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Former Member
This is part of a blog series. The previous post can be found here:

In this post, I’ll look at how we integrated SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer (C4C) with our system landscape and the experiences from our pilot user group. Most of our project work was under short timelines but mostly smooth sailing so far. The integration of C4C with some of the systems of our landscape, however, was somewhat of a challenge.

Single-sign-on and JAM integration

In addition to C4C we also introduced SAP JAM as a collaboration tool. The plan was to connect both with our existing Active Directory to allow single sign-on (SSO) to access them. And this is where we ran into rocky waters:

  • Due to caching and DNS problems, the JAM integration produced mixed results depending on the browser used.

  • Depending on the Active Directory version, we also encountered problems with the direct integration.

As of today, we have not been able to fully solve the first point. The JAM integration is up and running on Microsoft Internet Explorer and Firefox, but not on Google Chrome and certainly not for our Mac users. I’m confident, however, that we will be able to work out a viable solution with the SAP support team.

For point 2, we had to take a bit of a detour through SAP Cloud Platform, which looks as follows:

We are in close contact with SAP’s support to assess how we can make the direct integration work. But either way - C4C is integrated with our system landscape. System admins are the MacGyvers of the IT industry!

Permissions and roles

For now, we have defined three roles with separate permissions for each: inside sales, sales executive, and of course admin. C4C comes with some 2,000 criteria that allow us to set very granular permissions for every single user. There are many items where the business users couldn’t tell right away whether the users would actually need and use them. We closely watch these roles and permissions and surely will adjust more than once.

Key users to pilot C4C

Our cross-disciplinary pilot group was made up of colleagues working in inside sales, sales & marketing departments. After a mere two hours of training, they were ready to go and genuinely impressed with the project’s progress: All the data was there and accessible via single sign-on. Making the switch was a very easy exercise. Our key users were already familiar with social features such as feed, favorites, and tags but were delighted with the consistent and logical user experience: Once you have understood the process of creating a new lead, for example, you easily apply this knowledge to similar activities such as creating tasks or opportunities. They caught the bug right away.

The key user’s highlights in C4C

Creating a new address for a customer is now much faster because you only need to enter the new address rather than then entire account (as it was the case with Salesforce).

The personal initial page can be customized using status dashboards or reports to create personalized KPIs. And they can be „fed“ with significantly more information than with Salesforce, giving us a much more detailed overview of our own work.

What’s different

The „All in one Tab“ feature practically forced our key users to focus exclusively on the record at hand. Some of our sales people were used to work in parallel using multiple browser-tabs. Meanwhile they have gotten used to it though and, in fact, found that it lets them work much more efficiently.

They also had to re-learn how to process our data. But again, practice makes perfect and it is sure to make work so much easier for them. In Salesforce, for example, information was listed in blocks underneath each other, separating different thematic areas by lines. Depending on the scope of information, these areas varied in size. When scrolling up and down, one’s eyes were just too busy trying to find the information one was looking for. With C4C, the information is always in the same spot and presented within the different tabs within an object, making it that much more convenient to find what you are looking for.

Lessons learned

If you think such a project is only about data migration think again. You don’t want to simply copy existing processes but benefit from the possibilities of the new solution. Salesforce and C4C are clearly different CRM solutions. Only those who are willing to embrace new paths (processes) will be happy with the results. We often got where we wanted a lot faster with C4C. And quite a few times our business users discovered standard features in C4C that would have cost us a fortune to build in Salesforce.
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