PLATINUM SPONSOR 2019
SAP stands for Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing. SAP was founded in 1972 in Walldorf, Germany and now has offices around the world. Originally known for leadership in enterprise resource planning (ERP) software, SAP has evolved to become a market leader in end-to-end enterprise application software, database, analytics, intelligent technologies, and experience management. A top cloud company with 200 million users worldwide, SAP helps businesses of all sizes and in all industries to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and achieve their purpose.
General Manager Consumer Industries EMEA South, SAP
Interview with Hichem Maya
Analysing New Customer Experiences
Interviewer: Ok, so first of all can you introduce yourself?
HM: Yes, I’m Hichem Maya, the General Manager for consumer industries, for the South Europe, Middle East, North Africa region for SAP.
I: So, we are at this retail fair. Can you tell me your point of view of retail?
HM: So, we see retail and in general the consumer industry absolutely as a part of the digital hurricane, so the big transformations that happened in retail are key for us to understand how can we best address them with our solutions, so we do a lot of research, we talk a lot with our clients, we look into the industry and understand what are the key drivers. If you look at a classical retail establishment today, there are different challenges that it’s facing. One of the challenges are everything around, insta-commerce for instance, social media, the influence of social media on the behaviour of the consumer, on the other side the new generations X, Y, Z, the permanent distraction of these generations, permanently focusing on their mobile phones so: no loyalty to a certain brand, for instance, permanently changing ideas…on the other side you have sustainability and you have everything around ethics and the manufacturing process and last but not least, all the hypest, like the really new company, very aggressively coming of pure internet commerce that are tech for established retailers. And of course, the entire logistics chain, the instant gratification that the consumer wants: I order something and I want it immediately. So, looking at all this context we want to understand how can a retailer really survive and thrive and generate business outcomes. So our perspective is experience is the most important. If you look at most of the presentations here, they were really about the experience of the consumer. What does this mean? It means that looking at how a consumer really engages, how he feels along the entire cycle, from the moment he wants to purchase something until he purchases it again. So really from the moment he is targeted by a certain campaign and he starts to check the availability on the web, he goes to a store, orders online, until the moment he checks out all the interactions with the different humans, the different technologies available…. All this would be important at the end for this consumer, to be an advocate and an ambassador for the brand or not. So we see that it’s important to have a combination between the experience and the operational data, so we call it the O and the X world coming together: the operational data like about hard facts, sales figures, the profitability of certain campaigns, stock availability, revenue, combining this with the feelings and the experience data of the consumer, of the brand, of the employee. Combining these two together on one platform, and this is what SAP provides, we call it digital platform that addresses the intelligence of data from these two aspects, and bring them together and help them to address the consumer with superior value. This is what we do from SAP, it’s a business model company providing both the X and the O areas: operation and experience.
I: So for you it’s interesting to be here because you’re more in contact with people?
HM: I think for us the most important is customer contact, of course, getting to know our clients, future opportunities, to understand what is our offering, to put our offering in the context of the entire fair, meaning the story, to have a storytelling retail, we have a number of demos here that really are focused on storytelling, about to help retailers derive business outcome from technology. And this is what we’re showcasing here: first there are a lot of opportunities that it’s important we obtain from this event, on the other side we’re discussing with partners, other clients and companies here, trying to identify partnerships for the future and of course key notes sharing our perspective with the bigger audience.
I: I was going to ask you about that… it’s also interesting to have a lot of people, important people from retail, here in the same place, in Barcelona…
HM: Yes, yes. It’s absolutely important. I think it’s also important for you to advertise beyond Spain, to have an international audience here, and hopefully next year we’ll be even more packed.
I: How are you finding the fair in general, the conferences, how is it going?
HM: I love the conferences, you have a great selection of presenters, it’s great because there are a lot of questions from the audience, you have round tables, a mixture between very innovative ideas, between round tables… It’s a perfect mix, I just think the footfall is not that big so it would be great to get more people here so it could get really packed so you can really drive the value out of this investment.
I: It’s only the first year, so… but will you repeat next year?
HM: I cannot comment on that, I have to ask my colleagues to organize that…
I: But would you like to?
HM: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. It will be improving in terms of participation, and definitely yeah.