What is SAP CX?
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Published: 14 December 2023
Contributors: Molly Hayes, Amanda Downie

What is SAP CX?

SAP Customer Experience (CX) is a cloud-based service management platform that is offered by SAP. It helps businesses manage their customer relationships and includes solutions for marketing, commerce, customer data, sales and services.

The product is focused on providing end-to-end capability for the entire sales and marketing process. Using SAP CX, organizations can improve the customer journey by standardizing communications, ethically collecting data and ensuring that sales teams remain consistent across channels. Organizations can configure the family of solutions, selecting which modules are best-suited to their business needs.   

SAP CX, also known as the SAP Customer Experience Suite, is composed of several solutions that are developed by SAP, in addition to platforms acquired by the company between 2013 and 2018. It runs on SAP HANA and is based on the SAP Fiori user interface. The platform uses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to automate routine tasks and provide advanced forecasting and predictive analytics to sales and marketing teams. The suite also includes a range of self-service tools to drive customer engagement and inform business operations.   

Like other SAP products, SAP CX is typically deployed on cloud, but can be installed as part of a hybrid cloud or on-premises solution if a business has specific regulatory or geographic data storage requirements.   

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History of SAP CX

Hybris, the company that would become SAP CX, was founded in Germany in 1997.1 Over the next decade, the omnichannel e-commerce platform became well-known for its advanced business-to-business (B2B) capabilities.2 SAP, among the leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) companies in the world, acquired Hyrbis in 2013 and rebranded it to SAP Hybris. Until 2015, SAP Hybris and the on-premises SAP Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform were both operated under the company’s umbrella.   

In 2015, SAP started SAP S/4HANA, the ERP giant’s next-generation database, and began moving its core lines of business to the new platform.3 It soon acquired several third-party CRM solutions to augment its existing products, including Coresystems, CallidusCloud and Gigya. In 2018, SAP announced SAP C/4HANA, its flagship customer experience management platform, which would run on S/4HANA.   

Also, the corporation acquired Qualtrics, a cloud-based experience management company, later that year. According to SAP, the acquisition and a subsequent initiative that is named SAP Customer Experience were part of an effort to recognize an emerging “customer experience revolution” in which customer feedback would increasingly drive decision-making.4 In 2020, the company rebranded SAP C/4HANA as SAP Customer Experience. It also acquired Emarsys, a cloud-based omnichannel marketing platform that would be integrated into the SAP CRM platform.   

Key features of SAP CX

The SAP CX’s cloud solutions are composed of what SAP refers to as five cloud-based “pillars” of customer relationship management. Each pillar can be implemented separately or as an entire suite of customer experience solutions, allowing for customization based on individual business models and pricing needs. These pillars can be deployed alongside other SAP solutions like SAP Field Service Management (providing mobile tools to field technicians) and SAP CPQ (a tool to quote complex business offerings). Key features of SAP CX include:  

SAP Marketing Cloud: The SAP Marketing Cloud facilitates all business needs related to earning and retaining customers. This solution captures customer insights from marketing activities. It measures and evaluates the impact of campaigns, and helps businesses make data-driven decisions about how best to connect with an audience.   

SAP Commerce Cloud: SAP CX’s Commerce Cloud is focused on product management and e-commerce solutions. It provides solutions for order management and is designed to streamline product content and experience management.  

SAP Customer Data Cloud: The SAP Customer Data Cloud allows organizations to collect information from customers securely and ethically. The software specifically facilitates the secure collection of personal data through online forms and allows users to control their information in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).   

SAP Sales Cloud: SAP Sales Cloud provides solutions for sales teams. It deploys AI to forecast sales and inventory requirements, and provides a holistic view of customer data to ensure that the sales process runs smoothly.   

SAP Service Cloud: SAP Service Cloud manages and organizes service requests, from social media messages to call center conversations. The solution focuses on ensuring consistency across communications with customers.   

Benefits of SAP CX

Advanced analytics and reporting: SAP CX’s robust analytics and real-time reporting tools allow businesses to uncover insights into customer behavior, the effectiveness of marketing and sales performance, keeping decision-makers informed.  

Consistent customer data management: As organizations handle increasingly large amounts of data, SAP CX filters and sorts customer information to ensure accuracy and consistency for the entire sales process.  

Flexibility: The SAP CX platform is scalable and agile. It helps organizations respond quickly to new customer needs or unforeseen challenges, thus enhancing consumers’ user experience.  

Improved service and support: SAP CX incorporates robust customer service and support capabilities. The solutions include tools for managing service requests, tracking customer issues and providing efficient support through various channels.  

Integration with SAP ERP: While SAP CX can be used alone, it was designed to integrate seamlessly with other SAP products. When used in tandem with the company’s financial planning software, for instance, the system ensures that customer-facing processes and back-office business operations are aligned.  

Omnichannel customer engagement: As a cloud-based software, SAP CX allows customers to reach an organization across multiple touchpoints and channels such as web, mobile, social media and brick-and-mortar stores.  

Personalized customer experiences: Using SAP CX solutions, organizations can use customer data to personalize business interactions, offers and recommendations.  

Sales and marketing automation: SAP CX improves efficiency by automating routine tasks in both the sales and marketing processes, from managing leads to personalizing marketing campaigns.  

Seamless e-commerce capabilities: The SAP CX features integrations that allow organizations to create and manage their online storefronts, with features like product catalog management and order processing.  

Unified customer views: SAP CX helps organizations manage the entire marketing and sales funnel in one system. Business leaders can gain a holistic view of customer interactions and transactions, facilitating better customer relationships.   

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1 Hybris (link resides outside ibm.com), Crunchbase 

2 SAP to Acquire Hybris - What Does it Mean? (link resides outside ibm.com), Forbes, 5 June 2013

3 SAP Customer Experience (link resides outside ibm.com), SAP Press 

4 SAP Customer Experience (link resides outside ibm.com), SAP Press