e-point was a Golden Partner of this year's edition of SAP Forum and SAP Retail Day – a Roadshow conference, addressed to the retail industry. At the last week's event, together with SAP, we addressed expectations expressed by the business during the Forum in April, putting up a construction of a new house for retail businesses. We are now sharing the key insights.
Buzzwords in organizations
During the Forum we hosted two partner roundtable sessions. We gave up on the regular product presentation to ask the participants about the meaning of technological trends for the business. We wanted to find out what is the actual impact of such terms as “The Internet of Things,” “Big Data,” “gamification,” or “omnichannel.” We then compared these personal opinions with the observations of Gartner, who monitors the life cycle of these trends year on year.
The discussion triggered this way allowed the participants to express the expectations of business in the process of transformation towards digital economy. We heard that neither the terms in themselves, nor the technologies behind them, represent a business value. What counts in the first place are specific plans and solutions.
When it comes to the trends, omnichannel, or the cross-channel customer approach, more and more often called and understood as hybrid commerce, got the highest score among the participants. Although “omnichannel” was, indeed, classified as a popular buzzword, potentially it may bring business value. It has been pretty well defined by now and, above all, it concentrates on specific actions related to customers, which is on what business in itself concentrates.
75 – where the risk ends and value begins
We can look at the technology behind omnichannel in a similar way. 75% of the functionality needed to execute the hybrid commerce strategy in retail has already been defined. It is a common basis necessary to enable sales – payments, delivery, product catalogue management (PIM), order management (OMS), or experience management (EXM). The remaining 25% potentially may bring substantial business value.
It is this 25% of the technology that concentrates on specific actions related to a given company's customers. It embraces the specifics of its products, target groups, touchpoints with the customers and their individual paths, or the characteristics of the different communication and sales channels.
Developing a hybrid commerce system from scratch poses a very high risk of multiple budget and delivery time overruns. Such greenfield projects may be tempting, as they offer virtually unlimited capabilities of adjusting the solution to the business' individual needs.
However, if we recall that 75% of these needs are, essentially, universal, it becomes apparent that in order to earn a competitive advantage it is better to concentrate on the 25% that this advantage brings than on reinventing the wheel.
Business is not a software house
Programming platforms, called software frameworks, serve maintaining this "Pareto principle." Grand software houses ensure their continuous development. In cooperation with the business, they secure the innovation cycle so that the core 75% could always be up to date with the trends and correspond with the current needs. Among the commerce platforms of the leading vendors SAP hybris Commerce is the top-rated one, according to Forrester . It is the only framework capable of serving a true omnichannel experience.
"The hybris Commerce Suite is a ready-to-use framework that will enable you to jump-start your implementation and easily build and maintain a feature-rich omni-channel commerce solution."
In the digital economy, as SAP Forum attendees admitted, what counts in the first place are specified plans and solutions. hybris Commerce is a specified solution based on explicit plans, which enables businesses to concentrate on their customers.
See the photos from the conference:
e-point and SAP joint presentations at SAP Retail Day 2016 – hybris Marketing and hybris Commerce:
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