SAP unveils its Customer Data Platform, promising personalized engagements from enterprise data

The company's CDP aims to help organizations meld customer data across touchpoints -- from commerce and marketing to sales and service -- to improve experiences.
Written by Natalie Gagliordi, Contributor

Enterprise software giant SAP is launching a customer data platform (CDP) that aims to help organizations meld customer data across touchpoints -- from commerce and marketing to sales and service -- to improve experiences. 

Though relatively new, the customer data platform (CDP) market is a crowded, competitive space. Adobe, Oracle and several smaller software vendors are all offering CDPs for brands that are anxious to consolidate their customer data into one place where it can be easily leveraged. The need for CDPs has grown out of the increasing number of touchpoints giving brands new information about their customers. 

SAP says that its CDP offering is built on Gigya technology. Gigya was an a identity and access management vendor when it was acquired by SAP in 2017 in a deal that gave SAP more consumer data for omnichannel experiences. 

SAP has since worked to integrate Gigya's identity data platform with its Customer Data Cloud services, SAP Hybris and its profiles. SAP Customer Identity and Access Management and SAP Enterprise Consent and Preference Management solutions were also woven in. The aim was to take the billion or so customer identities managed by Gigya and better personalize and target SAP's applications.

"We did not invent CDP, but SAP Customer Data Platform opens the concept to a new world of opportunities," SAP Customer Experience President Bob Stutz said. "SAP Customer Data Platform is one of the most advanced enterprise-grade CDPs. It can truly deliver personalized experiences that nurture anonymous users into known, loyal customers using the customer's preferred channels, unifying vast amounts of front-office, back-office and experience data as only SAP can."

SAP has been laying out its CDP strategy since acquiring Gigya. The company outlined in a blog post last year how an SAP CDP would function, noting that it would provide capabilities "to ingest a wide variety of data from anywhere, then enable configurable data cleansing and identity resolution functions in order to resolve both online and offline data into unified customer profiles." The company said its CDP would also do the following:

  • Connect and ingest all customer attributes to create a unified profile, including experiential, operational events and activity, behavioral, consent and first-party profile, and demographic data
  • Activate and orchestrate this data to connected applications that power personalized cross-channel and touchpoint experiences across commerce, marketing, sales, and service
  • Build lasting, trusted customer relationships based on the permission and preferences of the customer
  • Connect offline and online experiences in real time to power meaningful cross-channel customer journeys

SAP's CDP platform is part of its Customer Experience business unit, which is anchored by the Qualtrics platform. Acquired by SAP for $8 billion in 2018, Qualtrics is a key cog in SAP's cloud growth strategy as it aims to meld customer data with operational data


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