As the SAP community simmers down from #SapphireNow, some surprising revelations remain at the forefront of conversations, posts, and blogs. To many, SAP’s decision to fully bring Hybris into the SAP family fold with a rebrand to SAP Customer Experience (nestled into the larger C/4 HANA Suite) was unexpected. The rebrand brought out strong emotions and, for the most part, much confusion among SAP Hybris consultants.
What does the SAP Hybris rebrand to SAP Customer Experience (CX) mean for SAP Hybris freelancers and consultants? Our dedicated SAP Hybris recruitment team conducted a short survey on the initial reactions and feedback from consultants working in Hybris competencies and found the following initial reactions.
It doesn't come as a big surprise that a rebrand of this size lacks an overwhelmingly positive response. With so much uncertainty as of yet on what this will mean for the day-to-day and future careers of SAP Hybris consultants many either feel neutral, have reserved judgment or expressed some concern. These numbers will likely shift as SAP clarifies the sales strategy for the C4/HANA suite.
We asked these same consultants if (and how) they thought the rebrand might impact their roles considering both potential negatives and positives. We found the following trends in responses: problematic name, general confusion, move away from e-commerce, successful integration, more diverse platform, and increased opportunity.
The first and most obvious element of the rebrand to many SAP Hybris consultants was the change in the name. Hybris was a well-known brand name that is now being changed to SAP Customer Experience. Some see SAP CX as too broad (as well as lacking the creativity that Hybris had), but many complaints go beyond the name itself. The change to SAP CX has a number of implications for certifications, job hunts and ultimately loyalty.
Consultants who have already been fully Hybris certified are concerned that the rebrand may impact their future project hunts. It remains unclear what can be done about renaming or updating certifications to reflect the new name. Without an update to certifications, inexperienced hiring parties may not be able to recognize well-qualified profiles. Additionally, the transition to SAP CX will complicate SAP Hybris consultant’s job hunts as 'Customer Experience' extends to other non-SAP roles. Furthermore, Hybris developers are concerned that the re-labeling to CX will disassociate them from Java and Spring opportunities.
The biggest concern in the change of name is the loss of brand loyalty attached to Hybris. Many SAP Hybris consultants felt a strong loyalty to the Hybris brand (seen as innovative and fresh), which will be lost in the full transition to SAP.
Most rebrands are accompanied by some degree of confusion and unclarity, however, many SAP Hybris consultants are concerned that confusion will continue to impact customers and thus their work. They fear that customers will hesitate in adopting SAP CX, as they grapple to understand the C/4 HANA suite offering. They worry that new customers will misunderstand the role, capabilities, and skills of SAP CX consultants who come from a Hybris background. Confusion will inevitably subside as SAP solidifies the C/4 HANA offering, though many consultants wonder what the impact will be on their work in the interim.
For many SAP Hybris consultants, the rebranding of Hybris to SAP CX indicates a strong move away from e-commerce and a move towards a tech suite that is commonly viewed as traditional. The C/4 HANA emphasis on CRM leads many consultants with strong e-commerce or omnichannel backgrounds to feel as if they may be drifting from this career focus. The rebrand to a typical SAP acronym leads some consultants to feel as if the e-commerce focus will be lost in other offerings provided in the C4/HANA suite.
Not all SAP Hybris consultants feel negative about a closer connection with the SAP brand, in fact, some believe that it will be a step in the right direction. For these consultants, Hybris’ integration with successful SAP tools will lend further capacity to develop the Hybris (now SAP CX) functionality. With a closer tie to SAP, SAP CX will receive focused branding, and be sold and developed alongside SAP’s new crown jewel: the C4/HANA suite. This integration will give Hybris tools more funding and more attention than ever before.
Some SAP Hybris consultants offer that the rebrand highlights that Hybris was not just a commerce platform and that it hasn’t been for a long time. For this group, the rebrand is logical and strategic move, especially after previous rebrands and additions (like Hybris BRIM and Billing) struggled to drive the message to customers that Hybris was more than just an e-commerce tool. The rebrand to include other SAP tools under the C4/HANA suite gives former SAP Hybris consultants more non-commerce opportunities with an expanded project scope available under new projects.
Some predict that Hybris being fully brought into the SAP family may have a number of implications on the opportunities available for SAP Hybris consultants and demand for their skill set. As SAP CX is sold alongside the C4/HANA suite, customers that would have otherwise not considered purchasing Hybris as an add-on may find themselves running SAP CX (though it still remains to be seen how SAP decides to market and sell C4/HANA). Some believe that this is likely to push up the already high demand for consultants with Hybris expertise. Other consultants believe that SAP’s absorption of the Hybris brand will allow consultants to increase their rates to reflect a niche SAP skill set.
What does this mean for the future of SAP Hybris consultants?
We asked this very question to our network, on a personal level: will the rebrand impact your decision to continue to work in SAP Hybris/CX?
From our SAP Hybris network, overwhelmingly, there were feelings of uncertainty when it came to the rebrand. The rebrand is concerning when it comes to the focus of Hybris, and it’s customer and consultant loyalty to the brand. The number of consultants who are unwilling as of yet to continue their career under the SAP CX name reflects these concerns.
However, among some, within the confusion of the rebrand is one certainty: the move into the SAP family (acronym and all) gives full financial and support backing to Hybris. While the focus may shift away from a pure e-commerce offering, the rebrand will mean more opportunity for those who choose to continue to work with their Hybris skills in SAP CX.
Interested in learning more about what SAP CX could mean for your career or team? Click below to learn more about our SAP Hybris/CX practice.