What CFOs Need To Know Now About Country-By-Country Reporting Legislation

Christoph Himmel

At the beginning of the year, the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting prompted the headline, “Davos Leaders Agree: Share More Wealth, or Face the Consequences.” Wealth redistribution is the common keyword. But they seemed split over the model – voluntary or through taxation.

When the G20 endorsed the Base Erosion and Profit Sharing (BEPS) Action Plan in 2013, it became a common model to fight against the unfairness of taxation. The BEPS Project aims to provide governments with clear international solutions for fighting corporate tax-planning strategies that exploit the gaps and loopholes of the current system to artificially shift profits to locations where they are subject to more favorable tax treatment.

Meanwhile, about 100 countries and jurisdictions are collaborating to implement the BEPS measures and tackle BEPS.

Since the endorsement of the BEPS Package by G20 leaders in November 2016, the focus has shifted to ensuring consistent implementation, including the new transfer-pricing reporting standards developed under Action 13 of the BEPS Action Plan.

The recent country implementation summary published by KMPG shows a wide range of countries already in the final legislation state. So for multinationals with (at least) headquarters in those countries, it’s time to think about how to implement the new reporting requirements.

As always, there are decision boundaries for the right solution. Options range from short-term actions to provide basic data, maybe collected half manually, to integrated solutions that consistently sit on top of operating IT architecture. All tax advisory companies bring in their knowledge of legislation and procedures, and some also provide IT solutions to manage the data within a separate instance. Tax departments might have a favorite for such solutions since they manage “their” own data, and such solutions might be deployable on short notice to meet deadlines.

However, the new tax reporting have implications in at least five areas:

  • Additional reports – Significant additional disclosure and reporting requirements, in particular around reporting of business activities by jurisdiction, country, transfer pricing, and inter-company transactions
  • Increased communication to tax authorities – Increased potential for audit by tax authorities, in particular around transfer pricing, likely to require greater transparency and systemization of transfer-pricing policies and activity
  • Compliance check – Required compliance with stated transfer-pricing policies
  • Reorganization – Required restructuring and/or relocation of resources where legal and tax structures have been created that do not reflect underlying economic reality
  • Transparency – Potential for large and very public tax reassessments, where legal and tax structures and transfer-pricing policies are not adjusted to reflect economic reality, or insufficient data exists to defend against reassessments

So it is all about enhancing business and reporting processes and ensuring compliance. The country-by-country (CbC), master file, and local file reports correspond to your transfer-pricing strategy, which sits at the end of the transactional data of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system – and hence is an integral part of the overall group reporting.

What’s needed are consistent platform solutions, as well as a solution for BEPS within the preferred legal consolidation platform, to allow harmonization of group consolidation and reporting requirements. Look for the following capabilities to support BEPS challenges:

  • A single source of truth for CbC reporting data with workflow, security, and a highly collaborative interface
  • Flexible maintenance of the CbC reporting requirements on top of the existing systems
  • A central tool that can easily interface with any source system
  • Preconfigured rules, controls, calculations, and templates for data input to perform, validate, and publish required financial data
  • A flexible platform to meet constantly changing requirements

To learn more about offerings to help you address BEPS, please download SAP’s brief and info sheet. Click here to learn more about SAP Digital Business Services.

Follow SAP Finance online: @SAPFinance (Twitter)  | LinkedIn | FacebookYouTube


About Christoph Himmel

Christoph Himmel is the service portfolio manager for finance in the Global Service and Support team at SAP. He has more than 17 years of experience in implementing SAP Finance solutions, developing new customer scenarios (particularly in B2C), and designing services towards finance customer audiences. He has a PhD in Science and an MBA.

This Is Your Customer’s Brain On (Digital) Speed

Anja Reschke

When the iPhone made its first appearance in 2007, it struck a deep, resonant chord with consumers – across a wholly unprepared business landscape. Apps were unleashed to the masses, and then within the enterprise. The lines between our business and social lives began to blur.

high-speed traffic across bridgeSuddenly, we couldn’t leave home without a mobile device – which we check a colossal 160 times a day on average, according to a recent Capgemini report, “TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation.” The fundamental change is not, however, that we are tethered to a device at all times – although that is a radical departure from landlines and LAN lines – but that users have become the center of everything.

The rise of the empowered customer

Bolstered by the consumerization of information, customers are now empowered – and very high maintenance. They demand instant answers to their questions, queries, wants, and needs. Their apps need to be both friendly and lighting-speed responsive, and they not only expect to be alerted about problems the moment they occur, they want to know about issues before they happen.

So, what does this mean for organizations whose customers are these very same empowered users?

Design for the digital customer

The report urges organizations to focus on creating the ultimate customer experience: a true “You Experience” that is fully customized not only to the individual, but to the situation she is in. This extends to real-time processes and having the right data necessary to make instant responses possible.

In order for this to happen, the role of IT is rapidly changing. IT used to focus on building core applications to store and retrieve data. Now with the digital user experience, the focus has switched to the interaction process: intelligent interaction with customers, employees, business partners, and even machines.

Sound daunting? Well, it’s just the beginning of how companies will need to design for digital. The Capgemini report states that mobile is much more than just another channel, and the report outlines some important factors to consider when designing applications for the digital user experience.

Key elements of a highly individualized, digital user experience

  • No keyboard – Network interactions focus more on audible, visual, and sensory computing, as opposed to the use of a keyboard.
  • Object of desire – Your customers expect a compelling experience, so create desirable apps that facilitate specific tasks.
  • Get a life – As the line between personal and work life blurs, your business applications must strike a balance between the needs and perspectives of the consumer and the business professional.
  • End user, end producer – Shift innovative app development beyond your busy IT department with secure enterprise-grade services, tools, and interfaces.
  • Digital self – Embrace “thinking and learning” hardware and analytics to help you deal intelligently with customer data, find patterns, and predict future customer behavior.

To embrace or ignore digital customers

Businesses that embrace these changes and aim to create the best technology interaction possible – through the use of data, context, history, and behavior – will reap greater benefits and will move forward with disruptive business models that could transform entire industries.

Those organizations that do not embrace digital technology and choose to ignore the growing needs of digital customers face the increasing threat of being left behind as other leading companies in their industry leap ahead with disruptive digital transformation.

The key takeaway? Denying digital customers their expected “You Experience” could be at your peril.

The above information is based on the Capgemini report, TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation” – Copyright © 2015 Capgemini.

For more information about digital transformation and the changing omni-channel customer experience, download the SAP eBook, Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.

For a detailed look at how the digital age is affecting business, download the SAP eBook, The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.

Learn more about The Battle For Customer Engagement: How the ‘Internet of Me’ is Changing All the Rules and Maximizing B2B Buyer Satisfaction: 6 Things You Should Know.

See How Data Can Lead To More Profitable Customer Relationships.

Discover how to Boost Profits and Lower Costs by Focusing on This One Thing.


Kevin Jinks

About Kevin Jinks

Kevin Jinks is Vice President & Partner / Industrial Sector SAP Leader for IBM Global Business Services. With more than 22 years of IT consulting and client management experience, he has extensive knowledge in ERP systems, architectural design, system development and implementation management for major clients globally.

This Is Your Customer’s Brain On (Digital) Speed

Anja Reschke

When the iPhone made its first appearance in 2007, it struck a deep, resonant chord with consumers – across a wholly unprepared business landscape. Apps were unleashed to the masses, and then within the enterprise. The lines between our business and social lives began to blur.

high-speed traffic across bridgeSuddenly, we couldn’t leave home without a mobile device – which we check a colossal 160 times a day on average, according to a recent Capgemini report, “TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation.” The fundamental change is not, however, that we are tethered to a device at all times – although that is a radical departure from landlines and LAN lines – but that users have become the center of everything.

The rise of the empowered customer

Bolstered by the consumerization of information, customers are now empowered – and very high maintenance. They demand instant answers to their questions, queries, wants, and needs. Their apps need to be both friendly and lighting-speed responsive, and they not only expect to be alerted about problems the moment they occur, they want to know about issues before they happen.

So, what does this mean for organizations whose customers are these very same empowered users?

Design for the digital customer

The report urges organizations to focus on creating the ultimate customer experience: a true “You Experience” that is fully customized not only to the individual, but to the situation she is in. This extends to real-time processes and having the right data necessary to make instant responses possible.

In order for this to happen, the role of IT is rapidly changing. IT used to focus on building core applications to store and retrieve data. Now with the digital user experience, the focus has switched to the interaction process: intelligent interaction with customers, employees, business partners, and even machines.

Sound daunting? Well, it’s just the beginning of how companies will need to design for digital. The Capgemini report states that mobile is much more than just another channel, and the report outlines some important factors to consider when designing applications for the digital user experience.

Key elements of a highly individualized, digital user experience

  • No keyboard – Network interactions focus more on audible, visual, and sensory computing, as opposed to the use of a keyboard.
  • Object of desire – Your customers expect a compelling experience, so create desirable apps that facilitate specific tasks.
  • Get a life – As the line between personal and work life blurs, your business applications must strike a balance between the needs and perspectives of the consumer and the business professional.
  • End user, end producer – Shift innovative app development beyond your busy IT department with secure enterprise-grade services, tools, and interfaces.
  • Digital self – Embrace “thinking and learning” hardware and analytics to help you deal intelligently with customer data, find patterns, and predict future customer behavior.

To embrace or ignore digital customers

Businesses that embrace these changes and aim to create the best technology interaction possible – through the use of data, context, history, and behavior – will reap greater benefits and will move forward with disruptive business models that could transform entire industries.

Those organizations that do not embrace digital technology and choose to ignore the growing needs of digital customers face the increasing threat of being left behind as other leading companies in their industry leap ahead with disruptive digital transformation.

The key takeaway? Denying digital customers their expected “You Experience” could be at your peril.

The above information is based on the Capgemini report, TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation” – Copyright © 2015 Capgemini.

For more information about digital transformation and the changing omni-channel customer experience, download the SAP eBook, Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.

For a detailed look at how the digital age is affecting business, download the SAP eBook, The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.

