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SAP CDP and CDC: Two Sides of the Same Coin

With so many solutions dealing with customer data management, it’s easy to lose track of who’s who and what’s what. And it can get even more complicated when the same provider offers multiple solutions that seem similar.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the two such products included in the SAP Customer Data Solutions offer: the SAP Customer Data Platform and SAP Customer Data Cloud.

Understanding and effectively managing customer data is paramount in today’s fast-paced business landscape. This data is vital for generating insights that drive personalized marketing, streamlined customer experiences, and enhanced decision-making.

However, the challenge lies in aggregating this data and ensuring its security and compliance with privacy regulations.

And that’s where SAP CDP and CDC come into play.

What we’ll cover:

SAP Customer Data Platform (CDP)

What if you could have all your customer data – from past purchases to social media interactions – unified into an easy-to-understand customer profile that everyone in your company can access?

That’s the power of a customer data platform (or CDP, for short). This customer data management solution acts as a central collection point for all your customer data – no matter which source it’s coming from – and serves as a foundation for future personalization efforts.

SAP Customer Data Platform, specifically, is a market leader in data unification and consolidation. This customer data solution by SAP is very easily integrated with various data sources (like your CRM, website, mobile app, etc.), providing your teams with real-time customer data across all touchpoints.

This easy integration also applies to downstream engagement systems (like SAP Emarsys), which use this data to trigger automated marketing campaigns that are personalized and highly relevant for each customer.

For example, let’s say a customer bought a new mobile phone. The system might offer a time-limited promotion on phone cases or glass protectors for that phone. It might also suggest an extended warranty if the customer profile says that this is something the buyer values.

This push towards personalization increases your company’s revenue and provides a great customer experience for the buyer as you offer them something relevant at just the right time.

SAP Customer Data Cloud (CDC)

On the other hand, SAP CDC stands for SAP Customer Data Cloud – a data management solution that helps you manage your customers’ identities and consent.

The security of customer data is now a critical topic as more and more companies face serious data breaches. Companies that fail to secure their customer data risk disclosing the sensitive information of millions of people, which in turn may lead to significant penalties from regulators. For instance, the Cambridge Analytica data breach resulted in Facebook being fined 5 billion USD.

SAP Customer Data Cloud (formerly known as Gigya) tackles this challenge directly by providing a robust identity management solution compliant with major data-security regulations such as GDPR in the EU or CDPA and CCPA in the US.

The SAP Customer Data Cloud is actually a combination of three separate solutions:

  • SAP Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) for B2C
  • SAP Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) for B2B
  • SAP Enterprise Consent and Preference Management

By combining these three solutions into a single comprehensive customer data management system, SAP CDC provides you with a single point to:

  • collect customer data (through sign-up forms, newsletter subscriptions, etc.)
  • manage their personal information
  • setup opt-ins/outs for different communication channels
  • record customer consent

With SAP Customer Data Cloud, your customers can easily manage their personal information or communication preferences by logging into your customer portal.

What is the Difference Between SAP CDP and CDC?

You will probably see the main difference between the two data management solutions from what we’ve covered. Although both SAP CDP and SAP CDC deal with customer data, they solve different challenges for your company and its customers.

While SAP CDC focuses on managing your customer’s identity and records their consent, SAP CDP unifies this data with that from other sources to create a comprehensive customer profile and then uses it to segment customers and personalize your communication and offer.

Let’s illustrate this with an example.

Imagine your company is building a webshop and wants to allow your customers to register and get special deals in exchange for some of their personal information.

The customer fills out a registration form, gives their consent for the information to be used by the company, and selects the different ways the company can reach out to them (email, SMS, etc.). The customer data cloud manages all of this.

Your customer data platform combines this information with their past purchases or website and social media activity and segments them based on these characteristics. You can then use this information to manually design and launch personalized marketing campaigns, or connect them with a marketing engagement system to automate these efforts.

Suppose the customer changes their personal information or revokes their consent. In that case, the customer data cloud again takes over, makes the change, and ensures that the new preferences are recorded and followed throughout the company.

Do You Need Both SAP CDP and CDC?

SAP CDC and CDP deal with different challenges, so you can use each separately or pair them with a solution from another provider. SAP products are known to integrate well with others – one of their main advantages compared to the competition.

But, as always, there is a big ‘however’ here.

A huge advantage of using SAP Customer Data Cloud and SAP Customer Data Platform together is the SAP-provided real-time connector.

This connector allows you to design and optimize your marketing campaigns and communication in real time based on changes in your customer preferences and personal information – a compelling feature when paired with those engagement systems we’ve mentioned.


In an age where data fuels business success, SAP Customer Data Platform and SAP Customer Data Cloud emerge as pivotal solutions.

These tools empower you to generate insights, foster personalized experiences, and ensure regulatory compliance by addressing the challenges of data unification and identity management.

The journey to effective customer data management begins by recognizing the unique strengths of these solutions and using them to drive growth and customer loyalty.


Authors and Contributors

Valentin Rabitz | Solution Architect, NETCONOMY

Valentin is a customer data solutions expert and a part of NETCONOMY’s consulting team. His focus is on helping businesses understand their data landscape and how they can use it to drive value.

Nikola Pavlovic | Content Marketing Manager, NETCONOMY

Nikola is an experienced content and communication professional who believes that powerful storytelling is key for building brands, educating audiences, and designing marketing campaigns that deliver.