How will SAP C/4HANA Enrich Customer Experience?

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At Sapphire Now 2018, SAP announced a new business suite, C/4 HANA, to give a new and enriched customer experience. The Introduction of C/4HANA will is helping SAP to consolidate its already strong position in the customer relationship management (CRM) market. The CRM market is poised to be one of the fastest growing ERP segments due to influx of latest technologies as well social media and smart devices.


The “C” in C/4HANA stands for customer while the “4” is for fourth generation CRM that runs on fast data processing capabilities of SAP HANA. The C/4HANA naming convention also fits well with SAP’s next-generation ERP business application known as S/4HANA.

SAP Customer Experience or C/4HANA brings together the four companies that SAP acquired in the past, namely, Hybris, Gigya, CallidusCloud, and CoreSystems to offer an enriched customer experience solutions in areas of commerce, marketing, sales, service and customer data. The rebranded SAP Customer Experience or even C/4HANA was previously known as SAP Hybris. Even now you’ll find a large number of references, resources and assets on SAP Hybris, rather than C/4HANA.

Figure 1 shows C/4HANA at a glance and the various acquired companies and the different customer experience components that C/4HANA is made up of. We’ll cover details of various C/4HANA components later in this blog.

SAP C4HANA Designed for the New Customer Experience

Figure 1: SAP C/4HANA at a glance (Image Source: SAP)

Be sure to check out the FREE openSAP Course on C/4HANA: Reimagine Customer Experience with SAP C/4HANA

At the heart of SAP Customer Experience or C/4HANA is the personalized multi-channel experience, such as in store shopping, online shopping using smart phones or tablets or via the social media – all the while ensuring transparency of business transactions. And in doing it, C/4HANA ensures to comply with Europe-specific GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) as well also ensuring consumer privacy.

Figure 2 shows that while the main SAP Customer Experience is managed via C/4HANA, the back-end will completely integrate with another SAP flagship product and the next-generation ERP suite, S/4HANA, to ensure seamless logistics and supply chain management (SCM) required for an enriched customer experience.

SAP Customer Experience Suite

Figure 2: SAP Customer Experience Suite (Image Source: SAP)

Figure 3 shows an end-to-end business cycle of Lead-to-Cash business process and how C/4HANA and S/4HANA work together.

End-to-end business cycle of Lead-to-Cash business process and how C/4HANA and S/4HANA work together

Figure 3: Lead-to-Cash Business Process with C/4HANA and S/4HANA (Image Source: SAP)

Five Components of C/4HANA

The five components of C/4HANA are:
1. SAP Commerce Cloud
2. SAP Sales Cloud
3. SAP Marketing Cloud
4. SAP Service Cloud
5. SAP Customer Data Cloud

1. SAP Commerce Cloud (formerly SAP Hybris Commerce)

This C/4HANA component evolved from being an on-premises SAP Hybris offering to its recent launch on Microsoft Azure. SAP Commerce Cloud gives companies the ability to create products and services catalogs from which customers can choose and order.
For a deep-dive on this C/4HANA component, check out the SAP PRESS book SAP Commerce Cloud: Commerce with SAP C/4HANA.

2. SAP Sales Cloud (formerly SAP Hybris Sales)

This C/4HANA component brings together former SAP Hybris Cloud for Customers with SAP Revenue Cloud, the on-premises SAP Hybris Billing solution, and the acquired CallidusCloud solutions. It’s an end-to end solution to support the sales team throughout the selling cycle. It gives customers an easy way to find information on a company’s product or service and, in addition, it captures information about the customers for the sales team. The component offers a way to create and submit quotes, create orders, and make any last-minute changes on orders. It tracks all stages of the sales order, such as the product’s or service’s delivery. It ensures timely and error-free billing for the delivered products or services. It also provides different payment options to customers, including automatic payment.
For a deep-dive on this C/4HANA component, check out the SAP PRESS book SAP Sales Cloud: Sales Force Automation with SAP C/4HANA.

3. SAP Marketing Cloud (formerly SAP Hybris Marketing)

This C/4HANA component integrates with SAP Commerce Cloud and enables companies to integrate their various marketing initiatives, such as advertisements in print, electronic or social media, and through analytics gives them the ability to track which marketing efforts are converting into sales.

4. SAP Service Cloud (formerly SAP Hybris Services)

This C/4HANA component enables customers to request a return, replacement or refund for the delivered products or services with a hassle-free experience, which, in turn, boosts the likelihood that customers will recommend the company to others. It also completely supports multi-channel customer engagement.

5. SAP Customer Data Cloud by Gigya

This C/4HANA component gathers data of known and unknown visitors to a company’s website. This data is then evaluated to ensure more proactive engagements with visitors as well as gaining insights on the kinds of products and services visitors are interested in, inquire about or search for. It also assists companies in ensuring GDPR (General Data Protection Compliance) compliance.

