This week, we had reason to celebrate – we had successfully brought our “Replacing Salesforce.com (SFDC) with SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer (SAP C4C)” project to a close. I’m so very proud of our project team. You’ve actually succeeded in mastering this challenge and you did it so well and in such a short period of time. Boys and girls, YOU ROCK! And you readers surely want to know: How on earth can you do that in just four weeks? Here’s my roundup of the three main factors in this success.

Factor 1: Unconventional & pragmatic implementation

Typically, you start out with a development system for projects of this magnitude. The production system is not setup before all tests on the development system have been completed with good results. But our approach from the very beginning was to work towards directly turning the development system into the production system in a best-case scenario: This means we spent a relatively large portion of our time carefully planning the project, thoroughly cleansing our data, and migrating all master and transaction data rather than just testing.

We could have taken a much more “crude” approach here. For example, it wouldn’t have been absolutely necessary to cleanse our data quite as vigorously as we did at this point. What we had would have been just fine for any testing purposes. And we could have just migrated test data rather than all of our master and transaction data. And surely that is what we would have done in a customer project. Because in these cases, it is strategically important to quickly deliver presentable results. Which is why we tend to focus on getting the development system to work without much delay. Thorough data cleansing and the migration of all master and transaction data is not carried out until later in the project. Due to the very limited time we had for the project, however, our rather unconventional approach was crucial in saving us time in the end when it came to setting up the production system.

Factor 2: We did our homework

I would also like to point out yet another factor that can take up a lot of time in projects like this: We did our homework ahead of time. This means we started out several years ago by clearly defining our sales processes. And we continuously clean our data as part of our master data management efforts.

What this means is that we clearly established what the different phases of our sales cycle are and that we make clear distinctions between terms like contact, lead, qualified lead, opportunity. We also implemented mandatory processes & workflows with clear responsibilities and follow-up activities to support our lead management. This made the customization a relatively quick affair. If, however, you start out from scratch and have to rethink and implement these kinds of things first, it will take you considerably longer to get there.

What’s more, we also have strict rules regarding our (master) data management and allow ourselves the luxury of having an inside sales department. One of the most important responsibilities of our colleagues there is to continuously monitor and clean our data. So even before the migration, the quality of our data was already better than in many other companies. And yet, we also had some (data) skeletons in the closet that we had to get rid of first. I’m sure you can imagine how much time this would take if the data had not been cleansed regularly and you’d have to do it all at once as part of the project. That can be enough to make you despair.

Factor 3: Intuitive & customized interfaces

If you have been reading this blog series for a while now, you will know from our former blog post that user testing was highly successful. We got nothing but positive feedback, both for our preparations and for the SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer (SAP C4C) CRM solution itself. In my opinion, this was mainly due to two things: The truly intuitive user interface and the fact that we could customize it all. Depending on a user’s responsibilities and permissions, the user interface can be customized in great detail to reflect the respective role – you can hide unnecessary fields, freely arrange entry fields in line with internal processes, easily integrate any additional fields you may need and much more. SAP has also taken a giant step forward with the new look & feel of the frontend. A short introduction of approximately two hours was all our test group needed to get started right away. This saved us a lot of time that usually goes into creating manuals and time-consuming user training. Now that we have gone live, we also see this confirmed by our users: setup times are low and C4C acceptance is high.

Conclusion

Yet another firm pat on the back for everyone involved in making this project a success. You did a fantastic job. I’m personally looking forward to working with our cloud CRM C4C from now on and can’t wait to see the new marketing & sales opportunities it will create. We’ll be sure to tell you all about it – so stay tuned!

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