Learn more about The Battle For Customer Engagement: How the ‘Internet of Me’ is Changing All the Rules and Maximizing B2B Buyer Satisfaction: 6 Things You Should Know.

See How Data Can Lead To More Profitable Customer Relationships.

Discover how to Boost Profits and Lower Costs by Focusing on This One Thing.


Anton Kroger

About Anton Kroger

Anton Kroger is an Energy and Natural Resources industry solution specialist for SAP based in Australia. Anton has worked in the resources sector for 16 years and has field operations and management experience, both locally in Australia and internationally. He now works with Energy and Natural resources companies across Australia and New Zealand to help them run better, more innovatively and imagine new ways of doing business. He is an advocate for clean energy and resources and believes that innovation is critical to the future of this industry. Anton believes that despite the disruption taking place in the industry today there is still a lot of opportunity for existing companies in the future.

This Is Your Customer’s Brain On (Digital) Speed

Anja Reschke

When the iPhone made its first appearance in 2007, it struck a deep, resonant chord with consumers – across a wholly unprepared business landscape. Apps were unleashed to the masses, and then within the enterprise. The lines between our business and social lives began to blur.

high-speed traffic across bridgeSuddenly, we couldn’t leave home without a mobile device – which we check a colossal 160 times a day on average, according to a recent Capgemini report, “TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation.” The fundamental change is not, however, that we are tethered to a device at all times – although that is a radical departure from landlines and LAN lines – but that users have become the center of everything.

The rise of the empowered customer

Bolstered by the consumerization of information, customers are now empowered – and very high maintenance. They demand instant answers to their questions, queries, wants, and needs. Their apps need to be both friendly and lighting-speed responsive, and they not only expect to be alerted about problems the moment they occur, they want to know about issues before they happen.

So, what does this mean for organizations whose customers are these very same empowered users?

Design for the digital customer

The report urges organizations to focus on creating the ultimate customer experience: a true “You Experience” that is fully customized not only to the individual, but to the situation she is in. This extends to real-time processes and having the right data necessary to make instant responses possible.

In order for this to happen, the role of IT is rapidly changing. IT used to focus on building core applications to store and retrieve data. Now with the digital user experience, the focus has switched to the interaction process: intelligent interaction with customers, employees, business partners, and even machines.

Sound daunting? Well, it’s just the beginning of how companies will need to design for digital. The Capgemini report states that mobile is much more than just another channel, and the report outlines some important factors to consider when designing applications for the digital user experience.

Key elements of a highly individualized, digital user experience

  • No keyboard – Network interactions focus more on audible, visual, and sensory computing, as opposed to the use of a keyboard.
  • Object of desire – Your customers expect a compelling experience, so create desirable apps that facilitate specific tasks.
  • Get a life – As the line between personal and work life blurs, your business applications must strike a balance between the needs and perspectives of the consumer and the business professional.
  • End user, end producer – Shift innovative app development beyond your busy IT department with secure enterprise-grade services, tools, and interfaces.
  • Digital self – Embrace “thinking and learning” hardware and analytics to help you deal intelligently with customer data, find patterns, and predict future customer behavior.

To embrace or ignore digital customers

Businesses that embrace these changes and aim to create the best technology interaction possible – through the use of data, context, history, and behavior – will reap greater benefits and will move forward with disruptive business models that could transform entire industries.

Those organizations that do not embrace digital technology and choose to ignore the growing needs of digital customers face the increasing threat of being left behind as other leading companies in their industry leap ahead with disruptive digital transformation.

The key takeaway? Denying digital customers their expected “You Experience” could be at your peril.

The above information is based on the Capgemini report, TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation” – Copyright © 2015 Capgemini.

For more information about digital transformation and the changing omni-channel customer experience, download the SAP eBook, Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.

For a detailed look at how the digital age is affecting business, download the SAP eBook, The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.

Learn more about The Battle For Customer Engagement: How the ‘Internet of Me’ is Changing All the Rules and Maximizing B2B Buyer Satisfaction: 6 Things You Should Know.

See How Data Can Lead To More Profitable Customer Relationships.

Discover how to Boost Profits and Lower Costs by Focusing on This One Thing.


Paul Dandurand

About Paul Dandurand

Paul Dandurand is the founder and CEO of PieMatrix, a visual project management application company. Paul has a background in starting and growing companies. Prior to PieMatrix, he was co-founder of FocusFrame, where he wore multiple hats, including those of co-president and director. He helped position FocusFrame as the market leader with process methodology differentiation. FocusFrame was sold to Hexaware in 2006. Previously, he was a management consulting manager at Ernst & Young (now Capgemini) in San Francisco and Siebel Systems in Amsterdam. Paul enjoys photography, skiing, and watching independent films. He earned a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.

This Is Your Customer’s Brain On (Digital) Speed

Anja Reschke

When the iPhone made its first appearance in 2007, it struck a deep, resonant chord with consumers – across a wholly unprepared business landscape. Apps were unleashed to the masses, and then within the enterprise. The lines between our business and social lives began to blur.

high-speed traffic across bridgeSuddenly, we couldn’t leave home without a mobile device – which we check a colossal 160 times a day on average, according to a recent Capgemini report, “TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation.” The fundamental change is not, however, that we are tethered to a device at all times – although that is a radical departure from landlines and LAN lines – but that users have become the center of everything.

The rise of the empowered customer

Bolstered by the consumerization of information, customers are now empowered – and very high maintenance. They demand instant answers to their questions, queries, wants, and needs. Their apps need to be both friendly and lighting-speed responsive, and they not only expect to be alerted about problems the moment they occur, they want to know about issues before they happen.

So, what does this mean for organizations whose customers are these very same empowered users?

Design for the digital customer

The report urges organizations to focus on creating the ultimate customer experience: a true “You Experience” that is fully customized not only to the individual, but to the situation she is in. This extends to real-time processes and having the right data necessary to make instant responses possible.

In order for this to happen, the role of IT is rapidly changing. IT used to focus on building core applications to store and retrieve data. Now with the digital user experience, the focus has switched to the interaction process: intelligent interaction with customers, employees, business partners, and even machines.

Sound daunting? Well, it’s just the beginning of how companies will need to design for digital. The Capgemini report states that mobile is much more than just another channel, and the report outlines some important factors to consider when designing applications for the digital user experience.

Key elements of a highly individualized, digital user experience

  • No keyboard – Network interactions focus more on audible, visual, and sensory computing, as opposed to the use of a keyboard.
  • Object of desire – Your customers expect a compelling experience, so create desirable apps that facilitate specific tasks.
  • Get a life – As the line between personal and work life blurs, your business applications must strike a balance between the needs and perspectives of the consumer and the business professional.
  • End user, end producer – Shift innovative app development beyond your busy IT department with secure enterprise-grade services, tools, and interfaces.
  • Digital self – Embrace “thinking and learning” hardware and analytics to help you deal intelligently with customer data, find patterns, and predict future customer behavior.

To embrace or ignore digital customers

Businesses that embrace these changes and aim to create the best technology interaction possible – through the use of data, context, history, and behavior – will reap greater benefits and will move forward with disruptive business models that could transform entire industries.

Those organizations that do not embrace digital technology and choose to ignore the growing needs of digital customers face the increasing threat of being left behind as other leading companies in their industry leap ahead with disruptive digital transformation.

The key takeaway? Denying digital customers their expected “You Experience” could be at your peril.

The above information is based on the Capgemini report, TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation” – Copyright © 2015 Capgemini.

For more information about digital transformation and the changing omni-channel customer experience, download the SAP eBook, Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.

For a detailed look at how the digital age is affecting business, download the SAP eBook, The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.

Learn more about The Battle For Customer Engagement: How the ‘Internet of Me’ is Changing All the Rules and Maximizing B2B Buyer Satisfaction: 6 Things You Should Know.

See How Data Can Lead To More Profitable Customer Relationships.

Discover how to Boost Profits and Lower Costs by Focusing on This One Thing.


Markus Steer

About Markus Steer

Markus Steer is an advisor with SAP & experienced leader for Digital Transformation to connect people, things and businesses to run the world better. He helps CEOs and Biz leaders to define their vision and leverage digital trends to transform their company. He provides guidance to CTOs and Enterprise Architects on end-to-end architecture design. Connect with Markus at www.linkedin.com/in/markus-steer-90b2b02a/.

This Is Your Customer’s Brain On (Digital) Speed

Anja Reschke

When the iPhone made its first appearance in 2007, it struck a deep, resonant chord with consumers – across a wholly unprepared business landscape. Apps were unleashed to the masses, and then within the enterprise. The lines between our business and social lives began to blur.

high-speed traffic across bridgeSuddenly, we couldn’t leave home without a mobile device – which we check a colossal 160 times a day on average, according to a recent Capgemini report, “TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation.” The fundamental change is not, however, that we are tethered to a device at all times – although that is a radical departure from landlines and LAN lines – but that users have become the center of everything.

The rise of the empowered customer

Bolstered by the consumerization of information, customers are now empowered – and very high maintenance. They demand instant answers to their questions, queries, wants, and needs. Their apps need to be both friendly and lighting-speed responsive, and they not only expect to be alerted about problems the moment they occur, they want to know about issues before they happen.

So, what does this mean for organizations whose customers are these very same empowered users?

Design for the digital customer

The report urges organizations to focus on creating the ultimate customer experience: a true “You Experience” that is fully customized not only to the individual, but to the situation she is in. This extends to real-time processes and having the right data necessary to make instant responses possible.

In order for this to happen, the role of IT is rapidly changing. IT used to focus on building core applications to store and retrieve data. Now with the digital user experience, the focus has switched to the interaction process: intelligent interaction with customers, employees, business partners, and even machines.

Sound daunting? Well, it’s just the beginning of how companies will need to design for digital. The Capgemini report states that mobile is much more than just another channel, and the report outlines some important factors to consider when designing applications for the digital user experience.

