Dec 03

How My First SAP Event Left Me Eager for More

The first thing that caught my attention when I walked into SAP’s Customer Experience Innovation Forum wasn’t the insanely complex booths lining the walls, or even the small robot rolling around taking selfies with people, instead I was overwhelmed by sound of professionals all across the room eagerly getting to know one another and sharing breakfast. Rewind a few hours and instead of a young professional on a conference floor I was a young professional sitting on a plane with a plethora of questions regarding what my first conference experience was going to be like.

For most attendees, this year’s CXI Forum was just one of many SAP events they have attended in 2018 alone.  For me, this was my first SAP sponsored event and I was entirely unaware of what to expect. “What would the speakers be like?” “Who all would be in attendance?”  “What if I didn’t have the answer to one of their questions?” Those questions were just a few of the many I found myself asking the night before flying out to Dallas. Thankfully, my first day of the conference opened my eyes to an entirely new community where new comers were more than welcome.

After the morning of day one I was given the opportunity to participate in a three-part track schedule. Instead of offering one speaker for a set time frame, attendees were given an option of three; making the conference that much more efficient and effective. My associate and myself were able to focus on speakers who we found both interesting and relevant to our industry. Of the variety of speakers offered I found that two in particular stood out to me. The first speaker was “Engaging Customers Through Automation at BJs” by Suresh Venkataswamy. The second speaker who delivered one of the keynote’s was Beth Pritchard from Bath & Body Works, she spoke on “Driving Creativity & Innovation For long-term success.”.

Bjs implemented SAP’s Promotion Management for Retail (PMR) and the improvements in things such as their advertisements and promotional planning were quite impressive. Prior to installing the PMR BJs felt that they were wasting precious time with things such as shifting through information that was irrelevant and outdated but could have been organized. Thanks to SAP’s solution, this was no longer the case. This presentation showed me a different side of SAP and opened my eyes to how wide their array of capabilities truly are.

Bath & Body Work’s, Beth Pritchard presented an interesting angle about taking chances as both a company and a leader. Pritchard presented three key points during her key note. The first was to deliver an intimate customer experience, the second was to innovate constantly, and the third was to let mistakes lead you to your next big idea. It was this last idea that I found to be the most inspirational.

She shared a story about a time she had chosen to take on a new product at Bath and Body Works but it did not play out as intended. The result was her conceding and doing what was best for the company; even if it meant pulling a product she had vouched for and invested money into. Instead of faltering Beth acknowledge the mistake and kept moving forward. She clearly put into perspective how crucial it is to move past one’s mistakes and keep working hard.

Both speakers reinforced the number of ways the OMS+ can be a platform for things such as innovation, expansion and organizational efficiency. The ability to easily access information such as customer history and alternative materials helps CSRs easily keep track of updated information in the system and save customers valuable time. While still new to the worlds of SAP and DataXstream I’m beginning to see how and why our customers such as Lumber Liquidators, Gerdau, Ultra Finishing and Pacific Coast Supply are relying on OMS+ as a competitive differentiator.



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