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SAP Execs: 'Experience Economy' Driving $1.6 Trillion Opportunity

At SAP SAPPHIRE NOW, the keynote was all about competing on experience.

Kris Blackmon

May 7, 2019

2 Min Read
Customer experience

SAP SAPPHIRE NOW — SAP’s 30th annual SAPPHIRE NOW conference kicked off in Orlando Tuesday with the announcement of a slew of new data-driven core business offerings stemming from its acquisition of Qualtrics three months ago. The tools combine what SAP calls experience data (X-data) with operational data (O-data) to analyze customer, employee, product and brand experiences. Executives explained how the new tools are capitalizing the “experience economy.”


SAP’s Bill McDermott

SAP CEO Bill McDermott defined the concept for the audience of thousands in the keynote room and expo hall Tuesday.

“The experience economy is the difference between what people expect versus what [they] actually receive,” said McDermott. “It’s a $1.6 trillion problem … Ladies and gentlemen, feelings matter.”

The offerings embed the X-data into enterprise applications like CRM, ERP or HCM systems to provide a holistic experience management (XM) platform that can centralize experience data from any stakeholder touch point in one enterprise-wide system, connecting that data to a company’s operations management platform to gain insights and automatically make recommendations to improve business processes.


Qualtrics’ Ryan Smith

“With the rise of the internet, smartphones and social media, it’s never been easier for customers, employees and stakeholders to evaluate which companies are providing great experience and which ones don’t,” said Ryan Smith, co-founder and CEO of Qualtrics at SAPPHIRE NOW. “Organizations are disproportionally rewarded when they deliver great experiences and absolutely punished when they do not.”

There are four new offerings for the customer experience tool Qualtrics CustomerXM, which will live in a new Experience Management tool in the SAP C/4HANA suite. The Qualtrics CX for Commerce, Sales, Customer Service and Marketing are designed to improve businesses’ performance in the “experience economy,” which SAP says goes beyond products and services.

Smith said 80% of CEOs believe they’re providing the best CX, but only 8% of customers think agree.

The features for employee experience are built directly into existing HR systems to gather data throughout the employee life cycle to help HR managers recruit and retain talent. The employee experience, executives said, directly impacts customer experience and is just as important.

“In the past, IT led the way with ERP and CRM standardization,” said Smith. “Today the best companies are standardizing on XM. For the first time in history, experience has become and has been the growth engine [for businesses].”

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About the Author(s)

Kris Blackmon

Head of Channel Communities, Zift Solutions

Kris Blackmon is head of channel communities at Zift Solutions. She previously worked as chief channel officer at JS Group, and as senior content director at Informa Tech and project director of the MSP 501er Community. Blackmon is chair of CompTIA's Channel Development Advisory Council and operates KB Consulting. You may follow her on LinkedIn and @zift on X.

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