Key elements of a highly individualized, digital user experience

  • No keyboard – Network interactions focus more on audible, visual, and sensory computing, as opposed to the use of a keyboard.
  • Object of desire – Your customers expect a compelling experience, so create desirable apps that facilitate specific tasks.
  • Get a life – As the line between personal and work life blurs, your business applications must strike a balance between the needs and perspectives of the consumer and the business professional.
  • End user, end producer – Shift innovative app development beyond your busy IT department with secure enterprise-grade services, tools, and interfaces.
  • Digital self – Embrace “thinking and learning” hardware and analytics to help you deal intelligently with customer data, find patterns, and predict future customer behavior.

To embrace or ignore digital customers

Businesses that embrace these changes and aim to create the best technology interaction possible – through the use of data, context, history, and behavior – will reap greater benefits and will move forward with disruptive business models that could transform entire industries.

Those organizations that do not embrace digital technology and choose to ignore the growing needs of digital customers face the increasing threat of being left behind as other leading companies in their industry leap ahead with disruptive digital transformation.

The key takeaway? Denying digital customers their expected “You Experience” could be at your peril.

The above information is based on the Capgemini report, TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation” – Copyright © 2015 Capgemini.

For more information about digital transformation and the changing omni-channel customer experience, download the SAP eBook, Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.

For a detailed look at how the digital age is affecting business, download the SAP eBook, The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.

Learn more about The Battle For Customer Engagement: How the ‘Internet of Me’ is Changing All the Rules and Maximizing B2B Buyer Satisfaction: 6 Things You Should Know.

See How Data Can Lead To More Profitable Customer Relationships.

Discover how to Boost Profits and Lower Costs by Focusing on This One Thing.


Thierry Audas

About Thierry Audas

Thierry Audas is a senior director of Product Marketing with SAP and focuses on business intelligence and analytics. He works with SAP customers to help them better understand how SAP solutions help organizations to transform all their data, the foundation of a digital enterprise, into insight to drive innovation and create business value. Thierry has more than 20 years of experience in the BI and analytics field and has held various senior roles in presales, consulting, and product management.

This Is Your Customer’s Brain On (Digital) Speed

Anja Reschke

When the iPhone made its first appearance in 2007, it struck a deep, resonant chord with consumers – across a wholly unprepared business landscape. Apps were unleashed to the masses, and then within the enterprise. The lines between our business and social lives began to blur.

high-speed traffic across bridgeSuddenly, we couldn’t leave home without a mobile device – which we check a colossal 160 times a day on average, according to a recent Capgemini report, “TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation.” The fundamental change is not, however, that we are tethered to a device at all times – although that is a radical departure from landlines and LAN lines – but that users have become the center of everything.

The rise of the empowered customer

Bolstered by the consumerization of information, customers are now empowered – and very high maintenance. They demand instant answers to their questions, queries, wants, and needs. Their apps need to be both friendly and lighting-speed responsive, and they not only expect to be alerted about problems the moment they occur, they want to know about issues before they happen.

So, what does this mean for organizations whose customers are these very same empowered users?

Design for the digital customer

The report urges organizations to focus on creating the ultimate customer experience: a true “You Experience” that is fully customized not only to the individual, but to the situation she is in. This extends to real-time processes and having the right data necessary to make instant responses possible.

In order for this to happen, the role of IT is rapidly changing. IT used to focus on building core applications to store and retrieve data. Now with the digital user experience, the focus has switched to the interaction process: intelligent interaction with customers, employees, business partners, and even machines.

Sound daunting? Well, it’s just the beginning of how companies will need to design for digital. The Capgemini report states that mobile is much more than just another channel, and the report outlines some important factors to consider when designing applications for the digital user experience.

Key elements of a highly individualized, digital user experience

  • No keyboard – Network interactions focus more on audible, visual, and sensory computing, as opposed to the use of a keyboard.
  • Object of desire – Your customers expect a compelling experience, so create desirable apps that facilitate specific tasks.
  • Get a life – As the line between personal and work life blurs, your business applications must strike a balance between the needs and perspectives of the consumer and the business professional.
  • End user, end producer – Shift innovative app development beyond your busy IT department with secure enterprise-grade services, tools, and interfaces.
  • Digital self – Embrace “thinking and learning” hardware and analytics to help you deal intelligently with customer data, find patterns, and predict future customer behavior.

To embrace or ignore digital customers

Businesses that embrace these changes and aim to create the best technology interaction possible – through the use of data, context, history, and behavior – will reap greater benefits and will move forward with disruptive business models that could transform entire industries.

Those organizations that do not embrace digital technology and choose to ignore the growing needs of digital customers face the increasing threat of being left behind as other leading companies in their industry leap ahead with disruptive digital transformation.

The key takeaway? Denying digital customers their expected “You Experience” could be at your peril.

The above information is based on the Capgemini report, TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation” – Copyright © 2015 Capgemini.

For more information about digital transformation and the changing omni-channel customer experience, download the SAP eBook, Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.

For a detailed look at how the digital age is affecting business, download the SAP eBook, The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.

Learn more about The Battle For Customer Engagement: How the ‘Internet of Me’ is Changing All the Rules and Maximizing B2B Buyer Satisfaction: 6 Things You Should Know.

See How Data Can Lead To More Profitable Customer Relationships.

Discover how to Boost Profits and Lower Costs by Focusing on This One Thing.


Karen McDermott

About Karen McDermott

Karen McDermott is Global Head of Financial Services Industries Marketing and Communications at SAP, responsible for driving the growth of SAP's value proposition as a technology provider, trusted business partner, and thought leader for the financial services industry.

This Is Your Customer’s Brain On (Digital) Speed

Anja Reschke

When the iPhone made its first appearance in 2007, it struck a deep, resonant chord with consumers – across a wholly unprepared business landscape. Apps were unleashed to the masses, and then within the enterprise. The lines between our business and social lives began to blur.

high-speed traffic across bridgeSuddenly, we couldn’t leave home without a mobile device – which we check a colossal 160 times a day on average, according to a recent Capgemini report, “TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation.” The fundamental change is not, however, that we are tethered to a device at all times – although that is a radical departure from landlines and LAN lines – but that users have become the center of everything.

The rise of the empowered customer

Bolstered by the consumerization of information, customers are now empowered – and very high maintenance. They demand instant answers to their questions, queries, wants, and needs. Their apps need to be both friendly and lighting-speed responsive, and they not only expect to be alerted about problems the moment they occur, they want to know about issues before they happen.

So, what does this mean for organizations whose customers are these very same empowered users?

Design for the digital customer

The report urges organizations to focus on creating the ultimate customer experience: a true “You Experience” that is fully customized not only to the individual, but to the situation she is in. This extends to real-time processes and having the right data necessary to make instant responses possible.

In order for this to happen, the role of IT is rapidly changing. IT used to focus on building core applications to store and retrieve data. Now with the digital user experience, the focus has switched to the interaction process: intelligent interaction with customers, employees, business partners, and even machines.

Sound daunting? Well, it’s just the beginning of how companies will need to design for digital. The Capgemini report states that mobile is much more than just another channel, and the report outlines some important factors to consider when designing applications for the digital user experience.

Key elements of a highly individualized, digital user experience

  • No keyboard – Network interactions focus more on audible, visual, and sensory computing, as opposed to the use of a keyboard.
  • Object of desire – Your customers expect a compelling experience, so create desirable apps that facilitate specific tasks.
  • Get a life – As the line between personal and work life blurs, your business applications must strike a balance between the needs and perspectives of the consumer and the business professional.
  • End user, end producer – Shift innovative app development beyond your busy IT department with secure enterprise-grade services, tools, and interfaces.
  • Digital self – Embrace “thinking and learning” hardware and analytics to help you deal intelligently with customer data, find patterns, and predict future customer behavior.

To embrace or ignore digital customers

Businesses that embrace these changes and aim to create the best technology interaction possible – through the use of data, context, history, and behavior – will reap greater benefits and will move forward with disruptive business models that could transform entire industries.

Those organizations that do not embrace digital technology and choose to ignore the growing needs of digital customers face the increasing threat of being left behind as other leading companies in their industry leap ahead with disruptive digital transformation.

The key takeaway? Denying digital customers their expected “You Experience” could be at your peril.

The above information is based on the Capgemini report, TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation” – Copyright © 2015 Capgemini.

For more information about digital transformation and the changing omni-channel customer experience, download the SAP eBook, Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.

For a detailed look at how the digital age is affecting business, download the SAP eBook, The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.

Learn more about The Battle For Customer Engagement: How the ‘Internet of Me’ is Changing All the Rules and Maximizing B2B Buyer Satisfaction: 6 Things You Should Know.

See How Data Can Lead To More Profitable Customer Relationships.

Discover how to Boost Profits and Lower Costs by Focusing on This One Thing.


Catherine Lynch

About Catherine Lynch

Catherine Lynch is a Senior Director of Industry Cloud Marketing at SAP. She is a content marketing specialist with a particular focus on the professional services and media industries globally. Catherine has a wide international experience of working with enterprise application vendors in global roles, creating thought leadership and is a social media practitioner.

This Is Your Customer’s Brain On (Digital) Speed

Anja Reschke

When the iPhone made its first appearance in 2007, it struck a deep, resonant chord with consumers – across a wholly unprepared business landscape. Apps were unleashed to the masses, and then within the enterprise. The lines between our business and social lives began to blur.

high-speed traffic across bridgeSuddenly, we couldn’t leave home without a mobile device – which we check a colossal 160 times a day on average, according to a recent Capgemini report, “TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation.” The fundamental change is not, however, that we are tethered to a device at all times – although that is a radical departure from landlines and LAN lines – but that users have become the center of everything.

The rise of the empowered customer

Bolstered by the consumerization of information, customers are now empowered – and very high maintenance. They demand instant answers to their questions, queries, wants, and needs. Their apps need to be both friendly and lighting-speed responsive, and they not only expect to be alerted about problems the moment they occur, they want to know about issues before they happen.

So, what does this mean for organizations whose customers are these very same empowered users?

Design for the digital customer

The report urges organizations to focus on creating the ultimate customer experience: a true “You Experience” that is fully customized not only to the individual, but to the situation she is in. This extends to real-time processes and having the right data necessary to make instant responses possible.

