SAP updates Data Hub to help firms upsell, improve ABM and more

SAP Data Hub TechEd 2018
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SAP used the TechEd 2018 conference to introduce a new version of its Data Hub that will bring together different kinds of business applications and information no matter where it sits so organizations can improve the way they do things like upsell, cross-sell and conduct account-based marketing campaigns.

Speaking to customers and partners in Las Vegas on Tuesday, SAP executives said Data Hub, which was first launched about a year ago, has been given what is known as application “containerization” capabilities. This means that an organization can pull together data whether or not it is running in an SAP system, and whether it is running locally or through a cloud-based service.

In an onstage demonstration during the TechEd keynote session, for example, SAP executives showed how a car company could determine the best companies to approach with an upsell offer for a new battery.

The process involved looking up telemetry data and identifying drivers who reached “Eco2” — a point where they were relying on extra battery power to get them home. This was cross-referenced in Data Hub with a system that showed which customers were due to come into the car company for a service appointment. Data Hub then fed this information into SAP Sales Cloud, which used artificial intelligence to scan a customer’s face during a Skype chat and indicate their sentiment as they were given the upsell offer.

According to Ken Tsai, SAP’s global vice-president and head of its Cloud Platform and Data Management, the containerization features in Data Cloud 2.3 are important given the diversity of information sources that exist in the average company. Prospect information might come in part through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, for example, while the same firm might be running e-mail automation from Marketo or Oracle’s Eloqua. CRM might be based on Salesforce and online ads might make use of Adobe products and a programmatic partner.

“If you start looking at this, you see what the challenge is. I just named about five different silos,” he told B2B News Network. “You need to logically link these data silos together without physically consolidating them into one place . . . traditionally it’s been a long and tedious process.”

By integrating these data sources B2B organizations will finally be able to create a more holistic picture of the customer journey, Tsai said, which could help boost efforts around account-based marketing (ABM), among other things. This might lead some organizations to consolidate the number of tools and vendors they use, but it could also lead to greater openness or ability to use additional tools, he added.

“There always going to be solutions that pop up with best of breed capabilities,” he said. “Take the new AI capabilities, whether that’s traditional machine learning or even newer tools. People still want the flexibility to use those.”

TechEd also saw the launch of  “SAP Data Network, live insights for workforce,” a service that will use Data Hub to bring together HR-related information from its SuccessFactors and FieldGlass tools and offer data-driven hiring insights to organizations. Tsai said there would likely be similar offerings that leveraged other SAP tools to bring insights to marketing and sales functions. 

“We’re really reaching a point where data can be treated as an asset for the enterprise — something that could actually shows up as an asset on your balance sheet,” Tsai said.

SAP TechEd 2018 continues through Thursday.

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Shane Schick

Shane Schick

Shane Schick is the Editor-in-Chief of B2B News Network. He is the former Editor-in-Chief of Marketing magazine and has also been Vice-President, Content & Community (Editor-in-Chief), at IT World Canada, a technology columnist with the Globe and Mail and was the founding editor of ITBusiness.ca. Shane has been recognized for journalistic excellence by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance and the Canadian Online Publishing Awards.