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SAP Customer Experience and Commerce Part 3 – Digital Future Ahead

SAP Customer Experience and Commerce Part 3 – Digital Future Ahead
Paul Edwards - SAP Solutions Architect | May 26, 2017
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In the first part of this blog we looked at some of the reasons why many CRM projects over the last ten or so years hadn’t met their objectives – and in the second part of the blog we considered why things might be different now with emergence of new SAP solutions & how they are different from old SAP CRM and SAP ERP solutions.

It is clear that the latest SAP solution suite (S/4 HANA, Hybris and Cloud for Customer) offer a more compelling and complete set of capabilities than previous solutions which, when coupled with the move away from traditional project implementation approaches to embrace more incremental and agile methodologies, give a far greater likelihood of success. The option to move from on premise SAP CRM solutions to the new suite of Cloud based offerings is attractive – especially for organisations with an established SAP ERP backend.

But most of the organisations can’t just unpick a decade of application history to turn themselves into a Digital Enterprise overnight – instead the digital transformation journey needs to be carefully planned.

The step change in application technology and approaches to its deployment present a plethora of exciting opportunities – but also give rise to a sometimes dizzying array of questions and options. Understanding, and answering these, is critical to enabling a successful Digital transformation strategy. Typical topics that need to be addressed include:

  1. Future state architecture- The SAP CEC product suite is more extensive than ever before, but which components (and licenses) are actually required and what deployment option for these is the best fit?
    • Solution components: SAP hybris vs. third party?
    • Cloud: public vs private? (including security considerations)
    • Legacy retirement plan
  2. Deployment approach & methodology- The new SAP solutions and methodologies require a change of approach in ways of working throughout the demand lifecycle
    • Agile vs waterfall – what is the right choice?
    • Release planning and management
    • Demand management & prioritisation
  3. IS organisation approach & structure- The 21st Century IS organisation faces different challenges to those in the past, and needs to be structured and organised appropriately to meet these
    • Organisation for agility
    • Release schedule
    • Support structures
  4. Business Transformation- The twin challenges of more frequent release cycles and reduced levels of customisation mean the management of the impact on the business users is more critical than ever
    • Organisational design
    • Change management
    • Training strategy and tooling

The new SAP solutions & methodologies require change of approach in ways of working throughout the demand lifecycle.

As ever, there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer to each of these questions.  Instead, the options within each need to be considered carefully and the ‘right fit’ established for each organisation.  Undertaking this exercise and establishing a digital roadmap is, in our experience, critical to ensuring that the lessons of the past can be taken on board, the same mistakes avoided and the benefits of Digital Transformation realized in the short, medium and long term.

In addition, there is frequently the significant challenge of convincing a sometimes (understandably) sceptical business that the world of IT applications has genuinely changed.  To this end, amongst the essential longer term roadmap planning and strategizing it is vitally important to get some ‘quick wins’ in place as early as possible.  By rapidly deploying some small solutions that add real business value even whilst a larger transition is ongoing, the business can be brought on board with the new solutions and ways of working. SAP’s suite of Cloud applications is well suited to this scenario.

We have an extensive track record in helping customers transform to meet the challenges of Digital Transformation based on our large team of skilled and experienced consultants and our proven approach. 

We offer a dedicated “Customer Engagement and Commerce Assessment” service to help organisations define their pathway to the Cloud and become 21st Century Digital Enterprises.  Could your business benefit from this?


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