By SAP News

Students from the University of Magdeburg have implemented SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence powered by SAP HANA on an HP system. Read on to discover what the four solutions can do.

Market conditions and customer needs are changing fast, companies are becoming ever more global, and the pressure to cut costs is increasing. Where can savings be made? How are resources distributed? To answer these questions, product and service providers need one thing above all: comprehensive knowledge about their customers, gathered from all possible sources, meaningfully integrated, and consolidated to create genuinely valuable information.

Thanks to real-time data analysis, SAP HANA can make business processes happen much faster. This means that, while data volumes are increasing, analysis results are of a better quality and can be collected more efficiently. Ultimately, processes – in sales, for example – can be accelerated and improved. Enterprises have now widely accepted these benefits. For example, around 42% of the companies recently surveyed by Gartner were already using big data applications or planned to do so in the near future.

Individual customer approach through new applications

Students at the University of Magdeburg’s University Competence Center (UCC) got to know SAP HANA as part of a strategic cooperation project between the university and Hewlett Packard. They implemented the new high-performance application (HPA) SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence powered by SAP HANA, configured it, and then added sample data for B2C and B2B scenarios. The solutions they built run on an HP AppSystem for SAP HANA platform. SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence powered by SAP HANA comprises four independently deployable applications. Each of the solutions has a specific task and translates findings from the analyses into practical decision-support for marketing and sales departments:

  • Customer Value Intelligence takes a targeted approach to investigating the customer contribution to the company’s financial results and determines customer value in real time. The tool provides dashboards and reports, for example, about each and every customer’s contribution margin, relationship analysis, or portfolio analysis. Markets can be divided strategically into segments to create scorecards, identify white spaces, and analyze customer behavior. This enables sales departments to make suitable offers and steer resources toward promising customers, channels, and products.
  • Account Intelligence for iPad: What use is the best information if field employees on the road don’t receive it in real-time to support them in making decisions at the right moment? Account Intelligence for iPad transfers the findings from Customer Value Intelligence to mobile employees’ iPads on their way to or at the customer. Even the selection of the route can be optimized, because customers are grouped visually according to loyalty, value, and region. Once at the customer, the data enables better spontaneous decisions and targeted offerings, which are based on a comprehensive and clearly displayed view of the customer. The experience gathered by field sales employees is immediately incorporated into new target-group definitions and can be transferred to the system.
  • Audience Discovery and Targeting: This application enables the segmentation of large customer quantities using different SAP or non-SAP data sources directly on SAP HANA. Furthermore, the tool takes predictive information to optimize existing target groups. The solution segments customers using hierarchical decision-trees, determines each customer’s future buying propensity with predicative analyses, and – if required – triggers segment-specific or channel-specific sales initiatives. All this makes the path from information to action shorter.
  • Social Contact Intelligence: This application analyzes contacts across all channels and sources – from browsing habits in social networks through data from internal business applications. The opinions and the mood of individual customers are no longer a mystery, but become clearly visible. Customers can now be categorized and addressed according to activity and sentiment. If required, this enables companies to react directly and fast, be it to interest from buyers or to a feared wave of indignation on social network sites.
Automotive marketing: targeted offerings with SAP CRM on SAP HANA

Many customers find it difficult to imagine how the use of this technology will actually impact their company. A demo scenario based on the automotive industry using SAP CRM on SAP HANA aims to make targeted offers to prospects with a probable intention to purchase, instead of spreading offers more widely and wasting resources.

This strategy involves deducing a customer’s willingness to buy not only from their past purchase history, but also from the opinions and intentions they express in forums or on social networks, which can now be integrated with SAP CRM analyses on SAP HANA. The automotive manufacturer therefore divides its customer data – which has been enriched with information from social networks – from five million customers into four categories: age, current vehicle model, comments in social networks, and sentiment expressed in the comments (very positive, positive, neutral, negative). Ultimately, only those customers will be actively approached who achieve certain targets in all four areas. Analyzing the database in question takes around 2.5 minutes with SAP HANA. Previously, such analyses were either not possible at all, because data from social networks could not be integrated into the SAP CRM environment, or they took hours or even days – which was simply too long for today’s fast-paced markets.

Data protection limits the benefits of big data

However, each case is different with big data applications. Examples like the one above have a limited validity. Each big data project requires an exact analysis of the usable datasets and the information sought. In Germany, too, strict data protection regulations must be observed if projects are to be implemented in accordance with the law.

Martin Peterson is Executive Program Director CRM, HP Enterprise Services.

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