Customer Experience Is Everything- SAP has announced its intent to acquire Qualtrics, but the reason may not be what you think. It’s not because either company needs to make a strategy change. It’s happening because it’s emotionally pleasing, SAP CEO Bill McDermott told customers at the recent SAP Select event in Barcelona.
“We’re acquiring Qualtrics so you can combine your customer’s experience data with SAP’s operational data to transform how you run your business,” he explained to a packed room during his ‘fireside chat.’
“Sometimes you need to make bold moves even if everything is going fine. A big idea is terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. You don’t do it because it’s easy; you do it because it’s hard,” he said, quoting John F. Kennedy on his reason for sending the first man to the moon in 1969. “When you make something better, that’s emotionally pleasing.”
SAP Select is where C-level executives get insight into SAP’s strategy. They like it because they can discuss challenges in executive forums, network with peers and influencers, and find inspiration to improve their impact on societies, economies, and the environment.
For McDermott, it’s an opportunity to remind customers that technology no longer supports the business; it is the business. It’s also an opportunity for him to reiterate his commitment to our customers, and that commitment starts with shaping SAP’s strategy to support and accelerate their vision.
Trust in SAP’s Strategy
We all know trust is built in drops, but lost in buckets, and right now, there is a breakdown in trust in the world at every level,” he said, mentioning that business leaders and government officials regularly turn to SAP for guidance on dealing with the world’s challenges. He went on to explain SAP’s approach to building trust. “With the right people, systems, processes, and culture, we can deliver consistently, and that’s likely to build trust.”
Back in the nineties, CEOs like GE’s Jack Welsh preached the benefits of a tough management style. But their “my way or the highway” style doesn’t work today. McDermott believes every era needs change, and this era needs purpose-led vision. “Ours is to help you run better,” he told the group. “That’s authentic to what our software does and how we use our brand to improve the economy, society, and the environment.”