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Fireside chat with Kai Stübane

Who is Kai?

Kai leads the Customer Experience Sales team in Middle and Eastern Europe. Previously, he held various sales leadership positions at SAP. Kai joined the tech industry as a consultant at PwC and quickly took a liking to the industry. Today, Kai feels very comfortable in the field of customer experience and likes to represent the topic as a thought leader on LinkedIn.

Outside of work, Kai is an avid sailor! Here, one of the biggest milestones for him was hist time in the Olympic 470 class as a member of the German National Team. Kai won several medals at European and World Championships at this time.

Tell us more about your role in SAP.

With my team, I help clients improve their customer experience through technology.
To explain this briefly in other words: We look at the customer experience of the customer and then go through the Customer Journey and help, for example, with Emarsys that customers can easily & better drive mail campaigns or that with our CDP customer data can be better used. Our product portfolio ranges from Marketing to Commerce to Customer Data Solutions to Sales & Service and serves both B2B and B2C cases.

What is the most difficult part of your job? But the most rewarding one?

As a leader, managing people is an important part that feels good but can also hurt. On the other hand, it’s my job to lead sales and make sure we grow in the customer experience area, and of course sometimes there are more difficult times that require new ways of thinking.

Is there anything that you would change about your professional path?

There is no career move I regret or would change, whether at PwC or SAP – everything has made me who I am today and, more importantly, where I am today.
What I might do differently or more would be to do more networking from the beginning. That’s something you often underestimate in the early days.

What’s your key strategy for the development of your company?

I am responsible for the CX sales area in MEE and here it is clearly my job and our strategy to increase the attention on customer experience, which means on the one hand talking a lot about it and on the other hand helping customers to realize better customer experiences with our help.
In general, at SAP, of course, our cloud transformation is at the forefront as an important strategic step.
Another big step, especially for us, is to become more sustainable AND to support our customers on this journey as well.

What do you think about the next period of time, keeping in mind the pandemic and the new business climate? How will your industry be affected?

The general buying behavior, especially in Europe, is definitely tight due to the ongoing supply chain crisis and the price shock in the energy sector. Consumer demand is already declining and the strong growth of online business is starting to slow down, both in B2C, D2C and B2B. However, solutions that help our customers reach new customers or target existing customers for cross-sells and upsells are even more in demand to generate new revenue streams.
So I think it could be a great opportunity for us to deliver the greatest possible support to our customers during this time.

Please name a few technologies which have the greatest impact on your business.

Cloud-native technologies enable enterprises to build and run scalable applications in modern, dynamic environments such as public, private, and hybrid clouds. Containers, service meshes, microservices, immutable infrastructure, and declarative APIs are examples of this approach.
These techniques enable loosely coupled systems that are resilient, manageable, and observable. The business impact in the CX space is in the ability to adopt and leverage new capabilities super-fast and MVP-based. This is the clear direction of demand we perceive from our customers.

What books do you have on your nightstand?

One is Jens Liljestrand – The Beginning of Tomorrow, the book is about the devastating consequences of climate change and makes you aware of what is already happening in the world, and the other is Bernard Moitessier – The Long Way, this is about my great passion, sailing, but it is not only a story about sailing, but also about values.

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