How To Fix The Personalization Paradox


Customers are signaling that they want more personalized treatment from companies. In fact, a recent Accenture survey revealed that nearly 60% of respondents prefer real-time promotions and offers. That may seem like great news for marketers. But personalization strategies also come with risk.

Personalization creates more intimacy in the customer relationship, which can lead to more sales and loyalty. This promise of a tighter bond with customers has driven personalization to the top of marketers’ strategic agendas for 2016. However, this approach can threaten the most important aspect of the customer relationship: trust.

The tug-of-war over data

For personalization to work, brands need to gather detailed information about customers. But when asked whether they are willing to give up that information in return for more targeted products and promotions, many customers balk. Of the Accenture survey respondents, for example, only 20% were willing to reveal their location, and just 14% would consider parting with their browsing history.

This personalization paradox, as it is known, has been around for decades. But it’s going to become a bigger issue as digital connectivity increases and the data that customers generate through their activities—whether it be jogging with a Fitbit or refilling a fridge connected to the Internet of Things—outline their lives in ever-finer digital detail.

Complicating the situation, most customers aren’t very well-informed when it comes to data privacy. For example, a survey by the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania found that 54% of respondents wrongly believe a website’s privacy policy means that the site would not share their information without their permission.

Focus on trust and value

How can companies reduce customer fear, ignorance, and uncertainty about personalization and privacy?Research has found that customers are more likely to take advantage of personalization from companies they trust and that offer them real value in exchange for their information.

It’s important to emphasize trust in the customer relationship because it’s at a low ebb. For example, just 7% of customers say the offers they receive from companies are consistently relevant. And 27% have said they’ve stopped visiting a website or mobile app after receiving irrelevant information or product recommendations.

Bonus: Learn how companies can create moments that matter to customers, anytime and anywhere in the white paper “Live Customer Experiences for the Digital Economy.”

In this kind of a climate, companies must demonstrate that they are worthy of customers’ trust before pushing too hard on personalization. Research has shown that there are two components of trust:

  • Confidence. Customers must believe that the company can provide a quality product or service.
  • Benevolence. Customers must believe that the company is willing to consider every customer’s self-interest above their own.

The benevolence aspect of trust is particularly important when it comes to personalization. In this regard, companies demonstrate benevolence by offering clear, understandable data collection and usage policies and by giving customers control over their information and how it is used. Customers are hungry for that control. A Pew Research Center survey found that 90% of those surveyed want to decide what information is collected about them.

Once trust is established, personalization has to offer real value. That value could come through useful services or discounts, for example. The key is to avoid stepping over the invisible line from cool to creepy, such as the time when Target sent coupons for diapers to an expectant teen before her father knew of the pregnancy.

Of course, the personalization paradox and online privacy are issues as big as the Internet. Customers will continue to fear for their privacy as long as data breaches continue and irrelevant and offensive offers continue to hit their inboxes. But focusing on trust is the beginning of a solution.


A Catalog of Civic Data Use Cases


How can data and analytics be used to enhance city operations?

What kinds of operations-enhancing questions have cities asked and answered with data and analytics? The catalog below is an ongoing, regularly-updated resource for those interested in knowing what specific use cases can be addressed using more advanced data and analysis techniques.

For examples that are currently being implemented in cities across the country, you can click to expand the question to see additional information about the solution.  All other examples represent potential questions that cities could work to address with data and analytics.

We welcome further submissions to the list by email.  Submissions can include either current examples of how cities are addressing specific operational or policy issues with data, or ideas for how to address issues that you hope cities will one day be able to answer.





  • Can we determine where unsafe housing problems are unlikely to be reported through 311?
  • How can we use analytics to prioritize accessibility inspections for building alterations, and make sure they are compliant with municipal building code and state accessibility requirements?
  • Who is most likely to be guilty of financial crimes and fraud?
  • How can inspectors reduce response time to maintenance complaints?
  • How can we prioritize annual elevator safety inspections?  For example, can we predict or identify which elevators pass every year and could be outsourced to a 3rd party?
  • How can we predict vacant or abandoned buildings before they reach that status?  To do so, can we use court foreclosure filings, US Postal “undeliverable” data, tax information, and data outside government, such as utility bill records?
  • Which construction / renovation projects are the highest risk / should be inspected first?
  • Which buildings are the highest risk / should be inspected first?
  • Which equipment (such as boilers, elevators, cranes, vehicles, etc.) is the highest risk / should be inspected first?
  • What variables affect inspector productivity and which can be most easily influenced? What distinctions can be made between inspectors who complete a high number of inspections and those who are at the bottom end?
  • Based on the relationship between inspections and violations, what building inspection regimens are most effective at preventing violations from occuring?
  • How many inter-agency inspections are conducted each year? Do they effectively detect current violations?
  • Which city debts are least likely to be paid?
  • Which taxpayers are least like to pay?
  • What city blocks need more inspection enforcement?
  • Which businesses are most likely to be violating weights and measures?
  • How can we determine what businesses will have over-occupancy issues, including multiple incidents of over-crowding?
  • How can we tap social media for information on illegal businesses?
  • What property owners, architects, developers, businesses and landlords need more regulatory enforcement?
  • How can we use social media to ensure licenses are conducting legal business?
  • Can we predict which stores sell cigarettes to youth?
  • How can we target stores that sell outdated food or expired baby formula?
  • Does the order of inspections (building, health, or fire) increase the rate of violation?

Profitability Analysis and CO with Simple Finance


This post will give the functionalities offered by Simple finance in COPA and management accounting

The long pending requirement from the majority of the customers in manufacturing industry is getting the COGS break up each head wise and it needs to post to a different GL account, in this way COPA is in sync with FI and it reduces the lot of reconciliation issues, the same issue has been addressed in simplified profitability analysis and it is part of simple finance.

