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Bringing SAP HANA to Marketers: SAP’s Hansen Lieu on CRM and SAP Social Contact Intelligence

by Ken Murphy, Senior Features Editor

November 21, 2013

Hansen Lieu, SAP’s director of product marketing for CRM products, recently chatted about Social Contact Intelligence – and how marketers can now track, analyze, and nurture contacts in a real-time, HANA-based application.

Ken Murphy: Hi, this is Ken Murphy with SAPinsider, and I’m pleased to be joined by Hansen Lieu, who is SAP’s Director of Product Marketing for CRM Products, and Hansen is with us today to talk about SAP Social Contact Intelligence. Hansen, welcome to the podcast.

Hansen Lieu: Thank you, Ken.

Ken: Hansen, can you start by giving our listeners an overview of Social Contact Intelligence? How does it allow users of the product to interact with their customers or contacts in new or different ways?

Hansen: Sure, Ken. So, I’d say there are three ways. Social Contact Intelligence was really designed for marketers to do the following three tasks that they’d normally do. One, is to track their contacts. So as a marketer – and I’ll get into a little bit of the details on it – so one is to track contacts, two is to analyze what these contacts are doing. Analyze their activity, whether it be on-line or social, and three it’s to take action, to nurture these contacts. So let me get back to what specifically do they do in terms of tracking their contacts.

The solution allows the marketers to basically look at what all their contacts are doing. So if you imagine a lot of marketing professionals, especially in the B2B space, have a huge database of leads and contacts that they’ve collected through various tactics and campaigns. And their job is really to nurture these contacts and these leads to the point where they turn into real opportunity that the sales team can then follow up.

And they use various methods of doing it. They launch multiple campaigns and they normally would try to push them through the cycle, and contacts will take different routes and have their own buying journey.

What this solution allows the marketer to do is to really watch what these contacts are doing, what are they saying on social, what are they doing on the web, have they responded to an email? So the solution allows them to take this contact database, and really track what they’re doing.

The next thing is to actually analyze and come up with an assessment of these activities. So are they trending positive based on these activities. And then based on our experience, the solution will try to give you a score of what these contacts are doing.

And then the last thing is a big part of the solution. It allows marketers to take action, meaning  now that we know what the contacts are doing, then we have an idea of the type of their tendency to buy or not to buy, we could launch an additional follow-up tactic or campaign. Maybe it’s inviting them to an event where maybe they’re talking about topics they’re very interested in. So taking the solution, allowing them to create target lists based on these type of scores and these analysis, and then use that list to follow up with an action item.

An additional bonus the solution provides is once all these activities and these tactics have been done, the sales rep can then also see the journey that each of these contacts are doing, so take a typical lead that might have gone through several months of nurturing, activity and interaction with a vendor. All those activities now a sales rep can see all that. And be able to see the timeline and their journey, where they are in the buying cycle.

Ken: So a three-part process, No. 1 listen, No. 2 analyze, and No. 3 take action on what you’ve learned?

Hansen: Exactly.

Ken: And Social Contact Intelligence is powered by SAP HANA. We’ve heard about the power of HANA, but in this particular context what advantages does real-time analytics provide for Social Contact Intelligence?

Hansen: Ken, I would say there are again three advantages within the context of Social Contact Intelligence, what HANA brings to the table.

First of all, it’s real-time, and I’ll elaborate on what that means. Second, it provides a type of user experience that just wasn’t possible before. And lastly, it’s predictive. It’s the ability to take the data and come up with a best guess or a best assessment of what’s the next likely action.

So, what do I mean by real-time? Real-time here means being able to really analyze a large volume of unstructured and structured data and get some real actionable insight within seconds instead of hours or days. That’s what HANA allows the user to do within this context.

So for many marketers, you’re working with anywhere between 100,000 records to potentially depending on the type of business, potentially millions of contact records. And then matching against that are these unstructured data that are lying everywhere, social media being one big source of data that will be valuable to a marketer. And then you add-on the emails and the other data that are collected within the enterprise. And you want to make sense of that, so what the solution running on HANA allows the user and the customer to do is do all that very quickly and in real-time, within a click, within a few seconds.

Number two is the user experience, and this is relating to the first point, is that now when you’re doing these tasks with the solution and with Social Contact Intelligence, you’re able to do a lot of this very quickly and the experience is unparalleled. Instead of clicking something -or even if you’re able to do it – and then wait for that to happen, if that’s doable, if you were to run this solution on a traditional relational database, as an example.

And then lastly, it’s predictive. What I mean here, is that once you have this insight, you see some patterns, the solution allows you to take the next-best guess. OK, given that these contacts are saying these things on social and they’re visiting the website and they’re going to a specific section of the website and they’re perhaps downloading a very specific white paper, or they’re watching a very specific video on a certain topic, there’s a likelihood that they might be interested in that product in a certain area and maybe they’re in a certain stage of their buying cycle. So what is their likely next action? Would it be to potentially creating a list based on identifying these contacts that have done these things, and then perhaps offer them a demo, a free trial, as an example. It’s giving marketers the insight that allows them to take the predictive actions and do it intelligently with the data.

Ken: And finally, Hansen, Social Contact Intelligence is part of a larger suite of products, which is the SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence. So I’m curious, can Social Contact Intelligence be used as a standalone product? Can you tell us what a customer needs to get started?

Hansen: Certainly, Ken. Social Contact Intelligence is part of the larger suite of analytic applications called SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence. A customer can buy them as a whole, in one suite -- and we think that’s how a customer will get the most value, because all these solutions work together very nicely and they complement each other very well. Or a customer if they choose could buy this as a standalone product. So there’s definitely different options.

And the other thing I wanted to mention as well here is that the solution can also be acquired as sort of a traditional model on-premise, right, so a customer can license this professionally and then set it up to run on HANA database, or they can also use the cloud deployment via the HANA Enterprise Cloud.

So either way they can also get the solution and get it up and running very quickly. There’s no prerequisite. Really the only prerequisite I can say here is it’s HANA, the HANA database, and that’s the underlying foundation and technology that enables this type of application. So a customer can quickly whether they’re using SAP solutions to attract their customers, their contacts, or their marketing lead contacts, or any other third-party contacts, they can certainly leverage and take advantage of this solution easily because it has no prerequisites and it can run on any data sources that customers might have.

Ken: Again, this is Ken Murphy with SAPinsider, and I’ve been speaking with Hansen Lieu, the Director of Product Marketing for CRM Products for SAP . He’s been chatting with us today about SAP Social Contact Intelligence. Hansen, thanks for joining us.

Hansen: Thank you Ken.

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