How SAP’s award-winning Experience Centers deliver impact to customers
With innovation built into their DNA, multinational software company SAP knows how to solve complex challenges with cutting-edge solutions. Their products can deliver value in so many unique ways it can be hard to demonstrate every possible solution. It’s also hard to show a solution to the customer in a tangible way, so they can gain an intuitive sense of the benefit.
To bridge this gap, SAP has invested in cutting-edge Experience Centers. These immerse customers in a rich and interactive experience, tailored to their specific industry and needs. In this article, we look at their award-winning Experience Centers in New York and Walldorf (created by Purple), to see how they offer SAP’s clients and partners the most versatile customer experience possible.
Purple is proud to work closely with SAP in the concepting and delivery of these cutting-edge immersive experiences. SAP’s Experience Centers demonstrate exactly how versatile our digital storytelling concepts can be. They show the remarkable range and depth of different experiences that each setup can deliver, using the Hyro digital storytelling software.
SAP’s Experience Centers are used around the world to help customers experience a compelling vision of their own future – one where things are made easier, smarter, and more sustainable. Their Experience Centers have been recognized with a ‘World Class’ award from the Association of Briefing Program Managers (ABPM), for their innovative concepts and faultless execution.
Two excellent examples can be found in SAP’s Customer Experience Centers (CXCs) in Walldorf, and New York. We worked closely with SAP to create a new Experience Center concept that was more flexible, and had the ability to connect with clients and prospects on a deeper level.
It was essential that the concepts used storytelling to show how SAP’s solutions can completely transform companies. They had to demonstrate how SAP can empower people in all departments to work with more intelligent and sustainable processes. To meet these challenges, we helped deliver an Experience Center concept with a core framework that could be entirely customized to each industry, and even specific clients.
Experience Show Floor
The core of the Experience Center is the Show Floor. This space can show diverse industry-specific stories using interactive displays and screens. It can switch between different audience-specific content in an instant, making it ideal for hosting a wide range of different clients or partners in a short time.
The Show Floor is equipped with 5 ‘pods’, each focusing on specific themes common to all industries (but are very distinct when it comes to the specifics). These themes are: Supply Chain, Procurement, Customer Experience, HR, and Finance. We also created a default, ‘blank slate’ content for each pod, which can be customized with specific content for focus industries, in addition to more specific content for the target audience.
For the larger Experience Centers, an adjacent Experience Lab (next to the Show Floor) gives the larger Experience Centers an interactive boost. These are immersive spaces that enable tangible experiences of SAP’s technology at work - in a location relevant to their business.
These spaces feel very familiar to the target audience; in the case of the Walldorf and the New York CXCs, these are a ‘supermarket’ and a ‘fashion store’ – but powered with SAP’s innovative technology. Showcasing technology in this way gives the audience an immediate understanding of the benefits and implications – because they can experience them.
Experience Labs work by merging physical environments, props, and technology to create impactful experiences. It gives clients and partners realistic and tangible examples showing how their technology can be used - and what it looks and feels like. If you want to experience a solution in action – this is how you do it.
Technologies powering this experience
To create the most impactful environment in the Experience Lab, Purple used a variety of technologies, including camera tracking systems, and various screens, including interactive ones. We combined these with physical accessories such as plants and other objects, to create a kind of ‘physical immersive theater’ with a natural-feeling experience.
S.MART Store – Walldorf CXC
This is the first CXC to use the Show Floor concept which uses a versatile and dynamic Show Floor with pods that focus on the 5 key areas (but in this instance, with a tight focus on retail technology in brick-and-mortar stores).
The immersive Experience Lab is based on the idea of a smart supermarket of the (near) future. The Experience Lab explores important topics including using data to give customers better experiences, ways to ensure product availability, space optimization, employee engagement, product placement, and sustainable practices.
Purple provided all the Show Floor content for this experience, and used a combination of digital signage, interactive signage, and sensors to drive a powerful immersive experience in a realistic supermarket setting. Our hardware partner Bourgonje played a crucial role in the delivery of the hardware components for our concept.
S.Fashion store - New York CXC
At SAP’s New York CXC we helped design and deliver a sustainable ‘fashion store’ concept (S.Fashion) that showcased different solutions with extended reality (XR) technologies. The goal was to attract interest from new partners, and give them an inspirational vision of how sustainability can be an everyday part of fashion retail.
To launch this concept, Purple organized events in London, Frankfurt, and Berlin. The “Re: Fashion the Future” events highlighted the same themes covered with this experience, and created a strong buzz around this project from the very start.
The Experience Center concept leveraged XR to show how it can help reduce waste and limit returns, by empowering customers with virtual reality to ‘try before they buy’. Concepts like this show how sustainability doesn’t have to be a ‘big deal’, when it’s integrated into the consumer experience, and it can link easily to other ideas like omnichannel sales and predictive algorithms.
It was vital that the store experience felt as realistic as possible, to show how technology can be used in combination with a seamless shopping experience. For this reason, a great deal of attention was paid to the physical environment to make it truly immersive.
Purple worked on the project from start to finish, and created content for each of the 5 areas of focus for the pods, as well as photo and video content to highlight smart purchasing and ordering.
The hardware setup helped bring our concepts to life, using multiple screens, digital signage, interactive signage, and sensor technology – all powered, of course, with the Hyro digital storytelling software.
Delivering unique experiences
Both locations enable SAP to offer something special to clients and prospects when they invite them to visit.
Because these concepts use the Hyro digital storytelling software, the content can be easily adapted to suit each individual client with specific stories, branding, and case studies that are most relevant to them. These interactive spaces are a great tool for the SAP sales team, but they also create unique opportunities to engage with clients and understand their needs better, by focusing the entire experience around them from the start.