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Abakus acquisition beefs up SAP Hybris marketing portfolio

SAP acquires Abakus marketing measurement software for SAP Hybris marketing suite; openSAP adds new courses for S/4HANA, data science, simple screens, financials.

SAP has expanded its SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud portfolio with the acquisition of Abakus, a cloud-based cross-channel marketing platform.

Abakus integrates marketing and customer data, organizing it and measuring incremental data, enabling marketers to improve customer acquisition and retention, according to SAP.

The addition of Abakus' platform helps SAP Hybris users develop a more complete and valuable customer marketing profile in part because it improves marketing measurement, according to Jamie Anderson, SAP Hybris senior vice president and chief marketing officer.

Traditional marketing measurement systems are inefficient and inaccurate because they rely on data taken only from the last touchpoint of a customer interaction, Anderson said. Abakus allows users to organize and analyze data throughout the customer journey. This includes data like the types of devices customers are using in the sales process, what they are browsing and with what browser, who is responding to paid media or paid search, and what are the most effective conversion methods. 

"You see this mapped out as a matrix, and behind that matrix you can click on it and look at the conversion levels," Anderson said. "Because this is live data, you can then say, 'It looks like our paid search is not working the way it should so let's divert funds from paid search to other paid media because the banner adverts generate the biggest click-through for us.' So as you're running a campaign you can then see what the most effective thing is."

Abakus is based on a game theory attribution model that supports forecasting to better understand and predict customer behavior. Using live data like this helps companies to justify marketing spending decisions and leads to better customer experiences, Anderson said.

"Data is the fuel now that drives everything; the world is awash in it," he said. "But it's what you do with that data -- how you consolidate it, aggregate it, gain meaning from it, in real time, and then surface that data in a meaningful way that creates a great experience for your customers and helps the business convert."

Because the SAP Hybris marketing platform is based on SAP HANA, it can deal with that high volume of customer data in real time or near real time from a variety of systems to create a single customer profile.

"One of the things that's very exciting is that SAP Hybris is able to do things that are almost like the Holy Grail, which is to create a single golden record of the customer," Anderson said. "This is where a great aggregator like HANA comes into its own because you can get these multiple profiles and not just from a small galaxy of data, but from a universe of information that [is] in SAP systems."

The Abakus acquisition is expected to close early in 2017, according to Anderson, and the company will continue to run independently as part of SAP Hybris. Abakus software will continue to be available as a stand-alone product, and will be available as an integrated functionality within the SAP Hybris Marketing suite.

SAP adds four new courses to openSAP platform

SAP is adding four new courses to its openSAP online learning platform.

These new courses will help users determine the best methods and time to move to SAP S/4HANA, learn principles of data science, simplify screens to improve user experiences,  and explore the fundamentals of financials with SAP Business ByDesign. The courses will be available in early 2017, delivered digitally through the openSAP platform and SAP Learning Hub, and on-site from training centers sponsored by SAP, according to the company.

"Going into its fourth year, openSAP again increased its user base significantly, and more people use it to stay on top of SAP product and cloud innovations than ever before," Bernd Welz, SAP executive vice president and chief knowledge officer of products and innovation, said in a press release. "With openSAP in combination with SAP Learning Hub, which provides on-demand access to learning content covering all SAP solutions in great detail, it has become easy for busy professionals to keep their knowledge up to date."

The new courses are:

  • Find Your Path to SAP S/4HANA. This course is designed to help current or potential customers and partners determine their best path to move to SAP S/4HANA. It includes the fundamentals of the journey to S/4HANA and explains processes for new implementations, system conversions and the S/4HANA landscape transformation.
  • Getting Started with Data Science. As the demand grows for businesses to make sense of data, this course introduces the fundamentals of data preparation, predictive modeling, data science and the deployment and maintenance of models in a business environment.
  • Intro to SAP Screen Personas. This course explains how to use SAP Screen Personas 3.0 to simplify screens for SAP ECC (ERP Central Component), SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA. It explains how to simplify screens and introduces how to build simple screen "flavors." Simpler screens allow users to navigate through processes quickly and easily, leading to better user experience and more productivity.
  • SAP Business ByDesign Financials. The third openSAP course delivered for SAP Business ByDesign (BBD), this course introduces SAP BBD and explains how it can integrate financial concepts and business processes.

The openSAP platform consists of massively open online courses (MOOCs) that allow students to learn at their own pace, using any device they want to access course materials, according to SAP. The courses are free and include instructional videos delivered by subject matter experts, weekly assignments and self-tests. SAP Learning Hub is a cloud-based enterprise learning management system that enables users to learn the ins and outs of SAP software systems.

Next Steps

Find out how SAP Hybris uses SAP HANA Cloud to help users build applications and integrate SAP portfolios.

See how a pharmaceutical company made a digital transformation with SAP Hybris.

Discover how SAP Learning Hub was modernized.

Dig Deeper on SAP CRM and customer experience