OSRAM is an established German brand with global operations that has been around for over 100 years. OSRAM is much more than just a lighting manufacturer. The company’s high-tech products and solutions for the B2B market enable a wide range of digital applications, from autonomous driving to biometric unlocking of mobile devices. It is obvious that the digital transformation we see across industries and around the world not only affected its products and services, but also fundamentally changed the company and its internal organization. OSRAM relies on Salesforce to put its customers at the centre of their business and connect OSRAM’s sales, marketing and service. However, the centrepiece of OSRAM’s digital transformation was to offer a digital platform that makes B2B purchasing quicker and easier than ever before.

2017 marked the starting point of the initiative aimed at digitalising the OSRAM Group with a focus on go-to-market and products. Changing customer needs, the development of new markets and the acquisition by AMS brought along a shift in the focus of the business towards photonics and semiconductor solutions. The goal of the digitalization was to address these new markets and changing customer expectations.

The evaluation of the company’s “digital readiness” was followed by planning and implementation of the global initiative, which called for investments in a digital distribution channel for B2B customers and new technologies around digital marketing and CRM. The reorganisation of internal structures, teams and processes was also made a part of this global initiative. Dr Johannes Ihringer, Head of the Digital Program Office at OSRAM, defined the new self-service portal for automating B2B sales as their lighthouse project. “The concept clearly aligns with new customer needs that are being shaped by private online experiences,” he explains. However, transformation projects in large organisations are often met with resistance. This is mainly due to an internal lack of understanding and the fact that the benefits for employees are not quickly and directly visible. “This is why we first implemented the measures that can easily be seen and result in an immediate, measurable benefit to our customers , i.e. we relaunched our website and started digitalising sales,” Dr Ihringer explains.

A customer-centric 360 solution is the deciding factor

Salesforce prevailed in the selection process against vendors such as Adobe and SAP and convinced OSRAM with its Customer 360 platform. As Dr Ihringer puts it, “The holistic solution for digital  that Salesforce offers was the deciding factor. From the range of products and rapid implementation to its high acceptance in the area of sales. Supporting topics such as Trailhead and the sense of community one experiences at events, also played an important role in our decision,” he adds. All of these factors contribute significantly to engaging and inspiring people throughout the business. The point is to see CRM not mainly as a database, as was previously the case, but rather as a partner to bring a fundamental shift in the way a business thinks and operates to life,” Ihringer continues: “The common understanding for OSRAM is that the goal of a transformation should be to understand the customer better and to move closer to them.”

Better data quality with Salesforce

Sales Cloud was first introduced in the Semiconductor business unit in 2017, following the global web relaunch in 2016, and was then rolled out globally in 2018. “A clean customer data structure is essential in preparing for an e-commerce project,” Dr Ihringer notes. “Salesforce is our foundation for better data quality and better forecasting – and thus the foundation of the new platform for B2B commerce.” The goal is the integrated interaction of sales, marketing and service, whereby the solutions are first implemented step by step and then merged.

OSRAM set up an internal IT team for the project and the rollout and worked with Salesforce partner Deloitte in the initial phase, which was later replaced by HCL, in the area of Operations, as well. In addition, members from various business units were involved in designing the processes and the target vision of the customer journey. SAP is still in use as the back-end ERP system and is integrated with Salesforce, with represents the front-end for customers and sales. The employees were trained on how to use the system by key users and regular interactive Skype sessions in addition to Trailhead, Salesforce’s online learning platform, to deepen their knowledge of topics and solve problems. On Trailhead, the project team recommends appropriate “Trails”, or content for the trainings, which OSRAM employees can complete online anytime, anywhere and on any device.


The entire transformation package that Salesforce offers was the decisive factor. The range of products, rapid implementation and its high acceptance in the area of sales”

Dr. Johannes Ihringer | Head of Digital Program Office bei OSRAM

Fast and efficient B2B purchasing with Commerce Cloud

Sales Cloud replaced the CRM solution from SAP that was previously in use. “Its usability was pretty much still from the year 2000, which was one of the main problems,” Ihringer explains in justifying replacement of the system. The B2B Self-Service Portal, OSRAM’s online commerce solution for its business customers, built with Commerce Cloud, was launched in 2019. “More and more customers prefer data-driven sales and purchasing processes, as B2B buyers in particular are under increasing pressure to work more quickly and efficiently,” he adds. “The idea behind our B2B platform is that orders can be processed quickly, easily and efficiently without need for any manual interaction on our side.”

