SAP CEO: It’s All About the Customer Experience

SAP CEO Bill McDermott, in a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg talked about enterprises moving to the cloud, competing with Oracle’s new autonomous database, competing with Salesforce, and its h...
SAP CEO: It’s All About the Customer Experience
Written by Rich Ord
  • SAP CEO Bill McDermott, in a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg talked about enterprises moving to the cloud, competing with Oracle’s new autonomous database, competing with Salesforce, and its huge business in China:

    SAP Has Taken Over the Enterprise Database Market

    Do you have a major move to the cloud? If legacy companies haven’t fully invested themselves in the cloud where they’ve converted their revenue streams more to cloud than on-premise I think you will see them make bold moves to get cloud-ready. No choice, that’s where the customer wants us.

    We obviously have taken over the enterprise database market with HANA. HANA has many of the characteristics that you mentioned (referencing Oracle). HANA can take data from any source, everything that is either structured or unstructured and data from any source in the enterprise. HANA is running the biggest enterprises in the world now with 25,000 customers at mass scale. We like our HANA database very much.

    It’s All About the Customer Experience

    We see a fourth-generation of CRM where we go beyond the current market participants. Basically, they focus on sales, marketing campaigns, things that essentially take money out of the customers pocket. What we want to do is focus on an omnichannel ecommerce world where we connect the demand chain because our customers are social, mobile and on the run. They shop in every channel, direct to consumer, wholesale, retail. We want to connect that demand chain to the supply chain so that we have a complete end-to-end business.

    Why is this so important? We are not just talking about CRM, we are talking about customer experience. The way CEOs think about their brand, their products, their human capital, their customers. All of the people inside of the company have to be completely committed to the customers outside the company. This is what we call fourth-generation CRM. It’s all about the customer experience.

    We’d Like to See China and the US Cooperate

    The most important thing is that we get paid to run businesses and work in an environment where we let government do what government does. All government leaders have to do what’s best for their country and best for their constituents. These tariffs are obviously a serious situation. You have the two largest economies in the world with $30 trillion in combined economic firepower that right now are at a little bit at odds with each other.

    It’s good, as we saw in today’s tweet, it was stated that at the G20 President Xi and President Trump will sit down and talk. That’s very encouraging to the market. Markets like certainty. So certainly we would like to see China and the US cooperate. It’s good for supply chain, it’s good for business.

    China is Regarded as SAP’s Second Home

    Germain engineering is highly regarding in China, as it is in the United States and around the world, but we do particularly well in China. China is our fastest growing market. We think that China is easily regarded as SAP’s second home in terms of market receptivity, ecosystem growth in China, and our long-term prospects. We think China will end up being the biggest market in the world soon.

    We have the most sophisticated data privacy in the world. We acquired a company called Gigya where we have billions and billions of customer records. We protect your privacy, we don’t let customers actually engage you unless you agree that you want to opt-in on various offerings from our customers and they serve their customers. We follow the same reference architecture, the same high-security standards and cloud standards in China that we do in Europe, the United States, and every other theater in the world.

    We are very confident in China in the way enterprises can serve their customers in China with high-security standards. We recently announced a very important partnership with Alibaba and that is a cloud partnership that will not only impact our growth in one of the fastest growing regions in the world.

    We Are Very Diverse and Highly Inclusive

    We actually have appointed in the last 12 months two women to our Executive Board, not just because they are women, but because they are great leaders. That would be Adaire Fox-Martin and Jennifer Morgan. If you look at our company we have a third of our workforce that is female and we also have a third of our leaders that are female.

    We are very diverse and highly inclusive. One of the things we really enjoy is what we have done with Autism at Work and now we have dedicated one percent of our hiring to autistic folks, at least on the spectrum somewhere, to help our workforce be highly productive and diverse. That extends also to the solutions that we have. If you look at success factors, the number one human capital solution in the world, we have a business without bias mentality.

    Computers don’t have bias. In the way we build the algorithms in the software they eliminate bias from the hiring process. The computer doesn’t have a bias. It looks for the best candidates and it fills an algorithm or model that the company is trying to get at. If you want 40 percent of your workforce to be diverse and inclusive, the model is built to do that for you. You don’t leave it up to humans, you let the software do the work and then the human judgment comes in at the final phase of hiring. It’s changing companies everywhere.

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