In order for this to happen, the role of IT is rapidly changing. IT used to focus on building core applications to store and retrieve data. Now with the digital user experience, the focus has switched to the interaction process: intelligent interaction with customers, employees, business partners, and even machines.

Sound daunting? Well, it’s just the beginning of how companies will need to design for digital. The Capgemini report states that mobile is much more than just another channel, and the report outlines some important factors to consider when designing applications for the digital user experience.

Key elements of a highly individualized, digital user experience

  • No keyboard – Network interactions focus more on audible, visual, and sensory computing, as opposed to the use of a keyboard.
  • Object of desire – Your customers expect a compelling experience, so create desirable apps that facilitate specific tasks.
  • Get a life – As the line between personal and work life blurs, your business applications must strike a balance between the needs and perspectives of the consumer and the business professional.
  • End user, end producer – Shift innovative app development beyond your busy IT department with secure enterprise-grade services, tools, and interfaces.
  • Digital self – Embrace “thinking and learning” hardware and analytics to help you deal intelligently with customer data, find patterns, and predict future customer behavior.

To embrace or ignore digital customers

Businesses that embrace these changes and aim to create the best technology interaction possible – through the use of data, context, history, and behavior – will reap greater benefits and will move forward with disruptive business models that could transform entire industries.

Those organizations that do not embrace digital technology and choose to ignore the growing needs of digital customers face the increasing threat of being left behind as other leading companies in their industry leap ahead with disruptive digital transformation.

The key takeaway? Denying digital customers their expected “You Experience” could be at your peril.

The above information is based on the Capgemini report, TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation” – Copyright © 2015 Capgemini.

For more information about digital transformation and the changing omni-channel customer experience, download the SAP eBook, Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.

For a detailed look at how the digital age is affecting business, download the SAP eBook, The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.

Learn more about The Battle For Customer Engagement: How the ‘Internet of Me’ is Changing All the Rules and Maximizing B2B Buyer Satisfaction: 6 Things You Should Know.

See How Data Can Lead To More Profitable Customer Relationships.

Discover how to Boost Profits and Lower Costs by Focusing on This One Thing.


Nilly Essaides

About Nilly Essaides

Nilly Essaides is senior research director, Finance & EPM Advisory Practice at The Hackett Group. Nilly is a thought leader and frequent speaker and meeting facilitator at industry events, the author of multiple in-depth guides on financial planning & analysis topics, as well as monthly articles and numerous blogs. She was formerly director and practice lead of Financial Planning & Analysis at the Association for Financial Professionals, and managing director at the NeuGroup, where she co-led the company’s successful peer group business. Nilly also co-authored a book about knowledge management and how to transfer best practices with the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC).

This Is Your Customer’s Brain On (Digital) Speed

Anja Reschke

When the iPhone made its first appearance in 2007, it struck a deep, resonant chord with consumers – across a wholly unprepared business landscape. Apps were unleashed to the masses, and then within the enterprise. The lines between our business and social lives began to blur.

high-speed traffic across bridgeSuddenly, we couldn’t leave home without a mobile device – which we check a colossal 160 times a day on average, according to a recent Capgemini report, “TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation.” The fundamental change is not, however, that we are tethered to a device at all times – although that is a radical departure from landlines and LAN lines – but that users have become the center of everything.

The rise of the empowered customer

Bolstered by the consumerization of information, customers are now empowered – and very high maintenance. They demand instant answers to their questions, queries, wants, and needs. Their apps need to be both friendly and lighting-speed responsive, and they not only expect to be alerted about problems the moment they occur, they want to know about issues before they happen.

So, what does this mean for organizations whose customers are these very same empowered users?

Design for the digital customer

The report urges organizations to focus on creating the ultimate customer experience: a true “You Experience” that is fully customized not only to the individual, but to the situation she is in. This extends to real-time processes and having the right data necessary to make instant responses possible.

In order for this to happen, the role of IT is rapidly changing. IT used to focus on building core applications to store and retrieve data. Now with the digital user experience, the focus has switched to the interaction process: intelligent interaction with customers, employees, business partners, and even machines.

Sound daunting? Well, it’s just the beginning of how companies will need to design for digital. The Capgemini report states that mobile is much more than just another channel, and the report outlines some important factors to consider when designing applications for the digital user experience.

Key elements of a highly individualized, digital user experience

  • No keyboard – Network interactions focus more on audible, visual, and sensory computing, as opposed to the use of a keyboard.
  • Object of desire – Your customers expect a compelling experience, so create desirable apps that facilitate specific tasks.
  • Get a life – As the line between personal and work life blurs, your business applications must strike a balance between the needs and perspectives of the consumer and the business professional.
  • End user, end producer – Shift innovative app development beyond your busy IT department with secure enterprise-grade services, tools, and interfaces.
  • Digital self – Embrace “thinking and learning” hardware and analytics to help you deal intelligently with customer data, find patterns, and predict future customer behavior.

To embrace or ignore digital customers

Businesses that embrace these changes and aim to create the best technology interaction possible – through the use of data, context, history, and behavior – will reap greater benefits and will move forward with disruptive business models that could transform entire industries.

Those organizations that do not embrace digital technology and choose to ignore the growing needs of digital customers face the increasing threat of being left behind as other leading companies in their industry leap ahead with disruptive digital transformation.

The key takeaway? Denying digital customers their expected “You Experience” could be at your peril.

The above information is based on the Capgemini report, TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation” – Copyright © 2015 Capgemini.

For more information about digital transformation and the changing omni-channel customer experience, download the SAP eBook, Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.

For a detailed look at how the digital age is affecting business, download the SAP eBook, The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.

Learn more about The Battle For Customer Engagement: How the ‘Internet of Me’ is Changing All the Rules and Maximizing B2B Buyer Satisfaction: 6 Things You Should Know.

See How Data Can Lead To More Profitable Customer Relationships.

Discover how to Boost Profits and Lower Costs by Focusing on This One Thing.


Rosina Geiger

About Rosina Geiger

Rosina Geiger is the Director of Startup Engagement at SAP. She has worked at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam before joining SAP in 2016 to establish the SAP IoT Startup Accelerator in Berlin and Palo Alto.

This Is Your Customer’s Brain On (Digital) Speed

Anja Reschke

When the iPhone made its first appearance in 2007, it struck a deep, resonant chord with consumers – across a wholly unprepared business landscape. Apps were unleashed to the masses, and then within the enterprise. The lines between our business and social lives began to blur.

high-speed traffic across bridgeSuddenly, we couldn’t leave home without a mobile device – which we check a colossal 160 times a day on average, according to a recent Capgemini report, “TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation.” The fundamental change is not, however, that we are tethered to a device at all times – although that is a radical departure from landlines and LAN lines – but that users have become the center of everything.

The rise of the empowered customer

Bolstered by the consumerization of information, customers are now empowered – and very high maintenance. They demand instant answers to their questions, queries, wants, and needs. Their apps need to be both friendly and lighting-speed responsive, and they not only expect to be alerted about problems the moment they occur, they want to know about issues before they happen.

So, what does this mean for organizations whose customers are these very same empowered users?

Design for the digital customer

The report urges organizations to focus on creating the ultimate customer experience: a true “You Experience” that is fully customized not only to the individual, but to the situation she is in. This extends to real-time processes and having the right data necessary to make instant responses possible.

In order for this to happen, the role of IT is rapidly changing. IT used to focus on building core applications to store and retrieve data. Now with the digital user experience, the focus has switched to the interaction process: intelligent interaction with customers, employees, business partners, and even machines.

Sound daunting? Well, it’s just the beginning of how companies will need to design for digital. The Capgemini report states that mobile is much more than just another channel, and the report outlines some important factors to consider when designing applications for the digital user experience.

Key elements of a highly individualized, digital user experience

  • No keyboard – Network interactions focus more on audible, visual, and sensory computing, as opposed to the use of a keyboard.
  • Object of desire – Your customers expect a compelling experience, so create desirable apps that facilitate specific tasks.
  • Get a life – As the line between personal and work life blurs, your business applications must strike a balance between the needs and perspectives of the consumer and the business professional.
  • End user, end producer – Shift innovative app development beyond your busy IT department with secure enterprise-grade services, tools, and interfaces.
  • Digital self – Embrace “thinking and learning” hardware and analytics to help you deal intelligently with customer data, find patterns, and predict future customer behavior.

To embrace or ignore digital customers

Businesses that embrace these changes and aim to create the best technology interaction possible – through the use of data, context, history, and behavior – will reap greater benefits and will move forward with disruptive business models that could transform entire industries.

Those organizations that do not embrace digital technology and choose to ignore the growing needs of digital customers face the increasing threat of being left behind as other leading companies in their industry leap ahead with disruptive digital transformation.

The key takeaway? Denying digital customers their expected “You Experience” could be at your peril.

The above information is based on the Capgemini report, TechnoVision 2015: Technology Building Blocks for Digital Transformation” – Copyright © 2015 Capgemini.

For more information about digital transformation and the changing omni-channel customer experience, download the SAP eBook, Digital Disruption: How Digital Technology is Transforming Our World.

For a detailed look at how the digital age is affecting business, download the SAP eBook, The Digital Economy: Reinventing the Business World.

Learn more about The Battle For Customer Engagement: How the ‘Internet of Me’ is Changing All the Rules and Maximizing B2B Buyer Satisfaction: 6 Things You Should Know.

See How Data Can Lead To More Profitable Customer Relationships.

Discover how to Boost Profits and Lower Costs by Focusing on This One Thing.


Dr. Markus Noga

About Dr. Markus Noga

Dr. Markus Noga is vice president of Machine Learning at SAP. Machine learning (ML) applies deep learning, machine learning, and advanced data science to solve business challenges. The ML team aspires to building SAP’s next growth business in intelligent solutions, and works closely with existing product units and platform teams to deliver business value to their customers. Part of the SAP Innovation Center Network (ICN), the Machine Learning team operates as a lean startup within SAP with sites in Germany, Israel, Singapore, and Palo Alto.

