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If Someone Had a Magic Wand for Christmas, SAP XM Would Wish For…

Seeing the year 2016 in retrospect, there is quite a lot we can be thankful for. Our official launch at SAPPHIRE in Orlando, a positive press recognition of SAP’s bold move into the digital media business with SAP XM, as well as our mission, several new product releases, the acquisition of our first customers and partners and last but not least winning the “Internationalist of the Year” -award and being nominated as finalist for the Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award. Furthermore, we were honored with co-chairing important German and global advertising associations like the BVDW and MMA.

However, there is a lot more to achieve in 2017 and we are confidently facing the journey ahead of us. So, if someone had a magic wand for Christmas, what would we wish for?

Transform and Simplify Digital Advertising for Everyone's Benefit

Our official launch at SAPPHIRE Orlando in May this year was the starting point for a continuous communication in the market - from and about SAP XM. We generated a positive press echo around our mission, vision and objectives, automatically followed by many sales discussions and customer acquisitions. Furthermore, we built and announced our new partnerships with vertic, Blackwood Seven and Mercury Media (by pilot) - Partnerships that enable our customers to instantly improve efficiency.

Furthermore, leading global advertisers and publishers, among them leading global brands as for example Deutsche Post DHL and EY, trusted us with their campaigns joining SAP XM to transform their digital marketing.

So one might think: What more is there to wish for?

Well, most of all, it is not only about generating revenue or acquiring new customers and partners. This year’s dmexco proofed to us that today’s ad ecosystem is complex and huge. As a consequence, all market players need to start collaborating and companies need to start thinking user centric. We are fully committed to the principle of end-to-end transparency and efficiency for advertisers and publishers. That’s the message we want to have spread and noticed around the world, by today’s global media and marketing companies. It is our objective to work with the media industry in order to improve and simplify the lives of customers, publisher and consumers alike, by making advertising relevant again.

Last but not least, we are thankful for our nomination as finalist for the Hasso Plattner Founders’ Award. It is the highest employee recognition at SAP and we do feel the responsibility that comes with this nomination as a team. It goes without saying that winning the final award is another wish for Christmas, of course.  This would definitely empower us in what we do and why we do it!

Actively Engage with Customers and Partners!

The Product Management Team dedicated the first half of 2016 mainly to evaluating all kinds of methods and practices, in order to identify the “right way” for SAP XM.

The Team focused on the professionalization of our internal and external processes and on becoming a highly agile, but matured organization. However, without insights from the outside you don’t get a complete picture.

Hungry for knowledge, tips and tricks, the Product Management team went to this year’s dmexco to actively engage with industry partners and peers. After several successful discussions, it was decided to work with current and potential partners and customers directly on sight, which eventually turned out to be a great and insightful experience. The collaboration with industry experts enables the development of new methods and ways to solve challenges and problems. Our Head of Product Management developed “the 5 standards of Product Management” (stay tuned to learn more about them next year), which enjoy great popularity not only within the whole SAP organization, but also outside of SAP. As a consequence, he and his team were invited to this year’s Product Management Festival in Zürich from where they returned with quite an amount of new insights, ideas and concepts. And, by the way, next year we will have an official speaker slot in Zürich! Well, if that’s not a great acknowledgement for doing something right…Finally, if Product Management had a wish, it would be to continuously solve problems directly with customers and partners and to actively engage with them more often.

Greater Collaboration and Entanglement with Consumers

Before digging deeper into what our Development Team wishes for, let’s quickly recap what we have already achieved. Thanks to several new releases, we can proudly say that SAP XM went live in three geographies and was operated without any single downtime. Furthermore, our highlight of this year was the development and implementation of our self-service UI, allowing a superior customer experience. We are more than happy to provide a new dashboard to our customers, which not only offers real-time interactive campaign data or intelligent monitoring, but also alerts in case a campaign is off-track.

Overall, it was a successful year for our development unit as we also set up and ran various successful productive advertising campaigns - just think about the “SAP runs SAP XM campaign” again…

One last point: Pervasive computing used to be an esoteric concept a few years back, but we continuously find computing becoming an integral part of our life. Making digital advertising personal and relevant again takes pervasive computing to the next level, e.g. pervasive engagement. It is this engagement with consumers which needs to be strengthened and maybe transformed into entanglement, if we want to accelerate our pervasiveness. So guess what our development team wishes for: greater engagement, collaboration and entanglement with consumers in 2017.

Finally, summing it up in 2 sentences:

2016 was a very exciting, successful and engaging year for the whole SAP Exchange Media Team. Our intrapreneurial character, innovative ideas, the optimism and team spirit brought us to where we stand today.

Thank you to everyone for transforming our vision and mission into reality!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

About the author

Wolfgang is currently the Head of SAP XM. In his former positions at SAP he was the lead for SAP’s app store, e-commerce strategy and project lead for the definition of SAP's Marketing solution strategy & roadmap.

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