Hybris to push SAP into the post-CRM era

At its customer conference "Hybris Summit 2016" in Munich, Germany, Hybris unveiled its strategy for microservices and omni-channel customer experience management.

Although being a part of software giant SAP, Hybris is doing its best to maintain its image as an agile contender in the digital space. The Hybris Summit 2016 we attended was a clear indicator for that. 

Within SAP, Hybris oversees the so-called 'Customer Engagement and Commerce' business which comprises SAP Cloud for Customer (SaaS-based CRM), Hybris Marketing and Hybris Commerce. Therefore, it is Hybris' job to develop SAP's customer experience ambitions in a highly competitive business with rivals such as the likes of Salesforce.com, Oracle, IBM and several others. In other words: With Hybris, SAP hopes to transform its traditional CRM business into digital customer experience solutions. Many of the potential customers run SAP systems in the backend ("System of Record") and look for Hybris as a digital commerce extension ("System of Engagement").  

According to company figures, the Hybris business is going quite well. The vendor managed to win about 740 new customers last year and grew its revenues by 44 percent. This growth came from software (+25 percent) and cloud bookings (+101 percent). The Hybris software can be deployed on premise as well as in the cloud.  

Fast deployment of Microservice
With YaaS, Hybris has opened a web-based microservices platform that enables developers to create small applications for online sales, service and e-commerce. As for Hybris, these developments – they are called packages – are intended to complement the Hybris Commerce solution. The vendor positions YaaS as a way to create new, outbound-facing services fast and in an easy way. One example are services to run a certain sales promotion or loyalty program, which need to be set up quickly. Such packages may come from customers as well as Hybris partners. The latter can become merchants as they can sell their developed packages via a marketplace which is part of YaaS. 

YaaS runs on AWS and on SAP's HANA Cloud Platform
Given the fact that SAP itself offers a web platform called SAP HANA Cloud Platform, YaaS can be seen as a separate or even competing project. But Hybris emphasizes that both platforms are linked: YaaS (which is the weird acronym for "Hybris as a Service on SAP HANA Cloud Platform") is based on Cloud Foundry (a cloud application platform defined by a consortium of vendors) and can be deployed on SAP's HANA Cloud Platform as well as on Amazon Web Services. 

YaaS is still work in progress and will be made available in the US first. Other regions such as EMEA will follow later as they require a service from a data center. However, it is becoming clear that YaaS will be a cornerstone of Hybris' strategy going forward. For example, the newly launched Hybris Profile, a comprehensive service for the collection and analysis of customer profile information, is offered as a package on YaaS. 

Hybris Profile can act in the center of a landscape of CRM applications, commerce solutions, social media networks, etc. The goal of Hybris Profile is to provide a complete picture of a customer's behavior in the physical and the digital world, including preferences and intentions. Hybris says that this would allow for a much better personalized customer experience. To enable this, various software solutions and online services can be connected via APIs to Hybris Profile. 

PAC's view
With Hybris, SAP has a credible offer to make in the field of digital customer experience. We believe that the Hybris business offers a lot of potential for SAP partners: Those who have been offering SAP CRM services as well as those who have not touched this segment yet.

As SAP customers feel the need to offer digital customer services, they are looking for proper solutions and Hybris is one of them, but not the only one. 

Regarding YaaS, we think it is a natural evolution of a software provider. Its competitors, such as IBM (Bluemix) and Salesforce.com (Salesforce1), have started such initiatives already.