Using technology in SAP’s new Customer Experience platform, SAP.com now enables customers to purchase software extensions from its technology partners and directly from SAP.

SAP SE put a new face on its software last week, and it’s making its own SAP.com a showcase for what it says its technology stack can do.

The big business operations software company for years has made software products available through another e-commerce site, SAPStore.com, but customers’ buying options were limited, with only individual products positioned, rather than the related partner apps, APIs, and associated services, support and training, SAP says.

Bertram Schulte, chief digital officer, SAP

With the new e-commerce features on the corporate site, SAP.com, SAP is launching a new way for customers to quickly place relatively uncomplicated orders that up until now required a slew of forms that slowed down the purchasing process, Bertram Schulte, chief digital officer, said in an interview last week at SAP Sapphire, the company’s annual technology and user conference. SAP defines these less complicated orders as software applications priced at under $25,000, compared with complicated orders that can run up to $1 million or more.

SAP.com, incorporating features SAP offers in its new C/4HANA suite of customer relationship management, e-commerce, marketing and sales automation software, lets customers order relatively simple products for immediate delivery without having to go through the traditional process of signing a contract and dealing with a sales agent inclined to upsell them on more products, Schulte said.

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For example, a customer that already has a contract to purchase SAP’s Success Factors human resources management software could opt to purchase a complementary training software kit without having to go through the traditional contract and upselling process.

SAP is starting out with its new e-commerce offering slowly, with only 13 product available for now on SAP.com available to registered customers. But it expects to offer nearly 200 products within the next several months, Schulte said.

SAP is also using SAP.com to showcase capabilities of the newly branded Customer Experience software suite, which it’s positioning as a suite designed with personalization features that draw on SAP’s Leonardo artificial intelligence software and other technology applications.

With Leonardo-driven product recommendations presented in soft-pedaled cross-selling pitches (as opposed to more aggressive upselling efforts made during contract negotiations), SAP.com is designed to be more helpful to customers by recommending complementary products that may need to do their jobs more effectively, Schulte said. Such products may include software applications made by outside software developers that build extensions to SAP software.

SAP also announced last week additional product developments:

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  • SAP Conversational AI, which is designed to use artificial intelligence software to let companies develop intelligent chatbots that offer personalized service to customers. Artificial intelligence, or AI, and machine learning are forms of software designed to automate information-sharing tasks and learn from data transactions to conduct such tasks as predicting what customers are most likely to buy or contract terms most likely to result in a sale.
  • SAP Leonardo machine learning capabilities embedded in applications across the SAP portfolio, including SAP S/4HANA Cloud, SAP C/4HANA and SAP Ariba procurement technology.
  • SAP Cloud Platform Blockchain, which is a new blockchain-as-a-service designed to help companies build and extend business systems with blockchain technologies. About 65 companies have participated in the SAP blockchain co-innovation initiative to increase transparency in supply chain transactions in such industries as transportation, food, and pharmaceuticals. To ensure quality, U.S. sausage maker Johnsonville LLC is using blockchain to trace the origin of products across the supply chain, SAP says. Blockchain technology is an internet-based digital ledger system designed to enable large numbers of participants to maintain secure records of transactions.

Earlier this year, SAP launched the Manufacturing Network as an internet-based platform where companies and their trading partners can collaborate on manufacturing processes from design to production and product procurement.

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