Under SAP, Gigya Aims To Be The Consumer Identity System Of Record

German software giant SAP purchased Gigya for $350 million in late September to acquire expertise in identity management. Gigya will merge with the Hybris Business unit – home to SAP’s ecommerce marketing platform.

Gigya helps brands and publishers unify and manage identity data like social logins, site or in-app registrations and email.

On Tuesday, Gigya launched the Enterprise Preference Manager, a platform giving marketers the ability to manage consumer opt-ins and to maintain a record of the terms of service they’ve subscribed to.

Gigya and SAP are banking on a growing need among brands to manage consumer identity more effectively amid changing data regulations.

On the consumer-facing side, the platform provides the user with a portal in which to update their preferences around marketing channels and frequency of messaging, as well as the ability to withdraw their consent and to download or export their user data.

“There’s a broader trend where consumers are demanding personalization and customization, but they want it done in a way that’s transparent,” said Gigya’s founder and CEO Patrick Salyer. “To do that right, you really need to get identity right, which is one of the things we’re bringing to SAP.”

Salyer spoke with AdExchanger about the company’s post-acquisition path forward and how regulatory developments such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) have impacted product development.

AdExchanger: What do you bring to SAP?

PATRICK SALYER: Customer identity management is all about identifying who the consumer is, across various channels, in a way that’s opt-in and permission-based. And managing preference in a way that gives consumers control over their own data while giving consumers better products, services and marketing in return.

The thing Gigya does well is managing that identity piece, and what [SAP] Hybris does well is the marketing, sales and service piece, so bringing the two businesses together really made sense.

What does SAP do for you?

It will help us to move much faster. We are getting access to a ton of resources across the board. One is just a ton of product and development resources and an incredible list of customers and go-to-market resources. It’s incredible to see the quality of the organization we’re joining, and it’ll really help our growth and expansion in global markets, whereas we’d primarily been focusing on North America and Europe.

Will you remain independent, even though you guys are joining up with Hybris?

We’re committed to having Gigya continue to operate as a platform. A big part of our success is integrating with the various third-party marketing, sales and service vendors out there. Identity data management will continue to be a standalone product to purchase. That being said, we already have integrations with several Hybris technologies and will continue to expand that.

What’s the impact of GDPR on the marketing ecosystem?

GDPR is a regulation designed to address this move toward providing consumers more control to delete, export or manage their own data. Broadly speaking, there is certainly is a movement happening right now to give consumers more transparency, and GDPR is symptomatic of that movement. That will lead to the creation of new products – the enterprise preference manager in our case – that give brands the ability to manage those preferences around consent and foster that transparency.

What will GDPR mean for brands?

Businesses will need to choose what they use as their system of record, whether that’s a customer data platform or another system, and which approaches or aspects of data will be important to them as a business.

We believe considering things like your first-party data, preference, consent and compliance are the right way to build a trusted experience with consumers and create a great customer experience.

The number of channels is only going to increase, with chat bots, voice assistants and connected TV. We believe the complexity is also going to increase, and it will become an identity challenge for marketers because each of these environments has their own user experience and you need to consider consent and preference as part of that.

Interview condensed.

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