CEO Lüdi explains why SAP bought Hybris and why they decided not to go with the standard CRM business model

Hybris CEO Ariel Lüdi said SAP bought the Swiss commerce platform company to move beyond traditional customer relationship management (CRM) and enable it to deliver a multi-channel customer experience, in-store as well as through e-commerce, to companies that sell goods and services.

In much of the press coverage surrounding the acquisition, announced in June and completed on 1 August, Hybris has been labelled a CRM supplier. But this is a mistake, Lüdi told Computer Weekly at an event in New York outlining the “vision” for Hybris as an SAP company.

How does Hybris does go beyond CRM, according to its CEO? And why was SAP so clamant in heralding the acquisition as an attack on the CRM market?

“During the due diligence and closing process we got a better understanding of the terminology to use,” said Lüdi. “The confusion had been due to how the SAP web channel had been located within the CRM product.

“They are clearly two separate markets: one is CRM and the other is commerce. They do feed off each other. In commerce, with us being in charge of all the touch points that customers use, we generate a lot of data. We then feed that into a CRM system, which feeds back to [our technology] with things like customer segmentation. So it is a closed loop.

“The old CRM systems are now like dinosaurs in the context of the omni-commerce movement. They are not channel-aware, and so unable to get a single view of the customer. They also cannot react to information in real-time. They are very batchy. Our vision is for real-time systems.

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