Like all SAP products, C/4HANA also offers SAP Analytics Cloud to provide analytics abilities for every C/4HANA component.

SAP Best Practices for C/4HANA

SAP Best Practices bring together years of tried-and-tested approaches to standard business processes implemented in an industry. There are several SAP Best Practices available for C/4HANA but they are still listed under SAP Hybris. Check out the SAP Best Practices Explorer homepage and search for SAP Hybris and you’ll come across many valuable resources. Also, be sure to check out the “Accelerators” tab containing numerous and invaluable assets on the relevant component of SAP C/4HANA. As an example of accelerators available, Figure 4 is a partial view of process flow diagram of the business process, B2B (Business-to-Business) Commerce – Interactive Sales Support, and is available as an accelerator for SAP Hybris Commerce. This accelerator can be used in presenting to a client’s business team on how the entire business process will work in the C/4HANA system.

SAP Best Practices for C4HANA component, SAP Commerce Cloud

Figure 4: SAP Best Practices for C/4HANA component, SAP Commerce Cloud (Image Source: SAP)

Deploying C/4HANA

Choosing a C/4HANA deployment model needs to be driven and be dictated by a company’s business needs and not vice versa. In choosing a C/4HANA deployment model, some of the key driving factors in the decision making process to consider are if the company needs to test new e-commerce solution in a selected market or region, if the chosen C/4HANA deployment model aligns with a company’s carefully planned growth forecast in the target markets and how much time, money and resources a company is willing to invest to maintain the support required efficiently run the chosen deployment model. Let’s review the three deployment models of C/4HANA:

• On-demand:

In this deployment model, a company deploys components of C/4HANA that ensure Operating Expenditure (OpEx) and not CapEx (Capital Expenditure). The solution is easier and faster to deploy from available the out-of-box functionality and that needs minimal customization. This deployment model also ensures minimal total cost of ownership (TCO).

• Hosted:

This deployment model of C/4HANA offers greater customization options so as to enable the company to mold the C/4HANA system’s settings to meet their unique business needs. Since the C/4HANA is hosted on cloud, therefore, there’s no hardware or IT infrastructure to manage or pay for. This C/4HANA deployment model leans toward OpEx for a greater sense of ownership

• On-premise:

A complete CapEx option, this C/4HANA deployment model is complete freedom of customizing the solution to meet complex and varied business processes of the company.

Rapid Deployment Solution (RDS)

There are several Rapid Deployment Solutions (RDSs) available for implementing specific components of C/4HANA. An RDS is a fixed-scope, fixed deliverable and fixed fee engagement service offered by SAP professional services. With RDS, the pre-configured and pre-installed SAP Best Practices act as a starting point for the C/4HANA implementation project. SAP Best Practices are then explored to see the ones that meet the business needs of a company, the ones that need to be changed, extended or even discarded. With RDS, standard solutions are only changed where there’s a convincing justification of the significant financial or legal impacts a standard and a pre-delivered RDS solution will have on a company’s business. RDSs of SAP Hybris Commerce, SAP Hybris Marketing and SAP Cloud for Customer are available.

As an example, Figure 5 shows the RDS of SAP Extended Warehouse Management (EWM) component that provides a step-by-step approach to implementing EWS by using the next-generation SAP implementation methodology known as SAP Activate.
To learn more about SAP Activate, check out Eursap’s blog How to use SAP Activate for your SAP S/4HANA Roadmap.

Figure 5: Deployment using SAP RDS (Image Source: SAP)

If you are an SAP ERP, SAP S/4HANA Sales and Distribution (SD) consultant or a SAP CRM consultant, then transitioning, upskilling and gaining expertise in C/4HANA can give a significant boost to your SAP career.

Where to find further resources on C/4HANA

Let’s now summarize some of the C/4HANA resources available:

1. Explore C/4HANA books and e-books available with SAP PRESS.
2. SAP PRESS book SAP Commerce Cloud: Commerce with SAP C/4HANA
3. SAP PRESS book SAP Sales Cloud: Sales Force Automation with SAP C/4HANA
4. SAP PRESS book SAP Hybris Commerce, Marketing, Sales, Service, and Revenue with SAP
5. Free openSAP Course: Reimagine Customer Experience with SAP C/4HANA
6. SAP Customer Experience: The Gold Guide
7. SAP Community Network (SCN) blog on C/4HANA
8. If you work with an SAP Partner, then SAP Partner Edge offers several valuable resources on C/4HANA.

Author: Jawad Akhtar – Author of four SAP PRESS books and a prolific SearchSAP Contributor

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