If anyone knows about customer engagement and commerce, it’s Jamie Anderson. With 18 years of experience in customer relations and marketing for major global companies such as Adobe, Siebel Systems and SAP, he is well-known for his cutting-edge insights into what tickles our buying bones in the digital age.
Based in Edinburgh, UK, Anderson is the senior VP for marketing and customer engagement and commerce (or CEC, a segment he helped create) at SAP hybris.
As a senior VP, Anderson has to manage and coordinate teams across the globe. From the Asia-Pacific region to Palo Alto, California, he regularly keeps tabs on his various teams at SAP. He doesn’t work a regular nine-to-five schedule as his job often demands him to be available for an hour or two in the evenings since he is working with colleagues across so many time zones.
Digital transformation is at the forefront of the business world these days, and Anderson is dedicated to cementing SAP’s position as the industry leader in that arena.
“Around (our key audiences) we have to build a thought leadership position or a vision for the market in each of them,” Anderson says. “We want to be the key influencers, analysts, and thought leaders across those audiences.”
He goes to say, “B2B companies are looking at what digital transformation means for them, so we construct a narrative around that topic throughout the year and produce content which relates to solving that particular business problem.”
SAP is one of the largest enterprise software companies in the world, neck-and-neck for the #1 spot with Oracle and IBM. hybris was acquired by SAP in 2013 in an effort to strengthen their position in the e-commerce space. It’s an enterprise software company that specializes in omnichannel e-commerce solutions. With its suite of tools, businesses can better analyze consumer behaviours and produce contextualized marketing initiatives to effectively target their customers.
Recently, hybris launched hybris-as-a-service, or YaaS, which is a front-office cloud-based ecommerce platform. It is currently in beta with an official launch scheduled for the second half of 2015, but it will soon be fully integrated into the hybris CEC portfolio.
Anderson feels that YaaS will go a long way in speeding along business development in the e-commerce space, a process that has been relatively slow. Customer engagement relies on how fast an enterprise can go, but many companies are encumbered by out-dated technology.
When a company puts in place an e-commerce solution then it’s inherently linked to the on-premise environment that exists at that company, Anderson notes. “Over the years they look to maybe reduce IT costs and so on, but they also look at how they can integrate effectively to their existing platforms. The idea that someone’s enterprise could completely replatform is a scary proposition. It’s like doing open heart surgery. You literally have to put your business on a bypass until you put the new plumbing in.”
Data analysis is at the core of what Hybris does, and Anderson knows how vital it is to producing effective enterprise software solutions. hybris’ recently-launched marketing solution was built in SAP’s HANA platform, so it analyzes data in real-time allowing enterprises to create contextualized responses that should produce the best outcomes; in other words, closing the sale. Anderson says that contextual marketing is the future of his industry because it is more personalized, and more relatable, than automated responses.
Most of what hybris does has been built from the ground-up and adjusted over the years to reflect the changing nature of the enterprise space. This plasticity is one of the things making hybris/SAP combination such a powerful industry leader.
“hybris has an incredible team resource in everything we do,” Anderson says. “We are laser-focused on the company. We are remarkably void of ego, and that might just be my Scottishness that won’t let me stand for that type of thing. I see it as a soccer team. You’ve got to get the balance right. You can’t have a team full of strikers. You can’t have a team full of defenders, or fielders, or wingers. We’ve got all sorts. We’ve created a beautiful balance and I think we play a beautiful game of marketing together.”
And what about the staff Anderson manages? “I’m working with people who can change the game,” he says. “I’m working with people who continually come to me with new ideas, and I love that. Everyday there is something new to innovate.”
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This article is part of the SAP CMO Series. To view a summary of the SAP/CMO Council Adaptive Customer Experiences research report, click here. To download the full report (registration required) click here.