Hybris Partner Conference Day One

Hybris partner conference 2014 - very impressive
Hybris partner conference 2014 – very impressive

I’m at a Hybris partner conference in Munich, Germany for the next couple of days.

Hybris is an ecommerce platform recently acquired by SAP, and is used by hundreds of retailers on the internet.

Hybris is one of the top-tier of ecommerce platforms. There has been a big consolidation in the market over the last couple of years, leaving pretty much three players at this level: IBM, Oracle and SAP (who own Hybris).

Here are the highlights from day one of the Hybrids conference. Apologies in advance for grammar and spelling mistakes:

Firstly, the venue and facilities were fantastic. Super swish, in a hangar with smoke, laser lighting, large screens and good speakers (both people and loudspeakers). Over 1,400 people were at the event.

Highlight of the year was clearly being bought by SAP. Hybris want to keep their corporate culture though. A third of Hybris clients are already SAP clients, but upselling to the other two-thirds is a good opportunity for the new ownership.

There’s a big opportunity with Financial Services, which is great from the SAP perspective, and provides new revenue streams from clients who have historically understood, and spent significantly, on IT.

Last year’s revenue was over 100% year on year – the exact figures can’t be released because SAP is a listed company and haven’t released their figures to the market yet. Hybris has high aspirations though, and is aiming for $1bn in the next 3 years. They signed almost 200 new deals in 2013.

Asia-Pacific is a major region with 28 new deals, 4 of which were over €1m. Hybris were encouraging partners to open new offices in the Asia-Pacific region, and even offering to help them.

Some top end brands such as Gucci and Burberry signed with Hybris in the last year. Telco went from nothing to a significant percentage of revenue, including EE. New US clients included Nest, 3M (over $20bn of their business is sold online), Amway and Aldo (with click and collect and other innovations).

Like many software companies with similar growth rates, it requires a high quality, proven partner network for implementations in order to scale quickly. Like those other software companies, Hybris’ biggest challenge is people – those professional services people who can implement Hybris for customers.

There are 6,000 delivery people across the Hybris partner network. Last year, 3,250 people took the online training courses. Last year, partners delivered 140 new projects. And that’s not enough. Worse still, too many clients are complaining about low quality, missed milestones, running old versions of the software, and asking Hybris to help the partner with implementations.

Hence Endava’s involvement supplying quality resources for Hybris implementations.

Interestingly, technical delivery issues are only about a fifth of the problems with implementations. The biggest issues are ‘simple’ project management issues such as roles and responsibilities, lack of project goals and expectation management.

Like many other companies, mobile is key to Hybris: omnicommerce. Linking together call centres, physical stores, web sites, mobile, customer service channels, mobile apps, social media, and so on. SAP will help with a large part of this stack (Hana and so on). SAP will also help with the complete lifecycle of the product, from design to manufacture, distribution and now the retail channel. Think of Hybris as the last mile of the customer journey.

I liked their analogy with Amazon – customers don’t buy from Amazon because it’s the most beautiful experience; they use Amazon because delivery is efficient, content is accessible anywhere, and the B2B marketplace enables more products on the site.

Hybris Labs

There were a number of prototypes on display, including Google Glass integration, iBeacon and indoor positioning, image recognition and sound recognition for television advertising (using a different model to Shazam). Hybris don’t just give the usual talk about being innovative – you can see their pride in their labs environment.

Hybris TV integration with real time product placement
Hybris TV integration with real time product placement
Hybris Labs product recognition through Augmented Reality
Hybris Labs product recognition through Augmented Reality
Hybris Labs demonstrating in store product locations
Hybris Labs demonstrating in store product locations

I’ll provide further updates tomorrow – I’ll be attending the delivery stream (semi-technical and business focussed).

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