In CO the main focus is to reduce the month end closing activities time and increase the system performance, In Sfin we have a separate set of transaction codes to perform this activity.

  • In simple finance, SAP is recommending for Account based COPA, account base in the default solution as the advantages of costing base has been incorporated in account base, as well enhancing the reconciliation aspect by having single document for Finance and COPA through universal journal entry, and improving the performance through the use of S/4 Hana database. No change in costing base approach.
  • The COEP, COSS and COSP tables are replaced with ACDOCA.
  • View tables are also available to reproduce the data in the old structure, for example V_COEP would allow seeing actual postings.
  • Assessments with in CO will update the COEP for CO documents and accounting documents with ACDOCA
  • Table ACDOCA would store both FI and CO posting in a unified document. As account based COPA posted is same as CO posting, the characteristic of account based COPA would also be part of ACDOCA



Configuration for splitting the cost of goods sold:

IMG: Spro > General Ledger Accounting (New) > Periodic Processing > Integration > Materials Management > Define Accounts for Splitting the Cost of Goods Sold

In Account Based COPA, there was no option to have a split of the Cost of Goods Sold into its components. This did not allow business to compare the component level costs of the inventory in terms of plan and actual, which can be basis of production re engineering. With Simple Finance, this option has been made available in account based COPA.


Configuration for additional quantities:

Spro > Controlling > General Controlling > Additional Quantities > Define Additional Quantity Fields

Additional quantity field can be configured. Badi FCO_COEP_QUANTITY has to be used.


In Simple Finance, the settings for Profitability Segment Characteristic is not supported any more, as each profitability segment contains all available characteristic values.


With Simple Finance, Integrated Business Planning would be in general used for overall Planning purpose. However planning available in account based COPA would continue to exist, as it exists before. But with additional flexibility IBP would be the primary Planning tool going forward.

For Reporting User Interface tools like Lumira would be used. This gives additional flexibility of query based reporting, real time value updation etc. However Ke30 reports can still be created.

With the simple finance, the benefits like reconciliation with financials, system performance, cost of goods sold and IBP is as follows.


I hope this post will give some inputs on COPA in simple finance, Happy learning and welcome your valuable comments.

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@ITChamps_SAP – Pure Play SAP Consulting Firm

Do You Have A Mobile Strategy?

Man using tablet computer at station

Mobility is a key strategic initiative for both consumer and B2B facing companies, as over two-thirds of the IT leaders Lopez Research surveyed listed mobile-enabling the business as a top priority in 2016. Yet, only 48% of the firms interviewed have a formal mobile strategy in place. This disconnect between crafting a mobile strategy and deploying mobile applications can dramatically decrease the effectiveness of a company’s mobile efforts. For example, a mobile strategy should define the architectural approach for connecting data from Systems of Record and engagement, such as ERP, CRM, and SCM, to mobile applications. Without this, the apps development team is building a pretty user interface that can’t connect to transactional systems.

Three Phases of Mobile Strategy

Most companies will evolve to mobile-empowered businesses in three phases that Lopez Research defines as extend, enhance, and evolve.

Phase 1: Extend existing apps to mobile

A majority of organizations, regardless of the presence of a formal mobile strategy, are extending a subset of existing applications to mobile devices today. In many cases, these are micro apps that offer a subset of the features found within PC applications. Examples of micro apps include approvals, expense reporting, and time tracking. During the initial stages of mobile enablement, many companies focus on delivering paper-replacement applications such as forms, price lists, and brochures. In this phase, companies are supporting only a few apps, and the issues associated with foregoing a formal mobile strategy aren’t obvious.

Phase 2: Advance capabilities of existing apps

As firms move into the second phase, IT is advancing the capabilities of existing apps by adding new functionality found in mobile devices such as image capture, bar-code scanning, and availability of location data. For example, retailers are improving in-store customer service with mobile information access and recommendations engines. Industrial industries are minimizing downtime by adding sensor data, such as temperature and vibration, to new mobile apps for plant managers. Across industries, organizations will be creating mobile solutions that use new data and device functions (e.g. camera, voice navigation, and location) to gain efficiencies and improve business with better information such as location data, voice-enablement, and image capture. It’s during phase two that companies realize they need a strategy to manage and secure mobile applications, scale mobile application development, and align with the business KPIs for digital transformation.

Phase 3: Focus on mobile to reinvent business models and processes

In the final phase of mobile-enablement, companies have already deployed foundation technologies such as enterprise mobile management, mobile application development platforms, and agile dev-ops processes. At this point, IT will focus on leveraging mobility as part of a toolkit to reinvent internal processes and transform business models. For example, product manufacturers are shifting to digital service models that couple hardware with subscription services accessed via mobile devices. Companies will offer contextual services by combining information such as location, device type, previous transactions, social media sentiment, and current process.

Create a clear mobile strategy

A mobile strategy, while its own entity, is also a critical part of a company’s overall digital transformation strategy. Mobile technology provides new contextual elements such as location, sensor data, and image-capture information that can enhance business processes. It also introduces new design paradigms such as touch and voice navigation. These attributes, coupled with the portability mobile provides, are key enablers of transforming digital business processes.

The mobile strategy should be interlaced with other IT initiatives such as cloud computing, data processing, and analytics strategies. As companies look to build new mobile applications, the cloud can provide many mobile services such as a development and testing environment, cloud-based mobile application middleware and development tools, as well as Analytics-as-a-Service capabilities. Additionally, companies can look to cloud-resident SaaS applications to deliver mobile applications that operate seamlessly on the latest mobile devices. Mobility can deliver both efficiencies and competitive differentiation if IT and the line of business managers come together to build a strategy.