10/06/24Summer Interview with Martin Hubschneider

Where does the innovative power of CAS software come from? What trends can we expect to see in business software - especially in CRM and CPQ? And what significance will artificial intelligence have in the future? We asked Martin Hubschneider, founder and CEO of CAS Software AG, in a personal interview.

Martin Hubschneider


Hi Martin, welcome to this summer interview. Let’s jump right in, how are you and how is CAS Software doing?

Personally, I am doing very well. Over the last few days, I have been recharging my batteries in the sun and with dolce vita in the south. However, what makes me even happier is that CAS, the CAS team and the entire ecosystem have developed very well in recent years. Just last year, the CAS Group set new records and received many awards for its outstanding innovative strength and customer focus.

What have you been particularly pleased about recently?

Our internal customer centricity strategy is working. Continuous improvement is deeply rooted in the genes of CAS. In May 2024, the CAS team was awarded "Deutschlands Kundenchampions 2024" seal of approval. Furthermore, CAS genesisWorld achieved an outstanding result in the renowned comparison test of leading CRM solutions by Trovarit with a score of 1.6. I was particularly pleased that our unique on-site partner concept and the industry expertise of our customers were seen as a particular success factor. Even before that, we were delighted to be named overall winner and "Top Innovator" for the third time in the TOP 100 innovation competition. And last fall, a renowned jury bestowed an incredible accolade upon SmartWe and the We.Network by making us the proud recipients of the coveted Red Dot Design Award.

Where does the innovative strength at CAS come from?

First and foremost, from the imagination and innovative spirit of the many committed co-creators on our extraordinary CAS team. As well as from the climate of innovation that we can offer as an independent medium-sized company. We are completely independent of banks and investors – even our wonderful green CAS Campus belongs to us. This gives us freedom and enables us to make our decisions quickly and independently of others – including the conscious decision to take the risk of entering markets very early on.

We have been investing over 20% of our turnover (!) in new products for many years. In 2023 it was even 28%. Among other things, we have used our own funds over the past three years to develop We.Network - the unique fair.digital social network for Europe - that we will soon turn into a self-owned company. We are firmly convinced of our mission that our innovative software platforms can ensure the sustainable success, future viability and sovereignty of European companies.

Staying with innovation for a moment: What trends do you see in business IT - especially in CRM and CPQ?

In general, I have been seeing a megatrend towards cloud-based platforms for years. At CAS, we want to be the innovation and market leader in three areas: SmartWe and CAS genesisWorld for CRM + AIA®, CAS Merlin for configurators and CPQ and We.Network as the fair.digital social network.

On the one hand, industry-neutral software platforms enable considerable scaling effects to be utilized and data security to be guaranteed. On the other hand, at least for our CAS Software platforms, they enable optimal adaptation to changing customer requirements or legal regulations.

In our view, the most important current trends are artificial intelligence (AI) and augmented intelligence assistants (AIA), business mining and business process automation, outstanding user experience as well as optimal, fast and secure adaptation to industries and individual workplace requirements, content assistants, self-service requirements and an open ecosystem. We also support our customers in securing their digital sovereignty with the fair.digital initiative. For example, we also enable our platform solutions to be used directly in a customer's private cloud.

What significance do you see in artificial intelligence?

We have been integrating intelligent assistants into our solutions for many years. Since 2020, we have been positioning our CRM/XRM solutions as market-leading CRM+AIA® solutions. AIA stands for Augmented Intelligence Assistants - intelligent assistants that do not make decisions for humans as artificial intelligence, but offer support in information processing, decision-making and problem-solving by analyzing data, recognizing patterns and making recommendations. In short, they make suggestions for decisions for humans and also justify them in a comprehensible way. According to the motto: "The computer thinks - the human thinks and decides." We see that our SME customers in particular trust their employees to make good decisions. They are delighted with the increase in efficiency achieved by the intelligent assistants (AIAs).

We introduced the globally unique Picasso search back in 2018. The intelligent search finds around 50% of the search results for each individual user based on probabilities. Only those who have experienced the search assistant live can understand the infectious enthusiasm of many of our customers. In particular, we also offer important information such as the upcoming birthday of a customer or colleague in individually pre-calculated search results. Nevertheless, new AIAs such as the Customer Relationship Assistant and the Sales Opportunity Assistant also support the maintenance of successful relationships by using artificial intelligence during routine work to “think along” with the user.

CAS also pursues the integration of diverse AI-based solutions according to the best-of-breed approach. An ecosystem of specialized solutions that are seamlessly integrated unfolds around the CAS platform solutions.

You also describe business process automation as a trend at CAS

Yes, CAS has been one of the pioneers in this area for years, for example with the CAS genesisWorld Smart Actions and workflow support. This year, we are introducing an extremely innovative Business Process Automation Assistant, which can be used to graphically define workflows and integrate special Innovation Intelligence Assistants, among other things. Everything else is still a secret until the Customer Centricity Forum 2024 on June 20.

What is your driving vision?

Personally, I see software as "just" a tool for companies, organizations and people. It shouldn’t make anyone dependent or limit their adaptability to customer needs. In future, at least in Europe, all the important IT platforms will be stock corporations owned by customers, partners and co-creators. This will safeguard the digital sovereignty of people, organizations and European countries by preventing takeovers. At the same time, this approach supports innovative strength, future viability and the adaptability of companies. I am very pleased that we are already receiving a lot of support for this vision from the market.

The CAS team's software platforms are characterized by an excellent user experience, intelligent assistants and outstanding adaptivity. Another logical extrapolation: in my view, generative artificial intelligence will optimally support process automation and the development of individual user interfaces in just a few years' time and make programming unnecessary in this area.

We then take care of the development of the adaptive platforms, the intelligent assistants, open interfaces to a trustworthy ecosystem and the secure operation of the software platforms.

Our aim is to inspire users through the use of our solutions, to promote the success of our customers in the long term and to achieve a high fan and recommendation rate. We strive to create a long-term emotional bond with our customers and want as many of our customers, partners and employees as possible to become fans or even friends.

<< back