SAP: Making the Customer Experience Interactive

The SAP CX Enablement team wanted to create a friendlier, more intuitive way for their customers (including Marketing, Sales, Commerce, and Service professionals) to access the resources available to help them grow their business. And they wanted an eye-catching, engaging, and personalized way to introduce their customers to those resources, without overwhelming them with too much information at once. They had a plan…and then Coronavirus hit. How could they still successfully launch the customer experience they’d envisioned when they were suddenly confined to their homes?

The Company

SAP is a multinational software corporation (Europe’s largest) that makes enterprise software to manage business operations and customer relations. With nearly a hundred thousand employees, they serve hundreds of thousands of customers worldwide in more than 180 countries.

The Customer Experience (CX) Enablement team is a small team with a big task. They need to provide learning materials and enablement to those thousands of customers and partners, as well as materials for their own employees. The team works end-to-end, from collecting content and creating their own media products to delivering it to their end users on a platform they’re responsible for building themselves.

The Challenge - An Engaging Customer Experience

The team faced two challenges, one strategic, one tactical.

Their job is to create a satisfying customer enablement experience. When customers come looking for learning materials related to SAP CX products, they need to be able to easily find the information they’re looking for. But it’s not enough to just impart knowledge—the CX Enablement team wants that experience to be enjoyable. The materials need to be engaging and entertaining, so customers feel good about their relationship with SAP and its products. Happy customers are more likely to stick around. By offering complimentary enablement, the CX Enablement team gives their customers a starting point to dive deeper into formal trainings and officially recognized certifications.

The big problem was that these materials were scattered across different places. Microlearning videos lived on a Kaltura-powered video platform. But expert articles and other materials each lived on other platforms, making it hard to find everything. To build a better experience, they decided to bring everything together into a single, seamless portal.

On the tactical side, they needed a way to make this portal user-friendly and exciting. At the end of the day, the team was measured by how many views and clicks they received. They wanted to hook in new viewers, and then encourage them to explore the wealth of information available. Ideally, it would be eye-catching and memorable, maybe even the kind of thing viewers might want to share with their coworkers. At the same time, it needed to be personalized to the viewer’s particular needs…but their audience has a wide range of interests. There had to be a way to allow viewers to quickly customize their own experience, while still being fun and simple to understand.

“It’s important to find new and innovative ways to present dry material,” says Nicholas Wood, Knowledge Consultant – Video Specialist, SAP Customer Experience.

“We really like the playfulness of this format. It enables us to get a better understanding of where people actually click.”

Lena Zilli, Knowledge Consultant – Platform Specialist, SAP Customer Experience

The Plan – A Unified Portal with an Interactive Launch

The team decided to leverage Kaltura VPaaS (Video-Platform-as-a-Service) to build the SAP CX Enablement Portal, bringing together all the content in one, easy-to-navigate place. Building their video experiences using Kaltura’s VPaaS (Video-Platform-as-a-Service) allowed the team to quickly respond with a relevant and timely offering – a centralized, video-rich, easily-navigated customer enablement portal designed for everyone of their customers who wants to make the most of their time at home and empower themselves through remote learning around the SAP CX portfolio.

As for making their new portal efficient and engaging, the team had an opportunity to get creative. They decided to pilot something new and see how their learners responded.


They chose to try creating an interactive video to introduce users to the wealth of content they had to offer. A major part of the decision was the engagement factor. An interactive video would be a fun change of pace, getting viewers to engage from the sheer novelty factor alone.

But there was also a practical consideration. They had a huge wealth of content they wanted to showcase under one headline. Many of the tools they wanted to introduce require separate explanations. To have it all in one video would be too long, and viewers would drop off quickly. The typical thing to do might be to create a playlist. They wanted to get a little more cutting-edge. In the interactive video they created, viewers are invited to choose the topics they’re interested in watching next, with light doses of humor along the way. While keeping the viewer entertained, the video quickly guides each individual viewer to the specific information he or she is looking for. Viewers personalize their own experience, rather than wading through a lake of information. It makes for a far more user-friendly experience. It also helps the team better understand what their customers are looking for, to help refine further development.

“We saw it as an elegant and more entertaining way to use the interactive format,” says Wood. As viewers chose the topics that they’re interested in, those choices then guide them to further microlearning videos, trainings, product documentation, and expert articles.

“We really like the playfulness of this format. The whole gamification aspect is something we never had in our offering,” says Lena Zilli, Knowledge Consultant – Platform Specialist, SAP Customer Experience. “It enables us to get a better understanding of where people actually click.”

“We saw it as an elegant and more entertaining way to use the interactive format rather than create another playlist.”

Nicholas Wood, Knowledge Consultant – Video Specialist, SAP Customer Experience

The Complication – Coronavirus Strikes

There was a plan involving a formal shoot with a full camera crew, with all the tricks available to video professionals. But before they could start filming, disaster struck. Coronavirus rolled through and suddenly the team were confined to their individual homes, without any ability to work together in person or access any of their professional equipment.

They could have scrapped the plan. Instead, they got creative.

“It became clear that any kind of media content is becoming extremely valuable. Everything we do is even more digital than it ever was,” says Wood. “We’re spending even more time in front of a screen. There’s an opportunity, even if we keep it simple, to put out an interactive video. We didn’t have the greater visual tools to get the engagement. But we wanted to produce something. To say, ‘SAP is still providing you with updates. We’re still capable of innovation at this time.’”

The Solution – A Professional Approach within the Limitations

The beginning of the process stayed the same. The topic changed, though—the team adjusted the material to be more relevant to their customers under the circumstances.

They began with the content blocks, building a flow chart that helped the script evolve. They had to be extra careful to take filming limitations into account. They had one actor with no film crew, filming in his home. That meant everything from locations to how to cut between sections needed extra careful planning. There would be no second camera, so no second perspective. Instead, they went very simple, standing the actor against a blank wall and filling in the “boring” space with very high-level animations to emphasize things that happened.

On working under emergency conditions: “Well, obviously you just have to work with what you have. You have to be totally adaptable, but be aware that there’s a difference between being authentic and being unprofessional. So everyone might think, ok, you guys had an iPhone, you shot something from home, anyone can do that. That is not the case. So although we had limited equipment, we want to try to make it look that it is not shot on an iPhone and with the production crew 2,000 miles away. Which means limiting. Making it simple, and trying not to have as many moving parts as you usually would. So rather, reduce, reduce, reduce—and then make that reduced part better.”
Nicholas Wood, Knowledge Consultant – Video Specialist, SAP

The Results

“I’m really happy with it,” says Wood. “It’s fun to click through, it was fun to produce it. I think we can absolutely be happy with the quality of it.”

With the video newly launched, the team is already getting excellent feedback from managers. “We can already see that people are watching it,” Wood says. “We want to do it again. We want to see what the impact is and then adapt from there.”

They hope to see this video acting as a diving board to help customers dive into the library of materials. Most people have patience for two or three minutes of video; if people watch everything, the video is 12 minutes of self-contained content and serves as a gateway to hours more of other learning materials.

“I also think it’s super cool,” says Zilli. “Look at corporate enablement. Normally, it doesn’t change much. It’s not very innovative. And what we’ve done here is really unique.”

Watch the SAP webinar for even more details.

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