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SAP cracks open customer habits

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SAP has announced new integrated digital enterprise technologies that are intended to transform the relationships companies have with their customers.

SAP plans to unleash a powerful portfolio of SAP hybris tools that are envisioned to enable in-the-moment customer profiling, digital commerce and community development, empowering an organization’s front office to stay connected with the frequently shifting needs of its customers and prospects and enabling companies to go beyond customer relationship management (CRM) into a new era of digital connectedness, customer service and support.

“Companies can no longer rely on the costly, siloed systems of yesterday to engage with their customers, who are savvy, multidevice digital natives. They want their needs understood and met — right now and every time,” said Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP SE. “Legacy cloud-based CRM technologies create business complexity because their foundations predate the rise of social media and mobility. Companies today need innovative, integrated solutions that simplify the front office, making them easy to do business with and fostering greater customer engagement.”

In today’s digital world, businesses need to connect the front office and back office in real time — linking people, inventory, supply chain, pricing and customers together. This means that the new front office must go beyond the traditional marketing, sales and service automation functions and include integrated, real-time personalization, Web and mobile commerce, social customer service and more. Planned tools from SAP are envisioned to simplify the front office, helping businesses get a single, contextual view of their customers while giving each customer a consistent, personalized experience across all channels.

SAP hybris Profile Aimed to Derive Insights into Customer Habits

The planned SAP hybris Profile solution is intended to serve as the customer-centric foundation of the system, capturing all interactions, contexts and behaviors to create a continually evolving and dynamic profile of the customer. With these insights, the system is envisioned to surface actions for real-time, one-to-one engagement with every customer across all touchpoints. Specifically, SAP hybris Profile is planned to:

  • Create a real-time dynamic profile of customers
  • Capture customer interactions, contexts and behaviors
  • Enable businesses to deliver a new wave of customer experience capabilities
  • Continuously enrich the profile
  • Feature specialized design for maximum flexibility and massive scale

“The Yankees use the most modern technology available to engage with our fans, wherever and however we can,” said Mike Lane, vice president and CIO, Technology & Broadcasting, for the Yankees. “Solutions like the ones SAP envisions can help sports organizations deliver consistent and contextual experiences across every channel and touchpoint, which is exactly what our fans have come to expect from us.”

SAP hybris Customer Experience for Cross-Touchpoint Experiences

SAP hybris Customer Experience software is envisioned to be the omnichannel delivery capability of the future, offering the visual contextualization of the customer’s experience. The solution is planned to offer:

·       A next-generation, responsive omnichannel content management system

·       Management and delivery of dynamic, targeted, consistent content, offers, products and service interactions

·       A focus on cross-touchpoint real-time optimization and context

·       A tool set for customers and partners to develop experiences for a variety of uses

·       Integration with other SAP hybris products for simplified deployment and management of integrated experiences

“We are now in an era where customer engagement is a top-of-mind initiative for businesses across the spectrum,” said Paul Greenberg, president of The 56 Group and author of CRM at the Speed of Light. “Reimagining CRM, finding ways to interact in a more personalized way with customers and being able to understand how a customer is thinking and acting so that intelligent actions can be taken is the way of this new world. SAP’s focus on this is smart — very smart in fact — and makes the choices that customers have when it comes to technology that much richer.”

SAP hybris as a Service on SAP HANA Cloud Platform Envisioned as Platform for Innovation

Intended to become the modular business microservices layer for the planned SAP hybris front office on SAP HANA Cloud Platform, SAP hybris as a Service is envisioned to help customers to stay ahead of the curve by providing community, autonomy and simplicity. Planned features include:

·       Innovation in the cloud and integration with SAP hybris applications

·       An ecosystem of solution providers accelerating innovation with low cost and low barriers to implementation

·       Microservices to administrate functionalities

·       A cloud delivery model for frictionless and cost-efficient consumption of functionality

“SAP hybris as a Service is envisioned to offer a wide range of diverse business services, further simplifying the front office and driving a stronger community for customer engagement,” said Scott Mager, customer engagement and commerce practice leader, Deloitte Digital. “SAP hybris as a Service is intended to offer easily digestible packages for fast integration, and to help us take the companies we work with beyond CRM.”

Broad Ecosystem Support 

Recognizing the opportunity, many leading SAP partners are at the forefront to help turn the SAP vision into a reality. Thousands of professionals from global consultancies and agencies such as Accenture, Capgemini, Deloitte Digital, IBM and Publicis.Sapient are being trained and certified on SAP solutions for customer engagement and commerce. SAP is also collaborating closely with a strong set of software partners, including DocuSign, GENBAND, OpenText and Sprinklr, with the aim of integrating key technologies with its newest solutions to unlock even more value for its customers in the areas of electronic signatures, real-time communications and the management of digital assets and social campaigns.

“We started Nestlé’s journey into personalized consumer and customer experiences, and we are orchestrating this complex digital ecosystem on the foundation of SAP solutions for customer engagement,” said Filippo Catalano, chief digital operations officer, Nestlé. “This enables us to engage our brand prospects throughout their own unique journey, from insights to advocacy, building our great brands further via real-time, tailored interactions, on a suite of scalable solutions that better serve our digital ambitions.”

