Inspector Gadget can now retire, SAP offers solutions worthy of scenarios of popular sci-fi series from a few years ago. SAP C4C (Cloud for Customer) will soon allow interaction with objects (IoT - Internet of Things). Recently at SAPPHIRE 2015, in a session covering the future features of C4C application and IoT, SAP demonstrated three features that would have seemed impossible to realize a little while ago. Here are some details:
1. Google Glass and C4C for retail
The "Cloud" CRM solution already provides functionality for the retail industry. In-store visits management and display of products to customer by predefined planograms are already supported. SAP is now innovating on the automated comparison of the actual planogram and the actual in-store display, as noted by the representative. The use of Google Glass allows taking a picture of the display of products and comparing in real time the content and its planogram design. The application then identifies missing products, insufficient quantities or product to relocate. Replenishment orders can be generated based on identified needs.
2. Never miss an appointment again with your Apple Watch and SAP C4C
The Apple Watch just hit the market and SAP is already preparing its use with CRM. The goal is not to replicate the "Cloud for Sales" application on a watch, which is already done by SAP on tablets or smartphones. It is rather to use the watch as a quick reference during meetings with clients. It allows the user to quickly and clearly see relevant information regarding an appointment or client with minimal handling. Some of the features offered are:
Quick access to appointments of the day and to relevant information on participants;
Alerts to inform user when it’s time to leave to be on time for his next meeting while considering real time road traffic and hurdles;
Access to a quick fact sheet about the client and its Sales & Service history you’re visiting
Follow-up (monitoring) of planned activities;
Client’s Sales Tendencies Assessment;
Vocal Recording of notes with Siri for follow-up purposes;
Opportunity Pipeline Assessment
These new features are now available with the lastest release of C4C (August 2015).
3. Launch drones to inspect infrastructure and anticipate potential failures
At SAPPHIRE 2015, SAP made a live demonstration of the launch of a drone into a room using Sales Cloud for application. I was eager to see the drone take off in this small room and dreading an incident that did not happen! Using a button on the screen of Cloud for Service application, the drone just took off in a planned route in the application to inspect & detect if a tree (a plant for this example) was too close to an infrastructure (electricity pylon, fence, etc.). The aim was to simulate the inspection of power lines to find trees and branches too close to the power lines that could potentially cause outages. Once risks are identified, the drone’s GPS coordinates are relayed to Cloud for Service to create a service tickets and dispatch a technician to fix the potential issue. This is a very surprising and unexpected feature, with an interesting potential for companies having infrastructures to be inspected by air. If this could be done by air, it could also be done with any other type of radio guided piece of equipment.
During SAPPHIRE 2015, we saw the phenomenal potential of SAP in R&D. Multiple initiatives are being put forward in all applications, modules and systems offered by SAP. We must remember that SAP’s R&D budget exceeded $ 3.5 billion in 2014. SAP’s R&D budget is often more than the total sales of its competitors. SAP is always leading the pack in terms of innovation and technological advancement.