Cheap Gas, Electric Cars, And Customer Experience

gregory yankelovich

Even if you sell a commodity, customer experience often outweighs price considerations. Just because the term customer experience management (CEM) is  relatively new to corporate vocabulary, the power of “experience” is not lost on marketing professionals. The world of marketing is drastically changing, moving away from the hype of novelty and awareness-building through branding and advertising and toward  the creation of loyalty through great customer experiences.

As oil prices impact every element of the world Cheap gaseconomy, and markets expect the depressed levels to last for at least a decade, the future of alternative energy technologies being questioned. Sales of electric and hybrid cars  are dipping, seemingly in concert with oil prices, and auto industry analysts are trying to assess whether or not cheap gas will kill the demand for such vehicles.

It is important to remember that even at the near-record high of gas prices, customer retention of hybrid vehicles was only 35%. Specifically, Prius owners’ loyalty in 2012 was only 25%.

“Only 30.9% of hybrid drivers traded in for another gas-electric model in the third quarter of 2011, when gas prices were stable. But as prices at the pump surged in the final three months of that year, so did hybrid car repurchases, leading to a 40.1% loyalty rate.”

It is easy to see correlations between gas prices and sales of electric vehicles, but perhaps it is a mistake to take these as the causation.

It is true that sales of electric cars from Nissan (Leaf) are 20% down this year and gas-electric hybrid Chevy Volt’s are down 50%. However, the demand for Tesla Model S is stronger than ever, and sales are up 35% during the first quarter of 2015.

Mining online reviews posted by customers who have purchased these cars reveal a much stronger correlation between customer experience and retention/loyalty than the correlation between sales of electric cars and price of gas. As the novelty of electric/hybrid cars and the social cache of environmentalism fade, the underwhelming customer experience these vehicles delivered to their owners compels customers to return to familiar fossil-fuel vehicles. That will continue until the electric cars sold provide better customer experience than conventional ones at the same or better price. The energy that drives these cars may be alternative, but it is not a substitute for the delivery of superior customer experience.

For more effective customer experience strategies, see Customer Experience: How to Balance Culture and Operations.


Kevin Jinks

About Kevin Jinks

Kevin Jinks is Vice President & Partner / Industrial Sector SAP Leader for IBM Global Business Services. With more than 22 years of IT consulting and client management experience, he has extensive knowledge in ERP systems, architectural design, system development and implementation management for major clients globally.

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#CustExp

Cheap Gas, Electric Cars, And Customer Experience

gregory yankelovich

Even if you sell a commodity, customer experience often outweighs price considerations. Just because the term customer experience management (CEM) is  relatively new to corporate vocabulary, the power of “experience” is not lost on marketing professionals. The world of marketing is drastically changing, moving away from the hype of novelty and awareness-building through branding and advertising and toward  the creation of loyalty through great customer experiences.

As oil prices impact every element of the world Cheap gaseconomy, and markets expect the depressed levels to last for at least a decade, the future of alternative energy technologies being questioned. Sales of electric and hybrid cars  are dipping, seemingly in concert with oil prices, and auto industry analysts are trying to assess whether or not cheap gas will kill the demand for such vehicles.

It is important to remember that even at the near-record high of gas prices, customer retention of hybrid vehicles was only 35%. Specifically, Prius owners’ loyalty in 2012 was only 25%.

“Only 30.9% of hybrid drivers traded in for another gas-electric model in the third quarter of 2011, when gas prices were stable. But as prices at the pump surged in the final three months of that year, so did hybrid car repurchases, leading to a 40.1% loyalty rate.”

It is easy to see correlations between gas prices and sales of electric vehicles, but perhaps it is a mistake to take these as the causation.

It is true that sales of electric cars from Nissan (Leaf) are 20% down this year and gas-electric hybrid Chevy Volt’s are down 50%. However, the demand for Tesla Model S is stronger than ever, and sales are up 35% during the first quarter of 2015.

Mining online reviews posted by customers who have purchased these cars reveal a much stronger correlation between customer experience and retention/loyalty than the correlation between sales of electric cars and price of gas. As the novelty of electric/hybrid cars and the social cache of environmentalism fade, the underwhelming customer experience these vehicles delivered to their owners compels customers to return to familiar fossil-fuel vehicles. That will continue until the electric cars sold provide better customer experience than conventional ones at the same or better price. The energy that drives these cars may be alternative, but it is not a substitute for the delivery of superior customer experience.

For more effective customer experience strategies, see Customer Experience: How to Balance Culture and Operations.


Anton Kroger

About Anton Kroger

Anton Kroger is an Energy and Natural Resources industry solution specialist for SAP based in Australia. Anton has worked in the resources sector for 16 years and has field operations and management experience, both locally in Australia and internationally. He now works with Energy and Natural resources companies across Australia and New Zealand to help them run better, more innovatively and imagine new ways of doing business. He is an advocate for clean energy and resources and believes that innovation is critical to the future of this industry. Anton believes that despite the disruption taking place in the industry today there is still a lot of opportunity for existing companies in the future.

Tags:

#CustExp

Cheap Gas, Electric Cars, And Customer Experience

gregory yankelovich

Even if you sell a commodity, customer experience often outweighs price considerations. Just because the term customer experience management (CEM) is  relatively new to corporate vocabulary, the power of “experience” is not lost on marketing professionals. The world of marketing is drastically changing, moving away from the hype of novelty and awareness-building through branding and advertising and toward  the creation of loyalty through great customer experiences.

As oil prices impact every element of the world Cheap gaseconomy, and markets expect the depressed levels to last for at least a decade, the future of alternative energy technologies being questioned. Sales of electric and hybrid cars  are dipping, seemingly in concert with oil prices, and auto industry analysts are trying to assess whether or not cheap gas will kill the demand for such vehicles.

It is important to remember that even at the near-record high of gas prices, customer retention of hybrid vehicles was only 35%. Specifically, Prius owners’ loyalty in 2012 was only 25%.

“Only 30.9% of hybrid drivers traded in for another gas-electric model in the third quarter of 2011, when gas prices were stable. But as prices at the pump surged in the final three months of that year, so did hybrid car repurchases, leading to a 40.1% loyalty rate.”

It is easy to see correlations between gas prices and sales of electric vehicles, but perhaps it is a mistake to take these as the causation.

It is true that sales of electric cars from Nissan (Leaf) are 20% down this year and gas-electric hybrid Chevy Volt’s are down 50%. However, the demand for Tesla Model S is stronger than ever, and sales are up 35% during the first quarter of 2015.

Mining online reviews posted by customers who have purchased these cars reveal a much stronger correlation between customer experience and retention/loyalty than the correlation between sales of electric cars and price of gas. As the novelty of electric/hybrid cars and the social cache of environmentalism fade, the underwhelming customer experience these vehicles delivered to their owners compels customers to return to familiar fossil-fuel vehicles. That will continue until the electric cars sold provide better customer experience than conventional ones at the same or better price. The energy that drives these cars may be alternative, but it is not a substitute for the delivery of superior customer experience.

For more effective customer experience strategies, see Customer Experience: How to Balance Culture and Operations.


Paul Dandurand

About Paul Dandurand

Paul Dandurand is the founder and CEO of PieMatrix, a visual project management application company. Paul has a background in starting and growing companies. Prior to PieMatrix, he was co-founder of FocusFrame, where he wore multiple hats, including those of co-president and director. He helped position FocusFrame as the market leader with process methodology differentiation. FocusFrame was sold to Hexaware in 2006. Previously, he was a management consulting manager at Ernst & Young (now Capgemini) in San Francisco and Siebel Systems in Amsterdam. Paul enjoys photography, skiing, and watching independent films. He earned a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.

Tags:

#CustExp

Cheap Gas, Electric Cars, And Customer Experience

gregory yankelovich

Even if you sell a commodity, customer experience often outweighs price considerations. Just because the term customer experience management (CEM) is  relatively new to corporate vocabulary, the power of “experience” is not lost on marketing professionals. The world of marketing is drastically changing, moving away from the hype of novelty and awareness-building through branding and advertising and toward  the creation of loyalty through great customer experiences.

As oil prices impact every element of the world Cheap gaseconomy, and markets expect the depressed levels to last for at least a decade, the future of alternative energy technologies being questioned. Sales of electric and hybrid cars  are dipping, seemingly in concert with oil prices, and auto industry analysts are trying to assess whether or not cheap gas will kill the demand for such vehicles.

It is important to remember that even at the near-record high of gas prices, customer retention of hybrid vehicles was only 35%. Specifically, Prius owners’ loyalty in 2012 was only 25%.

“Only 30.9% of hybrid drivers traded in for another gas-electric model in the third quarter of 2011, when gas prices were stable. But as prices at the pump surged in the final three months of that year, so did hybrid car repurchases, leading to a 40.1% loyalty rate.”

It is easy to see correlations between gas prices and sales of electric vehicles, but perhaps it is a mistake to take these as the causation.

It is true that sales of electric cars from Nissan (Leaf) are 20% down this year and gas-electric hybrid Chevy Volt’s are down 50%. However, the demand for Tesla Model S is stronger than ever, and sales are up 35% during the first quarter of 2015.

Mining online reviews posted by customers who have purchased these cars reveal a much stronger correlation between customer experience and retention/loyalty than the correlation between sales of electric cars and price of gas. As the novelty of electric/hybrid cars and the social cache of environmentalism fade, the underwhelming customer experience these vehicles delivered to their owners compels customers to return to familiar fossil-fuel vehicles. That will continue until the electric cars sold provide better customer experience than conventional ones at the same or better price. The energy that drives these cars may be alternative, but it is not a substitute for the delivery of superior customer experience.

For more effective customer experience strategies, see Customer Experience: How to Balance Culture and Operations.


Markus Steer

About Markus Steer

Markus Steer is an advisor with SAP & experienced leader for Digital Transformation to connect people, things and businesses to run the world better. He helps CEOs and Biz leaders to define their vision and leverage digital trends to transform their company. He provides guidance to CTOs and Enterprise Architects on end-to-end architecture design. Connect with Markus at www.linkedin.com/in/markus-steer-90b2b02a/.

