SAP Cloud for customer ( C4C ) ( or the new name CEC - Customer Engagement and Commerce ) is gradually establishing itself in the Cloud and CRM space with inbuilt integration to SAP CRM and ECC.
It is raising some questions on the customers minds : what will happen to the existing CRM/ECC on premise set up? will it go away or with cloud will the functionalities become redundant? what will the landscape looks like etc? Is it worth going to Cloud ?
You can find many blogs/documents on advantages of cloud w.r.t implementation, cost, ROI etc. In this blog I would like to touch upon the business aspects of it.
1) We already have SAP CRM implemented in our organization - What benefits the Cloud for customer offers?
SAP CRM has a browser based UI. Web UI is used by sales, service and marketing professionals. Its easy to customize and accessed through browser. However, if your organization needs the Mobile access( from tablets/smart phones), accessing from anywhere ( over and outside your network/VPN ) then there is limited / no choice of either developing your own custom mobile application or investing heavily on developing/customizing. Of course Upgrades to new versions with heavy customization is a challenge in it self. So clearly C4C is the right solution considering it is much more complete, robust and mature( getting there with quarterly releases ) with browser and Mobile access with sales,service,marketing and social features.
On the other hand if your organization have already invested heavily in customizing your SAP CRM to suit the business processes or use deep Service and marketing functionalities and do not have your business/End user case for going to cloud, you may prefer to keep your solution to On-Premise only.
2) We have SAP CRM and ECC system, how would our landscape looks like with Cloud? How does the processes/analytics/ transform into?
C4C integration with SAP CRM/ECC on -premise would be called as an Hybrid solution. You can use PI (Process Integration ) or HCI (HANA Cloud Integration ) as middleware.
When designing the hybrid solution, the questions like what functionalities are required to be on the cloud/on the field sales/service, what are the master data governance rules within the company, Sales organization structure, who are the users accessing Cloud, On premises, reporting /analytics etc needs to be well thought through.
For egs : The field sales will generate leads and opportunities with minimum fields/information using cloud and once opportunity is replicated to On-premise the back office will enhance the opportunity with more data and convert it into Quote or order for realization. Alternately, sales team can create quote with basic information on cloud and replicate it to on-premise for its realization.
From data governance and consistency, define clearly the master system and data flows ( on premise is master in most cases ).
One of the tendency to be avoided when designing the Hybrid solution is not be duplicate the functionalities of on-premise with cloud or
asking for all the on-premise functionalities to be on the cloud. cloud is designed to be sleek with minimum information for quicker , faster turn around.
Realization of orders still takes place in on-premise. Also design the architecture to be simpler, with minimal touch points and without many rules /restrictions to avoid failures or inconsistencies.