SAP HANA Cloud Platform is an open platform as a service providing unique in-memory database and business application services that enable customers to easily extend SAP applications and integrate with other cloud applications. To support the growing demand for innovative business process differentiators beyond CRM, SAP now offers the SAP Cloud for Customer solution bundled with SAP HANA Cloud Platform to enable companies to rapidly implement projects for fast ROI.

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Earth 2050: memory chips for kids, telepathy for adults

An astonishing set of predictions for the next 30 years includes a major challenge to the privacy of our thoughts.

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By 2050, most kids may be fitted with the latest memory boosting implants, and adults will have replaced mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought.

These are some of the more dramatic forecasts in Earth 2050, an award-winning, interactive multimedia project that accumulates predictions about social and technological developments for the upcoming 30 years. The aim is to identify global challenges for humanity and possible ways of solving these challenges. The website was launched in 2017 to mark Kaspersky Lab’s 20th birthday. It comprises a rich variety of predictions and future scenarios, covering a wide range of topics.

Recently a number of new contributions have been added to the site. Among them Lord Martin Rees, the UK’s Astronomer Royal, Professor at Cambridge University and former President of the Royal Society; investor and entrepreneur Steven Hoffman, Peter Tatchell, human rights campaigner, along withDmitry Galov, security researcher and Alexey Malanov, malware analyst at Kaspersky Lab.

The new visions for 2050 consider, among other things:

  • The replacement of mobile devices with direct connectivity through brain implants, powered by thought – able to upload skills and knowledge in return – and the impact of this on individual consciousness and privacy of thought.
  • The ability to transform all life at the genetic level through gene editing.
  • The potential impact of mistakes made by advanced machine-learning systems/AI.
  • The demise of current political systems and the rise of ‘citizen governments’, where ordinary people are co-opted to approve legislation.
  • The end of the techno-industrial age as the world runs out of fossil fuels, leading to economic and environmental devastation.
  • The end of industrial-scale meat production, as most people become vegan and meat is cultured from biopsies taken from living, outdoor reared livestock.

The hypothetical prediction for 2050 from Dmitry Galov, security researcher at Kaspersky Lab is as follows: “By 2050, our knowledge of how the brain works, and our ability to enhance or repair it is so advanced that being able to remember everything and learn new things at an outrageous speed has become commonplace. Most kids are fitted with the latest memory boosting implants to support their learning and this makes education easier than it has ever been. 

“Brain damage as a result of head injury is easily repaired; memory loss is no longer a medical condition, and people suffering from mental illnesses, such as depression, are quickly cured.  The technologies that underpin this have existed in some form since the late 2010s. Memory implants are in fact a natural progression from the connected deep brain stimulation implants of 2018.

“But every technology has another side – a dark side. In 2050, the medical, social and economic impact of memory boosting implants are significant, but they are also vulnerable to exploitation and cyber-abuse. New threats that have appeared in the last decade include the mass manipulation of groups through implanted or erased memories of political events or conflicts, and even the creation of ‘human botnets’. 

“These botnets connect people’s brains into a network of agents controlled and operated by cybercriminals, without the knowledge of the victims themselves.  Repurposed cyberthreats from previous decades are targeting the memories of world leaders for cyber-espionage, as well as those of celebrities, ordinary people and businesses with the aim of memory theft, deletion of or ‘locking’ of memories (for example, in return for a ransom).  

“This landscape is only possible because, in the late 2010s when the technologies began to evolve, the potential future security vulnerabilities were not considered a priority, and the various players: healthcare, security, policy makers and more, didn’t come together to understand and address future risks.”

For more information and the full suite of inspirational and thought-provoking predictions, visit Earth 2050.

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How load-shedding is killing our cellphone signals

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Extensive load-shedding, combined with the theft of cell tower backup batteries and copper wire, is placing a massive strain on mobile network providers.

MTN says the majority of MTN’S sites have been equipped with battery backup systems to ensure there is enough power on site to run the system for several hours when local power goes out and the mains go down. 

“With power outages on the rise, these back-up systems become imperative to keeping South Africa connected and MTN has invested heavily in generators and backup batteries to maintain communication for customers, despite the lack of electrical power,” the operator said in a statement today.

However, according to Jacqui O’Sullivan, Executive: Corporate Affairs, at MTN SA, “The high frequency of the cycles of load shedding have meant batteries were unable to fully recharge. They generally have a capacity of six to 12 hours, depending on the site category, and require 12 to 18 hours to recharge.”

An additional challenge is that criminals and criminal syndicates are placing networks across the country at risk. Batteries, which can cost R28 000 per battery and upwards, are sought after on black markets – especially in neighbouring countries. 

“Although MTN has improved security and is making strides in limiting instances of theft and vandalism with the assistance of the police, the increase in power outages has made this issue even more pressing,” says O’Sullivan.

Ernest Paul, General Manager: Network Operations at SA’s leading network provider MTN, says the brazen theft of batteries is an industry-wide problem and will require a broader initiative driven by communities, the private sector, police and prosecutors to bring it to a halt.

“Apart from the cost of replacing the stolen batteries and upgrading the broken infrastructure, communities suffer as the network degrades without the back-up power. This is due to the fact that any coverage gaps need to be filled. The situation is even more dire with the rolling power cuts expected due to Eskom load shedding.”

Loss of services and network quality can range from a 2-5km radius to 15km on some sites and affect 5,000 to 20,000 people. On hub sites, network coverage to entire suburbs and regions can be lost.

Click here to read more about efforts to combat copper theft.

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