Tags:

#CustExp

Cheap Gas, Electric Cars, And Customer Experience

gregory yankelovich

Even if you sell a commodity, customer experience often outweighs price considerations. Just because the term customer experience management (CEM) is  relatively new to corporate vocabulary, the power of “experience” is not lost on marketing professionals. The world of marketing is drastically changing, moving away from the hype of novelty and awareness-building through branding and advertising and toward  the creation of loyalty through great customer experiences.

As oil prices impact every element of the world Cheap gaseconomy, and markets expect the depressed levels to last for at least a decade, the future of alternative energy technologies being questioned. Sales of electric and hybrid cars  are dipping, seemingly in concert with oil prices, and auto industry analysts are trying to assess whether or not cheap gas will kill the demand for such vehicles.

It is important to remember that even at the near-record high of gas prices, customer retention of hybrid vehicles was only 35%. Specifically, Prius owners’ loyalty in 2012 was only 25%.

“Only 30.9% of hybrid drivers traded in for another gas-electric model in the third quarter of 2011, when gas prices were stable. But as prices at the pump surged in the final three months of that year, so did hybrid car repurchases, leading to a 40.1% loyalty rate.”

It is easy to see correlations between gas prices and sales of electric vehicles, but perhaps it is a mistake to take these as the causation.

It is true that sales of electric cars from Nissan (Leaf) are 20% down this year and gas-electric hybrid Chevy Volt’s are down 50%. However, the demand for Tesla Model S is stronger than ever, and sales are up 35% during the first quarter of 2015.

Mining online reviews posted by customers who have purchased these cars reveal a much stronger correlation between customer experience and retention/loyalty than the correlation between sales of electric cars and price of gas. As the novelty of electric/hybrid cars and the social cache of environmentalism fade, the underwhelming customer experience these vehicles delivered to their owners compels customers to return to familiar fossil-fuel vehicles. That will continue until the electric cars sold provide better customer experience than conventional ones at the same or better price. The energy that drives these cars may be alternative, but it is not a substitute for the delivery of superior customer experience.

For more effective customer experience strategies, see Customer Experience: How to Balance Culture and Operations.


Thierry Audas

About Thierry Audas

Thierry Audas is a senior director of Product Marketing with SAP and focuses on business intelligence and analytics. He works with SAP customers to help them better understand how SAP solutions help organizations to transform all their data, the foundation of a digital enterprise, into insight to drive innovation and create business value. Thierry has more than 20 years of experience in the BI and analytics field and has held various senior roles in presales, consulting, and product management.

Tags:

#CustExp

Cheap Gas, Electric Cars, And Customer Experience

gregory yankelovich

Even if you sell a commodity, customer experience often outweighs price considerations. Just because the term customer experience management (CEM) is  relatively new to corporate vocabulary, the power of “experience” is not lost on marketing professionals. The world of marketing is drastically changing, moving away from the hype of novelty and awareness-building through branding and advertising and toward  the creation of loyalty through great customer experiences.

As oil prices impact every element of the world Cheap gaseconomy, and markets expect the depressed levels to last for at least a decade, the future of alternative energy technologies being questioned. Sales of electric and hybrid cars  are dipping, seemingly in concert with oil prices, and auto industry analysts are trying to assess whether or not cheap gas will kill the demand for such vehicles.

It is important to remember that even at the near-record high of gas prices, customer retention of hybrid vehicles was only 35%. Specifically, Prius owners’ loyalty in 2012 was only 25%.

“Only 30.9% of hybrid drivers traded in for another gas-electric model in the third quarter of 2011, when gas prices were stable. But as prices at the pump surged in the final three months of that year, so did hybrid car repurchases, leading to a 40.1% loyalty rate.”

It is easy to see correlations between gas prices and sales of electric vehicles, but perhaps it is a mistake to take these as the causation.

It is true that sales of electric cars from Nissan (Leaf) are 20% down this year and gas-electric hybrid Chevy Volt’s are down 50%. However, the demand for Tesla Model S is stronger than ever, and sales are up 35% during the first quarter of 2015.

Mining online reviews posted by customers who have purchased these cars reveal a much stronger correlation between customer experience and retention/loyalty than the correlation between sales of electric cars and price of gas. As the novelty of electric/hybrid cars and the social cache of environmentalism fade, the underwhelming customer experience these vehicles delivered to their owners compels customers to return to familiar fossil-fuel vehicles. That will continue until the electric cars sold provide better customer experience than conventional ones at the same or better price. The energy that drives these cars may be alternative, but it is not a substitute for the delivery of superior customer experience.

For more effective customer experience strategies, see Customer Experience: How to Balance Culture and Operations.


Karen McDermott

About Karen McDermott

Karen McDermott is Global Head of Financial Services Industries Marketing and Communications at SAP, responsible for driving the growth of SAP's value proposition as a technology provider, trusted business partner, and thought leader for the financial services industry.

Tags:

#CustExp

Cheap Gas, Electric Cars, And Customer Experience

gregory yankelovich

Even if you sell a commodity, customer experience often outweighs price considerations. Just because the term customer experience management (CEM) is  relatively new to corporate vocabulary, the power of “experience” is not lost on marketing professionals. The world of marketing is drastically changing, moving away from the hype of novelty and awareness-building through branding and advertising and toward  the creation of loyalty through great customer experiences.

As oil prices impact every element of the world Cheap gaseconomy, and markets expect the depressed levels to last for at least a decade, the future of alternative energy technologies being questioned. Sales of electric and hybrid cars  are dipping, seemingly in concert with oil prices, and auto industry analysts are trying to assess whether or not cheap gas will kill the demand for such vehicles.

It is important to remember that even at the near-record high of gas prices, customer retention of hybrid vehicles was only 35%. Specifically, Prius owners’ loyalty in 2012 was only 25%.

“Only 30.9% of hybrid drivers traded in for another gas-electric model in the third quarter of 2011, when gas prices were stable. But as prices at the pump surged in the final three months of that year, so did hybrid car repurchases, leading to a 40.1% loyalty rate.”

It is easy to see correlations between gas prices and sales of electric vehicles, but perhaps it is a mistake to take these as the causation.

It is true that sales of electric cars from Nissan (Leaf) are 20% down this year and gas-electric hybrid Chevy Volt’s are down 50%. However, the demand for Tesla Model S is stronger than ever, and sales are up 35% during the first quarter of 2015.

Mining online reviews posted by customers who have purchased these cars reveal a much stronger correlation between customer experience and retention/loyalty than the correlation between sales of electric cars and price of gas. As the novelty of electric/hybrid cars and the social cache of environmentalism fade, the underwhelming customer experience these vehicles delivered to their owners compels customers to return to familiar fossil-fuel vehicles. That will continue until the electric cars sold provide better customer experience than conventional ones at the same or better price. The energy that drives these cars may be alternative, but it is not a substitute for the delivery of superior customer experience.

For more effective customer experience strategies, see Customer Experience: How to Balance Culture and Operations.


Catherine Lynch

About Catherine Lynch

Catherine Lynch is a Senior Director of Industry Cloud Marketing at SAP. She is a content marketing specialist with a particular focus on the professional services and media industries globally. Catherine has a wide international experience of working with enterprise application vendors in global roles, creating thought leadership and is a social media practitioner.

Tags:

#CustExp

Cheap Gas, Electric Cars, And Customer Experience

gregory yankelovich

Even if you sell a commodity, customer experience often outweighs price considerations. Just because the term customer experience management (CEM) is  relatively new to corporate vocabulary, the power of “experience” is not lost on marketing professionals. The world of marketing is drastically changing, moving away from the hype of novelty and awareness-building through branding and advertising and toward  the creation of loyalty through great customer experiences.

As oil prices impact every element of the world Cheap gaseconomy, and markets expect the depressed levels to last for at least a decade, the future of alternative energy technologies being questioned. Sales of electric and hybrid cars  are dipping, seemingly in concert with oil prices, and auto industry analysts are trying to assess whether or not cheap gas will kill the demand for such vehicles.

It is important to remember that even at the near-record high of gas prices, customer retention of hybrid vehicles was only 35%. Specifically, Prius owners’ loyalty in 2012 was only 25%.

“Only 30.9% of hybrid drivers traded in for another gas-electric model in the third quarter of 2011, when gas prices were stable. But as prices at the pump surged in the final three months of that year, so did hybrid car repurchases, leading to a 40.1% loyalty rate.”

It is easy to see correlations between gas prices and sales of electric vehicles, but perhaps it is a mistake to take these as the causation.

It is true that sales of electric cars from Nissan (Leaf) are 20% down this year and gas-electric hybrid Chevy Volt’s are down 50%. However, the demand for Tesla Model S is stronger than ever, and sales are up 35% during the first quarter of 2015.

Mining online reviews posted by customers who have purchased these cars reveal a much stronger correlation between customer experience and retention/loyalty than the correlation between sales of electric cars and price of gas. As the novelty of electric/hybrid cars and the social cache of environmentalism fade, the underwhelming customer experience these vehicles delivered to their owners compels customers to return to familiar fossil-fuel vehicles. That will continue until the electric cars sold provide better customer experience than conventional ones at the same or better price. The energy that drives these cars may be alternative, but it is not a substitute for the delivery of superior customer experience.

For more effective customer experience strategies, see Customer Experience: How to Balance Culture and Operations.


Nilly Essaides

About Nilly Essaides

Nilly Essaides is senior research director, Finance & EPM Advisory Practice at The Hackett Group. Nilly is a thought leader and frequent speaker and meeting facilitator at industry events, the author of multiple in-depth guides on financial planning & analysis topics, as well as monthly articles and numerous blogs. She was formerly director and practice lead of Financial Planning & Analysis at the Association for Financial Professionals, and managing director at the NeuGroup, where she co-led the company’s successful peer group business. Nilly also co-authored a book about knowledge management and how to transfer best practices with the American Productivity and Quality Center (APQC).

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Cheap Gas, Electric Cars, And Customer Experience

gregory yankelovich

Even if you sell a commodity, customer experience often outweighs price considerations. Just because the term customer experience management (CEM) is  relatively new to corporate vocabulary, the power of “experience” is not lost on marketing professionals. The world of marketing is drastically changing, moving away from the hype of novelty and awareness-building through branding and advertising and toward  the creation of loyalty through great customer experiences.

