September 30, 2016 | Written by: Michael Donovan Guin
Categorized: Customer Experience
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Over the years, many companies have opted for a cloud-based solution for Customer Relationship Management (CRM). But many have held back, due to concerns that their business model was too unique for a generic, all-purpose solution. Now, they can have both, thanks to an updated offering from SAP Hybris.
Recently, the company announced the latest version of its Cloud for Customer platform. Originally launched a few years ago, the platform has been quietly establishing itself as the cloud option of choice for companies, who have a mobility driver, issues with their current user experience/adoption or that have invested heavily in an SAP-based architecture. Now, the platform includes additional capabilities, designed to add industry-specific capabilities, making it more fit for purpose, and easier to integrate.
For example, there is a new package for the Utilities industry, this integrates both with SAP’s ISU (Industry Solution for Utilities) on the back end, and the rest of the customer engagement suite from SAP Hybris on the front end. This gives sales agents, call center representatives and field technicians access to a 360-degree view of customers across all phases of engagement, plus access to market-leading capabilities that go way beyond CRM.
While some of these changes benefit all industries, let’s look a little closer at the additional enhancements the Utilities package adds, to get a sense of how these changes could benefit you and your business:
Quotes and Contracts
- Quotes can be built on the fly by sales reps, or initiated by customers on your web site, then viewed and acted on within Cloud for Customer. While a customer can use quotations to find out about prices and supply conditions to make informed decisions, the utility companies can use them to gain an overview of the expected costs and revenues by including anticipated services in its planning at an early stage.
- Users can create new business agreements and specify proposed payment method and payment terms that will determine the billing terms for a utilities contract in the back end SAP CRM On-Premise system. The direct link between a sales quote and business agreement ensures that details like as dunning, payment terms and payment methods are replicated to the back end, so that downstream systems can access them more easily.
- SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer has extended the support for service products for utilities B2B sales solution. In order to make product search easier, the system allows users to search for products using business agreement ID, PoD (Point of Delivery), contract start date/end date and planned contract end date in addition to others.
- The utilities technical master data hierarchy includes connection objects, such as premise and point of delivery. The connection object carries the both premise and point of delivery (PoD) information with link to Installed Base. This information can be utilized to determine product interest for a customer and identify service locations for prospects.
- Analytic tools improve the key account manager’s sales insight. Interactive reporting tools can be easily used to create and save configurable reports. Sales and service analytics provide contextual, real-time customer information and insight. There are various standard embedded reports available to track sales cycles, wins and losses, and revenue trends.
Integration with SAP CRM On-Premise and SAP IS-Utilities
- Integration of SAP Hybris Cloud for customer with SAP CRM On-Premise and SAP IS-Utilities (SAP ERP) provides access to utilities master data that can be accessed to perform utilities functions in the cloud solution. Most of the integrations are out of the box.
This extended set of capabilities is enabled by new integration mechanisms, streamlining the way your front and back offices talk to each other. This gives a nice advantage over Salesforce.com, where a heavier-weight integration may be required, due to that platform’s lack of native integration methods with SAP. This is an important consideration for companies who are ready to take the next step in their digital transformation, and want to extend this to the way they engage customers.