When a customer logs on to the portal, they can immediately see the products they have ordered at a glance as well as the delivery status of each order on their personalized page. “It is important that the customer doesn’t feel as if he is only a number,” Ihringer emphasizes. “Rebuy” is a capability designed to be particularly easy to use because business customers often reorder the same products. After ordering, the customer receives a friendly e-mail from the After-Sales team and asked whether they are satisfied with the purchase. Each customer also receives personalized information in the form of product recommendations and invitations to events that are of relevance.

Sales teams are smarter with Einstein

Automation enables sales at OSRAM to concentrate on more complex tasks. “With better visibility of opportunities and scoring through the Salesforce AI solution Einstein, sales can focus on those customers where the business offers the greatest potential,” says Ihringer. “Sales employees tend to visit their current customers more regularly. This pattern is eliminated by using data to identify the opportunities that are most relevant and still need to be tapped into.” The functionalities of the Sales Cloud also support the goal of increasing sales in terms of pricing and quotations through automated generation of quotes.

Salesforce supports your customer-centric transformation

As the first part of the connected customer journey, OSRAM automates its communications with Marketing Cloud and is able to target  its customer community using LinkedIn or a newsletter - both mediums are relevant for the audience and received high response rates. These communications are personalized to direct customers to their personal page on the B2B portal with personalized links. Conversely, the activities that take place on the B2B portal are able to trigger a marketing campaign through automated flows. The classic separation between sales, marketing and service now transforms into delivery of connected and personalized experiences across the customer journey. 

Employees from the various departments also make active use of Chatter to collaborate. The After-Sales department also handles customer inquiries. Thanks to Chatter the team can communicate directly with product managers while viewing a customer’s case. Service Cloud is also used by OSRAM to deliver personalized service by providing support for customer communication, case allocation, tracking and evaluation. 

OSRAM connects commerce sales, service and marketing to offer personalized and connected journeys for a true, customer-centric transformation. “We are a company that is in the midst of a transformation and Salesforce supports this transformation extremely effectively,” concludes Ihringer.

10% increase in sales within 6 months

Even though neither the transformation nor the implementation of Salesforce has been completed at OSRAM, the business is already seeing results. In the first two months, 120 customers had already placed orders worth 500,000 euros through the B2B platform; overall orders increased by ten percent within just six months. Direct feedback from customers is also extremely positive as they cite the platform to be “very clear”, “simple”, “intuitive to use” and “state of the art”. The adoption rate of the Sales Cloud is also rising steeply among internal teams. Dashboards and opportunity tracking are saving valuable time for the sales team, and reps are also enthusiastic about the usability and functionality offered with Salesforce, according to Ihringer.


The complete global rollout and implementation of the end-to-end customer journey, from capturing leads through to purchasing through and post-sale support, will be completed across all departments over the course of 2020. The first teams in the Group are also planning to introduce the Manufacturing Cloud, the industry-specific solution for manufacturing companies from Salesforce.

The project at a glance

  • Changing customer needs and the development of new markets have made it necessary for OSRAM to digitalise their business and connect across their internal processes – while focusing on the customer.
  • OSRAM partnered with Salesforce and leverages Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, B2B Commerce and Service Cloud across the business – connected for the first time through the platform
  • Sales representatives also benefit from the opportunity scoring capabilities of Einstein to help prioritize their activities
  • The B2B solution from Commerce Cloud allows customers to place orders and re-orders easily and efficiently while sales reps benefit from the additional efficiencies.
  • The Marketing team uses Marketing Cloud for automation and integration of sales with marketing activities.
  • The Customer Service and After-Sales departments use Service Cloud to provide faster responses and more personalized customer service


OSRAM, based in Munich, is a leading global high-tech company dating back more than 110 years. Primarily focused on semiconductor-based technologies, OSRAM’s products are used in highly diverse applications ranging from virtual reality and autonomous driving to smartphones and connected lighting solutions in buildings and cities. OSRAM uses the endless possibilities of light to improve the quality of life for individuals and communities. OSRAM’s innovations enable people all over the world not only to see better, but also to communicate, travel, work and live better. OSRAM has approximately 23,500 employees worldwide as of end of fiscal 2019 (September 30) and generated revenue of about 3.5 billion euros from continued operations. The company is listed on the stock exchanges in Frankfurt and Munich (ISIN: DE000LED4000; WKN: LED 400; trading symbol: OSR). Additional information can be found at www.osram.com.

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