As oil prices impact every element of the world Cheap gaseconomy, and markets expect the depressed levels to last for at least a decade, the future of alternative energy technologies being questioned. Sales of electric and hybrid cars  are dipping, seemingly in concert with oil prices, and auto industry analysts are trying to assess whether or not cheap gas will kill the demand for such vehicles.

It is important to remember that even at the near-record high of gas prices, customer retention of hybrid vehicles was only 35%. Specifically, Prius owners’ loyalty in 2012 was only 25%.

“Only 30.9% of hybrid drivers traded in for another gas-electric model in the third quarter of 2011, when gas prices were stable. But as prices at the pump surged in the final three months of that year, so did hybrid car repurchases, leading to a 40.1% loyalty rate.”

It is easy to see correlations between gas prices and sales of electric vehicles, but perhaps it is a mistake to take these as the causation.

It is true that sales of electric cars from Nissan (Leaf) are 20% down this year and gas-electric hybrid Chevy Volt’s are down 50%. However, the demand for Tesla Model S is stronger than ever, and sales are up 35% during the first quarter of 2015.

Mining online reviews posted by customers who have purchased these cars reveal a much stronger correlation between customer experience and retention/loyalty than the correlation between sales of electric cars and price of gas. As the novelty of electric/hybrid cars and the social cache of environmentalism fade, the underwhelming customer experience these vehicles delivered to their owners compels customers to return to familiar fossil-fuel vehicles. That will continue until the electric cars sold provide better customer experience than conventional ones at the same or better price. The energy that drives these cars may be alternative, but it is not a substitute for the delivery of superior customer experience.

For more effective customer experience strategies, see Customer Experience: How to Balance Culture and Operations.


Rosina Geiger

About Rosina Geiger

Rosina Geiger is the Director of Startup Engagement at SAP. She has worked at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam before joining SAP in 2016 to establish the SAP IoT Startup Accelerator in Berlin and Palo Alto.

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Cheap Gas, Electric Cars, And Customer Experience

gregory yankelovich

Even if you sell a commodity, customer experience often outweighs price considerations. Just because the term customer experience management (CEM) is  relatively new to corporate vocabulary, the power of “experience” is not lost on marketing professionals. The world of marketing is drastically changing, moving away from the hype of novelty and awareness-building through branding and advertising and toward  the creation of loyalty through great customer experiences.

As oil prices impact every element of the world Cheap gaseconomy, and markets expect the depressed levels to last for at least a decade, the future of alternative energy technologies being questioned. Sales of electric and hybrid cars  are dipping, seemingly in concert with oil prices, and auto industry analysts are trying to assess whether or not cheap gas will kill the demand for such vehicles.

It is important to remember that even at the near-record high of gas prices, customer retention of hybrid vehicles was only 35%. Specifically, Prius owners’ loyalty in 2012 was only 25%.

“Only 30.9% of hybrid drivers traded in for another gas-electric model in the third quarter of 2011, when gas prices were stable. But as prices at the pump surged in the final three months of that year, so did hybrid car repurchases, leading to a 40.1% loyalty rate.”

It is easy to see correlations between gas prices and sales of electric vehicles, but perhaps it is a mistake to take these as the causation.

It is true that sales of electric cars from Nissan (Leaf) are 20% down this year and gas-electric hybrid Chevy Volt’s are down 50%. However, the demand for Tesla Model S is stronger than ever, and sales are up 35% during the first quarter of 2015.

Mining online reviews posted by customers who have purchased these cars reveal a much stronger correlation between customer experience and retention/loyalty than the correlation between sales of electric cars and price of gas. As the novelty of electric/hybrid cars and the social cache of environmentalism fade, the underwhelming customer experience these vehicles delivered to their owners compels customers to return to familiar fossil-fuel vehicles. That will continue until the electric cars sold provide better customer experience than conventional ones at the same or better price. The energy that drives these cars may be alternative, but it is not a substitute for the delivery of superior customer experience.

For more effective customer experience strategies, see Customer Experience: How to Balance Culture and Operations.


Dr. Markus Noga

About Dr. Markus Noga

Dr. Markus Noga is vice president of Machine Learning at SAP. Machine learning (ML) applies deep learning, machine learning, and advanced data science to solve business challenges. The ML team aspires to building SAP’s next growth business in intelligent solutions, and works closely with existing product units and platform teams to deliver business value to their customers. Part of the SAP Innovation Center Network (ICN), the Machine Learning team operates as a lean startup within SAP with sites in Germany, Israel, Singapore, and Palo Alto.

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The Human Angle

By Jenny Dearborn, David Judge, Tom Raftery, and Neal Ungerleider

In a future teeming with robots and artificial intelligence, humans seem to be on the verge of being crowded out. But in reality the opposite is true.

To be successful, organizations need to become more human than ever.

Organizations that focus only on automation will automate away their competitive edge. The most successful will focus instead on skills that set them apart and that can’t be duplicated by AI or machine learning. Those skills can be summed up in one word: humanness.

You can see it in the numbers. According to David J. Deming of the Harvard Kennedy School, demand for jobs that require social skills has risen nearly 12 percentage points since 1980, while less-social jobs, such as computer coding, have declined by a little over 3 percentage points.

AI is in its infancy, which means that it cannot yet come close to duplicating our most human skills. Stefan van Duin and Naser Bakhshi, consultants at professional services company Deloitte, break down artificial intelligence into two types: narrow and general. Narrow AI is good at specific tasks, such as playing chess or identifying facial expressions. General AI, which can learn and solve complex, multifaceted problems the way a human being does, exists today only in the minds of futurists.

The only thing narrow artificial intelligence can do is automate. It can’t empathize. It can’t collaborate. It can’t innovate. Those abilities, if they ever come, are still a long way off. In the meantime, AI’s biggest value is in augmentation. When human beings work with AI tools, the process results in a sort of augmented intelligence. This augmented intelligence outperforms the work of either human beings or AI software tools on their own.

AI-powered tools will be the partners that free employees and management to tackle higher-level challenges.

Those challenges will, by default, be more human and social in nature because many rote, repetitive tasks will be automated away. Companies will find that developing fundamental human skills, such as critical thinking and problem solving, within the organization will take on a new importance. These skills can’t be automated and they won’t become process steps for algorithms anytime soon.

In a world where technology change is constant and unpredictable, those organizations that make the fullest use of uniquely human skills will win. These skills will be used in collaboration with both other humans and AI-fueled software and hardware tools. The degree of humanness an organization possesses will become a competitive advantage.

This means that today’s companies must think about hiring, training, and leading differently. Most of today’s corporate training programs focus on imparting specific knowledge that will likely become obsolete over time.

Instead of hiring for portfolios of specific subject knowledge, organizations should instead hire—and train—for more foundational skills, whose value can’t erode away as easily.

Recently, educational consulting firm Hanover Research looked at high-growth occupations identified by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and determined the core skills required in each of them based on a database that it had developed. The most valuable skills were active listening, speaking, and critical thinking—giving lie to the dismissive term soft skills. They’re not soft; they’re human.


This doesn’t mean that STEM skills won’t be important in the future. But organizations will find that their most valuable employees are those with both math and social skills.

That’s because technical skills will become more perishable as AI shifts the pace of technology change from linear to exponential. Employees will require constant retraining over time. For example, roughly half of the subject knowledge acquired during the first year of a four-year technical degree, such as computer science, is already outdated by the time students graduate, according to The Future of Jobs, a report from the World Economic Forum (WEF).

The WEF’s report further notes that “65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in jobs that don’t yet exist.” By contrast, human skills such as interpersonal communication and project management will remain consistent over the years.

For example, organizations already report that they are having difficulty finding people equipped for the Big Data era’s hot job: data scientist. That’s because data scientists need a combination of hard and soft skills. Data scientists can’t just be good programmers and statisticians; they also need to be intuitive and inquisitive and have good communication skills. We don’t expect all these qualities from our engineering graduates, nor from most of our employees.

But we need to start.

From Self-Help to Self-Skills

Even if most schools and employers have yet to see it, employees are starting to understand that their future viability depends on improving their innately human qualities. One of the most popular courses on Coursera, an online learning platform, is called Learning How to Learn. Created by the University of California, San Diego, the course is essentially a master class in human skills: students learn everything from memory techniques to dealing with procrastination and communicating complicated ideas, according to an article in The New York Times.

Attempting to teach employees how to make behavioral changes has always seemed off-limits to organizations—the province of private therapists, not corporate trainers. But that outlook is changing.

Although there is a longstanding assumption that social skills are innate, nothing is further from the truth. As the popularity of Learning How to Learn attests, human skills—everything from learning skills to communication skills to empathy—can, and indeed must, be taught.

These human skills are integral for training workers for a workplace where artificial intelligence and automation are part of the daily routine. According to the WEF’s New Vision for Education report, the skills that employees will need in the future fall into three primary categories:

  • Foundational literacies: These core skills needed for the coming age of robotics and AI include understanding the basics of math, science, computing, finance, civics, and culture. While mastery of every topic isn’t required, workers who have a basic comprehension of many different areas will be richly rewarded in the coming economy.
  • Competencies: Developing competencies requires mastering very human skills, such as active listening, critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, communication, and collaboration.
  • Character qualities: Over the next decade, employees will need to master the skills that will help them grasp changing job duties and responsibilities. This means learning the skills that help employees acquire curiosity, initiative, persistence, grit, adaptability, leadership, and social and cultural awareness.


The good news is that learning human skills is not completely divorced from how work is structured today. Yonatan Zunger, a Google engineer with a background working with AI, argues that there is a considerable need for human skills in the workplace already—especially in the tech world. Many employees are simply unaware that when they are working on complicated software or hardware projects, they are using empathy, strategic problem solving, intuition, and interpersonal communication.

The unconscious deployment of human skills takes place even more frequently when employees climb the corporate ladder into management. “This is closely tied to the deeper difference between junior and senior roles: a junior person’s job is to find answers to questions; a senior person’s job is to find the right questions to ask,” says Zunger.

Human skills will be crucial to navigating the AI-infused workplace. There will be no shortage of need for the right questions to ask.

