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Nick Brown: Enterprises Are at an Inflection Point

The combination of cloud, big data, and mobile is creating an inflection point for how the business world connects with customers in real time, said Nick Brown, Senior Vice President of Mobile Strategy at SAP.

Companies that leverage these trends successfully have the potential to transform their business, better serve their customers, enable their employees to interact with the consumer, increase customer loyalty, and drive new revenue streams as industry leaders.

“I really believe that customers have taken control of the buying process. They’ll buy different products and move to different services” if you don’t pay attention to their needs, Brown said.

In the new world that enterprises must compete in, Brown said 57 percent of the buying process is completed before a customer even talks to a sales person. “They are going to work on your sales team hard, so you have to work hard to be engaged with that 57 percent,” he said. “We need to learn new ways to target our customers and understand what a user needs from your products and what they want from your solutions. After you learn what they want, the next step is guiding them to the services and products they need.”

Brown said most brand “have tons of data—terabytes and terabytes of data,” so much that it could take weeks to process. Data scientists used to be “in the basement.” These days, they are needed to help business executives understand how to make sense of and use the data.

Brown said 86 percent of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer service. At the same time, 71 percent feel that enterprises aren’t doing anything to keep their business.

Social media has also brought a huge change. “It’s a very, very high-value opportunity,” said Brown. “The numbers are staggering,” he said. According to Brown, 88 percent of customers have been influenced by online customer reviews.

Businesses can do a lot to leverage social media. “You have to be smart and practical about what you can do, but you can find value in the simplest of things,” he said. “We’re just at the tip of this iceberg.”

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