Customers drive the strategy at #SAPPHIRENOW

Behind the scenes at event

Customer empathy.

That was the key theme Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, drove home as he kicked off at SAPPHIRE NOW, the 2016 ASUG Annual Conference happening this week in Orlando, Florida. As McDermott sees it, we are now in a customer-to-business economy.

Business-to-customer, and business-to-business-to-customer, are gone. And those who fail to see that, who refuse to put customers at the center of their strategy, won’t survive.

Technology has increasingly enabled consumers to do more with greater ease – order household goods, reserve a car, monitor their pets at home when they’re away, control the thermostat. Mobile devices and the pervasive internet of things have put information literally at consumers’ fingertips, helping them to make faster and better informed decisions.

The challenge: Keeping up with customers

But as consumers can do more, they demand more. Organizations are struggling to understand and keep up with what customers want and how they want to consume products and services.

To stay ahead, McDermott says organizations must put customers first and truly empathize with their challenges and needs. What innovations, efficiencies, and solutions will help drive their business forward? Think of not just what your customers need, but what their expectations are.

Expert advice

At the show, a series of panelists offered their takes on how to use customer empathy to drive the development of new technology. Following is their advice:

  1. Meet customers and end users where they are.

Consumers expect contextual information around every interaction and transaction they make. To provide this, you should integrate your technologies or solutions with the systems, apps, or locations in which they make the most decisions.

Going further, using a single information platform to integrate these systems gives you instant access to real-time information, making it easier to provide better, faster service. The right solution will have a powerful integration with your SAP system that presents relevant documents and information without making end users switch screens or systems. The information users need is right there.

     2. Simplify.

Centralize people, processes, and information into one system. Whether for your own organization or your customers’, moving away from the disparate systems model reduces business complexity and lets people focus on the big picture and outcomes, rather than chasing down answers.

  1. Innovate before they ask for it.

Collect and analyze customer data to predict the solutions they’ll want next. For example, mine customer forums and reviews for consistent or emerging trends. Build new apps and functionalities based on insights from the most frequent customer questions and comments. But most importantly, listen to what your customers are saying.

Integrating your SAP or other line-of-business system with the right information platform will accelerate your current business processes to help you better serve your own customers and end users.

Not only that, you can also:

  • Pay your customers faster
  • Process sales orders more efficiently
  • Resolve customer or vendor service issues more easily
  • Manage employee requests more effectively

How does that sound?

If you’re at #SAPPHIRENOW and want to know more, come see us in booth #1273.

Danielle Simer

Danielle Simer

Danielle Simer is a marketing portfolio manager at Hyland. Her mission is to share best practices and evangelize the power of enterprise content management (ECM) as a tool to automate paper-based processes and improve operations across accounting and finance, human resources, and contract management. Danielle joined Hyland after more than six years with a research and advisory firm devoted to helping senior executives manage their departments and teams more effectively. She received her bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and her MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business.

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