One of the biggest changes narrow AI tools will bring to the workplace is an evolution in how work is performed. AI-based tools will automate repetitive tasks across a wide swath of industries, which means that the day-to-day work for many white-collar workers will become far more focused on tasks requiring problem solving and critical thinking. These tasks will present challenges centered on interpersonal collaboration, clear communication, and autonomous decision-making—all human skills.

Being More Human Is Hard

However, the human skills that are essential for tomorrow’s AI-ified workplace, such as interpersonal communication, project planning, and conflict management, require a different approach from traditional learning. Often, these skills don’t just require people to learn new facts and techniques; they also call for basic changes in the ways individuals behave on—and off—the job.

Attempting to teach employees how to make behavioral changes has always seemed off-limits to organizations—the province of private therapists, not corporate trainers. But that outlook is changing. As science gains a better understanding of how the human brain works, many behaviors that affect employees on the job are understood to be universal and natural rather than individual (see “Human Skills 101”).

Human Skills 101

As neuroscience has improved our understanding of the brain, human skills have become increasingly quantifiable—and teachable.

Though the term soft skills has managed to hang on in the popular lexicon, our understanding of these human skills has increased to the point where they aren’t soft at all: they are a clearly definable set of skills that are crucial for organizations in the AI era.

Active listening: Paying close attention when receiving information and drawing out more information than received in normal discourse

Critical thinking: Gathering, analyzing, and evaluating issues and information to come to an unbiased conclusion

Problem solving: Finding solutions to problems and understanding the steps used to solve the problem

Decision-making: Weighing the evidence and options at hand to determine a specific course of action

Monitoring: Paying close attention to an issue, topic, or interaction in order to retain information for the future

Coordination: Working with individuals and other groups to achieve common goals

Social perceptiveness: Inferring what others are thinking by observing them

Time management: Budgeting and allocating time for projects and goals and structuring schedules to minimize conflicts and maximize productivity

Creativity: Generating ideas, concepts, or inferences that can be used to create new things

Curiosity: Desiring to learn and understand new or unfamiliar concepts

Imagination: Conceiving and thinking about new ideas, concepts, or images

Storytelling: Building narratives and concepts out of both new and existing ideas

Experimentation: Trying out new ideas, theories, and activities

Ethics: Practicing rules and standards that guide conduct and guarantee rights and fairness

Empathy: Identifying and understanding the emotional states of others

Collaboration: Working with others, coordinating efforts, and sharing resources to accomplish a common project

Resiliency: Withstanding setbacks, avoiding discouragement, and persisting toward a larger goal

Resistance to change, for example, is now known to result from an involuntary chemical reaction in the brain known as the fight-or-flight response, not from a weakness of character. Scientists and psychologists have developed objective ways of identifying these kinds of behaviors and have come up with universally applicable ways for employees to learn how to deal with them.

Organizations that emphasize such individual behavioral traits as active listening, social perceptiveness, and experimentation will have both an easier transition to a workplace that uses AI tools and more success operating in it.

Framing behavioral training in ways that emphasize its practical application at work and in advancing career goals helps employees feel more comfortable confronting behavioral roadblocks without feeling bad about themselves or stigmatized by others. It also helps organizations see the potential ROI of investing in what has traditionally been dismissed as touchy-feely stuff.

In fact, offering objective means for examining inner behaviors and tools for modifying them is more beneficial than just leaving the job to employees. For example, according to research by psychologist Tasha Eurich, introspection, which is how most of us try to understand our behaviors, can actually be counterproductive.

Human beings are complex creatures. There is generally way too much going on inside our minds to be able to pinpoint the conscious and unconscious behaviors that drive us to act the way we do. We wind up inventing explanations—usually negative—for our behaviors, which can lead to anxiety and depression, according to Eurich’s research.

Structured, objective training can help employees improve their human skills without the negative side effects. At SAP, for example, we offer employees a course on conflict resolution that uses objective research techniques for determining what happens when people get into conflicts. Employees learn about the different conflict styles that researchers have identified and take an assessment to determine their own style of dealing with conflict. Then employees work in teams to discuss their different styles and work together to resolve a specific conflict that one of the group members is currently experiencing.

How Knowing One’s Self Helps the Organization

Courses like this are helpful not just for reducing conflicts between individuals and among teams (and improving organizational productivity); they also contribute to greater self-awareness, which is the basis for enabling people to take fullest advantage of their human skills.

Self-awareness is a powerful tool for improving performance at both the individual and organizational levels. Self-aware people are more confident and creative, make better decisions, build stronger relationships, and communicate more effectively. They are also less likely to lie, cheat, and steal, according to Eurich.

It naturally follows that such people make better employees and are more likely to be promoted. They also make more effective leaders with happier employees, which makes the organization more profitable, according to research by Atuma Okpara and Agwu M. Edwin.

There are two types of self-awareness, writes Eurich. One is having a clear view inside of one’s self: one’s own thoughts, feelings, behaviors, strengths, and weaknesses. The second type is understanding how others view us in terms of these same categories.

Interestingly, while we often assume that those who possess one type of awareness also possess the other, there is no direct correlation between the two. In fact, just 10% to 15% of people have both, according to a survey by Eurich. That means that the vast majority of us must learn one or the other—or both.

Gaining self-awareness is a process that can take many years. But training that gives employees the opportunity to examine their own behaviors against objective standards and gain feedback from expert instructors and peers can help speed up the journey. Just like the conflict management course, there are many ways to do this in a practical context that benefits employees and the organization alike.

For example, SAP also offers courses on building self-confidence, increasing trust with peers, creating connections with others, solving complex problems, and increasing resiliency in the face of difficult situations—all of which increase self-awareness in constructive ways. These human-skills courses are as popular with our employees as the hard-skill courses in new technologies or new programming techniques.

Depending on an organization’s size, budget, and goals, learning programs like these can include small group training, large lectures, online courses, licensing of third-party online content, reimbursement for students to attain certification, and many other models.

Human Skills Are the Constant

Automation and artificial intelligence will change the workplace in unpredictable ways. One thing we can predict, however, is that human skills will be needed more than ever.

The connection between conflict resolution skills, critical thinking courses, and the rise of AI-aided technology might not be immediately obvious. But these new AI tools are leading us down the path to a much more human workplace.

Employees will interact with their computers through voice conversations and image recognition. Machine learning will find unexpected correlations in massive amounts of data but empathy and creativity will be required for data scientists to figure out the right questions to ask. Interpersonal communication will become even more important as teams coordinate between offices, remote workplaces, and AI aides.

While the future might be filled with artificial intelligence, deep learning, and untold amounts of data, uniquely human capabilities will be the ones that matter. Machines can’t write a symphony, design a building, teach a college course, or manage a department. The future belongs to humans working with machines, and for that, you need human skills. D!


About the Authors

Jenny Dearborn is Chief Learning Officer at SAP.

David Judge is Vice President, SAP Leonardo, at SAP.

Tom Raftery is Global Vice President and Internet of Things Evangelist at SAP.

Neal Ungerleider is a Los Angeles-based technology journalist and consultant.

Read more thought provoking articles in the latest issue of the Digitalist Magazine, Executive Quarterly.

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HR In The Age Of Digital Transformation

Neha Makkar Patnaik

HR has come a long way from the days of being called Personnel Management. It’s now known as People & Culture, Employee Experience, or simply People, and the changes in the last few years have been especially far-reaching, to say the least; seismic even.

While focused until recently on topics like efficiency and direct access to HR data and services for individual employees, a new and expanded HR transformation is underway, led by employee experience, cloud capabilities including mobile and continuous upgrades, a renewed focus on talent, as well as the availability of new digital technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence. These capabilities are enabling HR re-imagine new ways of delivering HR services and strategies throughout the organization. For example:

  • Use advanced prediction and optimization technologies to shift focus from time-consuming candidate-screening processes to innovative HR strategies and business models that support growth
  • Help employees with tailored career paths, push personalized learning recommendations, suggest mentors and mentees based on skills and competencies
  • Predict flight risk of employees and prescribe mitigation strategies for at-risk talent
  • Leverage intelligent management of high-volume, rules-based events with predictions and recommendations

Whereas the traditional view of HR transformation was all about doing existing things better, the next generation of HR transformation is focused on doing completely new things.

These new digital aspects of HR transformation do not replace the existing focus on automation and efficiency. They work hand in hand and, in many cases, digital technologies can further augment automation. Digital approaches are becoming increasingly important, and a digital HR strategy must be a key component of HR’s overall strategy and, therefore, the business strategy.

For years, HR had been working behind a wall, finally got a seat at the table, and now it’s imperative for CHROs to be a strategic partner in the organization’s digital journey. This is what McKinsey calls “Leading with the G-3” in An Agenda for the Talent-First CEO, in which the CEO, CFO, and CHRO (i.e., the “G-3”) ensure HR and finance work in tandem, with the CEO being the linchpin and the person who ensures the talent agenda is threaded into business decisions and not a passive response or afterthought.

However, technology and executive alignment aren’t enough to drive a company’s digital transformation. At the heart of every organization are its people – its most expensive and valuable asset. Keeping them engaged and motivated fosters an innovation culture that is essential for success. This Gallup study reveals that a whopping 85% of employees worldwide are performing below their potential due to engagement issues.

HR experiences that are based on consumer-grade digital experiences along with a focus on the employee’s personal and professional well-being will help engage every worker, inspiring them to do their best and helping them turn every organization’s purpose into performance. Because, we believe, purpose drives people and people drive business results.

Embark on your HR transformation journey

Has your HR organization created a roadmap to support the transformation agenda? Start a discussion with your team about the current and desired state of HR processes using the framework with this white paper.

Also, read SAP’s HR transformation story within the broader context of SAP’s own transformation.


About Neha Makkar Patnaik

Neha Makkar Patnaik is a principal consultant at SAP Labs India. As part of the Digital Transformation Office, Neha is responsible for articulating the value proposition for digitizing the office of the CHRO in alignment with the overall strategic priorities of the organization. She also focuses on thought leadership and value-based selling programs for retail and consumer products industries.