For a long time I've been thinking to pen down my experiences on implementing C/4HANA system for many of our customers...Now, I finally have some time to pen my thoughts down in this small yet informative blog, which I hope comes to use for anyone who is in the process of implementing this product and/or is in the decision-making phase.
The first thing that a customer/business needs to think of is WHY. This question should be answered by every customer who is looking forward for a Cloud CRM product as different businesses will have different business needs. After a customer has gone through all the discussions and finalized on a C/4HANA implementation, they come across several questions about the product, its benefits, ROI, etc.
Here are some of my real time experiences I'd like to share:
=> C/4HANA will replace my existing SAP On-Premise solution OR will give me a one to one mapped functionality between the two systems! :
This is a myth!!
Believe it or not, for any customer who has one of the On-Premise solutions like a SAP CRM or SAP ECC system in their landscape, this is probably one of the most challenging tasks within their team to make them understand that this Cloud product is not replacing any of their On-Premise solutions; rather, it's more of a catalyst that will leverage their existing On-Prem systems, if they have one, to bring in more advanced, user friendly, easy-to-use capabilities, flexibility, and - more importantly - bring in a difference to the user experience in such a way that their way of doing things will change, which will make a lasting impact on their efficiency and effectiveness of doing and getting more business!
=> I have been using other SF Automation tools, which have functionalities ranging from A--Z..!! How does C/4HANA compete with the competitors?
Yes, you may be right that there are many other Cloud CRM solution providers in the market; however, not ALL of them have the kind of features/functionalities being offered by SAP's C/4HANA solution. The differentiating factors among others is that SAP's On-Premise solutions can be seamlessly integrated with SAP's C/4HANA solution with their pre-packaged integration content/Iflows, which makes a lot of sense to customers who are an existing On-Prem SAP customer, as their cost/effort/time/maintenance on establishing integration between On-Prem and the cloud system is ALL minimized to a negligible amount as compared to any other product in the market, which would otherwise have to go through a complete Custom Interface Development and Integration to be built if they have to integrate to any other SAP On-Prem system. However, with SAP's pre- packaged integration content, its just a matter of enabling and configuring the pre-packaged content without having to bother about the one to one field level mappings/interface mappings, and within a very short span of time, you are not only enabled on a Cloud CRM Product but you are also seamlessly integrated to your On-Prem world!! That's pretty simple!
=> What will happen to my exisiting SAP On-Premise system after we implement SAP C/4HANA?
Well, I can assure you that nothing wrong is going to happen!
In fact, you will have a well-distributed flow of task and responsibility between your core and sales teams, wherein SAP C/4HANA will make sure that the Sales team is focused only on selling with easy and quick access to the required back-end data without having the need to perform any manual activities of communication with the back-end core team...whereas the core team can stay rest assured that the pre-packaged integration shall take care of all their Master and Transaction data flowing seamlessly to their Cloud CRM system.
Sales team will then be selling more, enjoying an intuitive user experience, connecting seamlessly not just within their own team, but with social and service features, connecting with everyone in the world who is interested in their product. This not just brings in an extremely effective collaboration to sell together with the team in the most effective way, but to get a direct experience from the customer and connect and make them your best marketing advocates.
=> The Hardware/Software/Infrastructure/Network/Security/Maintenance...all seems to be a BIG challenge since everything is on Cloud & anytime/anywhere access should need that kind of infrastructure to support.
This is the best part about SAP Cloud solutions. It virtually costs nil for all the things mentioned above, except for user licenses, which also include the support cost within them. So, once you decide on purchasing C/4HANA from SAP, you just need to have users given access after implementation...Don't worry about any hardware/software/infrastructure/maintenance resources in terms of manpower/costs. This all is being taken care by SAP Data center/Cloud Support teams.
Relax and enjoy the wonderful experience of using SAP's Cloud suite!
=> Long implementation periods, too many resources involved, eats up a lot of precious time of the organization and its resources:
Well, indeed it does, BUT NOT for the SAP C/4HANA implementation. A typical out-of-the-box SAP C/4HANA implementation takes up to four to 12 weeks depending on the scope and its complexity. Within this duration, integration to SAP On-Premise can also be achieved.
Now, since you are relaxed throughout the duration of implementation, let me add to your satisfaction level by saying that this implementation does not need a whole army of resources. In fact, a minimum of two to a max of four resources will be needed for a simple out-of-the-box implementation project, which can also include a pre-packaged integration with SAP's On-Premise solution...So you can see how much time/money/resources you start saving right from the implementation time up to the time you will be using this solution, as even after go-live, it is just one Administrator that a customer needs to maintain the day to day operations of this system. Everything else is taken care of by SAP Cloud support.
So, these were a few takeaways/learning/experiences from some real time customer projects of C/4HANA Implementation!
I will continue sharing many such experiences involving more diverse experience and including mantras for successful implementations, and - more importantly - discussing experiences that pave the way to winning your customers and making them your advocates!
Happy reading! All comments and suggestions are welcome.