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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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Low-cost wireless sport earphones get a kickstart

Wireless earphone brands are common, but not crowdfunded brands. BRYAN TURNER takes the K Sport Wireless for a run.

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As wireless technology becomes better, Bluetooth earphones have become popular in the consumer market. KuaiFit aspires to make them even more accessible to more people through a cheaper, quality product, by selling the K Sport Wireless Earphones directly from its Kickstarter page

KuaiFit has an app by the same name which offers voice-guided personal training services in almost every type of exercise, from cardio to weight-lifting. A vast range of connectivity to third-party sensors is available, like heart rate sensors and GPS devices, which work well with guided coaching. 

The app starts off with selecting a fitness level: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Thereafter, one has the ability to connect with real personal trainers via a subscription to its paid service. The subscription comes free for 6 months with the earphones, and R30 per month thereafter. 

The box includes a manual, a USB to two USB Type B connectors, different sized soft plastic eartips and the two earphone units. Each earphone is wireless and connects to the other independently of wires. This puts the K Sport Wireless in the realm of the Apple Earpods in terms of connection style. 

The earphones are just over 2cm wide and 2cm high. The set is black with a light blue KuaiFit logo on the earphone’s button. 

The button functions as an on/off switch when long-pressed and a play/pause button when quick-pressed. The dual-button set-up is convenient in everyday use, allowing for playback control depending on which hand is free. Two connectivity modes are available, single earphone mode or dual earphone mode. The dual earphone mode intelligently connects the second earphone and syncs stereo audio a few seconds after powering on. 

In terms of connectivity, the earphones are Bluetooth 4.1 with a massive 10-meter range, provided there are no obstacles between the device and the earphones. While it’s not Bluetooth 5, it still falls into the Bluetooth Low Energy connection category, meaning that the smartphone’s battery won’t be drastically affected by a consistent connection to the earphones. The batteries within the earphones aren’t specifically listed but last anywhere between 3 and 6 hours, depending on the mode. 

Audio quality is surprisingly good for earphones at this price point. The headset style is restricted to in-ear due to its small design and probable usage in movement-intensive activities. As a result, one has to be very careful how one puts these earphones, in because bass has the potential of getting reduced from an incorrect in-ear placement. In-ear earphones are usually notorious for ear discomfort and suction pain after extended usage. These earphones are one of the very few in this price range that are comfortable and don’t cause discomfort. The good quality of the soft plastic ear tip is definitely a factor in the high level of comfort of the in-ear earphone experience.

Overall, the K Sport Wireless earphones are great considering the sound quality and the low price: US$30 on Kickstarter.

Find them on Kickstarter here.

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Taxify enters Google Maps

A recent update to Taxify now uses Google Maps which allows users to identify their drivers, find public transport and search for billing options.

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People planning their travel routes using Google Maps will now see a Taxify icon in the app, in addition to the familiar car, public transport, walking and billing options.

Taxify started operating in South Africa in 2016 and as of October 2018 operates in seven South African cities – Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, Tshwane, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Polokwane.

Once riders have searched for their destination and asked the app for directions, Google Maps shares the proximity of cars on the Taxify platform, as well as an estimated fare for the trip.

If users see that taking the Taxify option is their best bet, they can simply tap on the ‘Open app’ icon, to complete the process of booking the ride. Customers without the app on their device will be prompted to install Taxify first.

This integration makes it possible for users to evaluate which of the private, public or e-hailing modes of transport are most time-efficient and cost-effective.

“This integration with Google Maps makes it so much easier for users to choose the best way to move around their city,” says Gareth Taylor, Taxify’s country manager for South Africa. “They’ll have quick comparisons between estimated arrival times for the different modes of transport, as well as fares they can expect to pay, which will help save both time and money,” he added.

Taxify rides in Google Maps are rolling out globally today and will be available in more than 15 countries, with South Africa being one of the first countries to benefit from this convenient service.

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