How SAP Is Using Experience Management to Make Itself Run Better

Happy employees make for happy customers. One team at SAP explains how the two are linked, as well as the role of experience and operational data.

By now, you probably know the elevator pitch: By bringing together experience data (X-data) with operational data (O-data), decision-makers can understand not only what is happening with their business, but also why. It’s all about closing the experience gap for customers.

Ever since SAP acquired Qualtrics in January 2019, it has made experience management (XM) a key growth catalyst for the Intelligent Enterprise strategy and is on a quest to make every company understand and apply the power of X+O. But don’t the same principles apply to SAP?

What few may be aware of is that SAP has launched its own XM journey. The print was still fresh on the acquisition when Christian Klein, then chief operating officer and now also co-chief executive officer, put SAP’s Transformation Office to work on ways Qualtrics software could be used to improve its own processes. The goal: to create a world-class XM practice at SAP.

Turning insight into action through experience management at SAP is a multi-year journey, but much has been accomplished inside the company over the past year, and the team from the Transformation Office has even more ambitious goals for 2020.

To find out more, SAP News talked to Oliver Staudenmayer, program manager for the company’s TopX Experience Management program and head of Employee Experience Management at SAP, and Christian Koenig, operation expert and project lead for TopX XM at SAP.

Q: What is the goal of the Best Run TopX Experience Management Program?

Staudenmayer: Our goal is to actively design and improve experiences that our customers, partners, and employees love and enable them to run at their best. Ultimately it means transforming SAP’s internal processes by using new technologies and trends.

Q: How did you begin?

Staudenmayer: After the closing of the Qualtrics acquisition at the end of January 2019, we wanted to move fast to show benefits of combining O-data and X-data. But before we could forge ahead on the many promising use case ideas, we first had to set up one consolidated platform, establish a process for incoming X+O ideas, and build a governance model for compliance and legal requirements — for example for GDPR and data privacy.

Second, we had to bring experience management to life by educating employees about how to “Listen, Understand, and Act.” Qualtrics software is not just a research tool or data collection exercise, it requires us to follow up and act based on the input. After laying the foundation, we now need to put even greater effort into education.

Despite the large number of requests, by July 2019 we were able to select the top 10 use cases. Several are already live and some were moved into 2020 because of the steep learning curve. But this is merely the beginning, and we are already working on additional uses cases.

Q: Where did the top 10 use cases come from and how were they evaluated?

Koenig: Some ideas came from the field while others came from the Transformation Office. We scored each use case by asking: (1) Is it a strategic fit? (2) Is it a true X and O use case, rather than just X data? (3) Can it improve our top or bottom line? (4) How much effort is involved? A matrix depicting impact versus effort helped us identify the quick wins and choose the top 10.

Q: What were the most promising use cases?

Koenig: That’s hard question to answer, because great use cases are still rolling in, but here are a few:

  • For customers, Net Promotor Score (NPS), which is conducted quarterly, indicates on a scale of 1 to 10 how likely a customer will recommend SAP to others. Customer NPS is one of SAP’s main KPIs and is reported in our Annual Integrated Report.
  • For products, SAP S/4HANA Cloud integration means customers can give direct feedback to help product engineers improve the user experience. Experience data helps developers gain insight into what users are thinking as well as whether functions, features, and design choices are actually hitting the mark.
  • For employees, MyTeam Dashboard is a tool available to team managers at SAP to support their HR-related management tasks. Based on SAP Analytics Cloud, data is collected from managers to find out how helpful the dashboard is during compensation rounds and to identify training needs for managers to support them in their roles.
  • The Feedback Catcher enables any employee to give feedback on whatever they like. It will be installed on the computer and on mobiles, and employees can give feedback on anything they like, whether it’s the purchasing process, online conferencing, cafeteria food, bicycle stands, etc.

Q: Do you think that Experience Management solutions from SAP (Qualtrics) will change the way employees work in the future?

Koenig: The solution alone will not help us to become the experience management company. This is a journey that doesn’t happen overnight. The good news is that there is a great deal of interest in the topic and goodwill among employees. Every transformation requires a cultural change, and to become an experience company, we need to focus on the third imperative of “Listen, Understand, and Act.” Acting on the feedback, showing results and transparency are key to a successful XM program.

Q: What plans do you have for 2020?

Staudenmayer: We have big plans to deliver what we are calling our “flagship” use case that seeks to integrate experience data across all four Qualtrics pillars: Customers, Products, Employees, and Brand. The goal is to achieve a holistic view over how employees are experiencing the processes across a company and then provide management with the data to act on it. The idea is that happy employees leads to happy customers – a goal that applies to every company, not just SAP.

Q: Speaking of experience management, what’s your experience been as project lead?

Staudenmayer: The good news is that there’s a great deal of attention on how XM can be applied in our daily work with customers, employees, and products. People are working together very constructively across SAP, focused on the larger goal of getting the use cases launched, so it’s been very exciting to be a part of this journey.

Originally posted by SAP