling that inspires, engages and informs customers and audiences throughout their experience.
CB:
In this digital age, transformation is everything. What does transformation look like at SAP?
MA:
This is the essence of my new job at SAP Digital. SAP Digital is our business unit responsible for generating pull and delivering both e-commerce and digital native offerings to our customers and users. They can discover, try, buy, implement, use and renew our solutions in a simple, low-touch or no-touch online interaction.
Our mission is to make “Run Simple” a reality for customers and consumers who engage with us online. We want the focus to be on new offerings, new revenue, new audiences and to create new business opportunities through new offerings that appeal to individual buyers.
In parallel, over the last 12 months we have undertaken a “rehaul” of our Web properties that has resulted in:

50 percent reduction in the number of websites
49 percent fewer social channels
$3.4 million in 2014 cost avoidance
40 percent reduction in complexity in social channels via consolidation

03

CB:
How do you create a culture where the focus is always on the person on the other side of the screen?
MA:
We take an outside-in approach. We do not have a culture focused on the person literally “on the other side of the screen” simply because we live in an omnichannel world.
We can no longer make the distinction between digital and physical. An integrated approach is now required. And that hinges on creating a culture that promotes risk, data-driven insights and a sharing of information and best practices. It means putting trust in employees to take true ownership of their roles and act on opportunities that will positively impact customers.