With SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C), SAP has released a cloud-based CRM solution that competes head to head with salesforce.com (SFDC), provides a desktop, tablet and mobile user experience that eclipses that of SAP on premise solutions and integrates directly into SAP CRM and SAP ERP via SAP HANA Cloud Integration or SAP Process Integration. It is also possible to enhance and extend SAP C4C using standard SAP development tools such as the SAP Cloud Application Studio and the SAP HANA Cloud Platform.
C4C using standard SAP development tools such as the SAP Cloud Application Studio and the SAP HANA Cloud Platform.
But, if your business users are smitten with the idea of implementing SFDC why should they consider SAP which everyone knows is expensive, time consuming to implement and difficult to use? You can’t see it but I’m tipping you an ironic wink right now.
Usability for End User Adoption
SAP C4C has had usability baked into it from the outset. It is a complete, modern solution designed around the way sales and service teams manage their customers. It has a clean, intuitive and consistent user interface in the standard HTML5 version along with a responsive Fiori-like UI that enhances usability further for users across different devices and screen sizes. I also like the fact that the UI can be easily modified and enhanced by key business users without the need to get IT involved.
SFDC created an industry and set the bar for what a cloud-based solution can and should be. You’ll get no glib dismissals of such an influential product from me. SFDC provides a clean, easy to use UI and many people prefer it over C4C. I’ve been asked a number of times by customers who want the strength of SAP but the UX of SFDC whether the standard SAP C4C UX can be adapted to look more like SFDC. I’m sure what I’m about to say is heresy so I’ll whisper it: You can, if you wish, provide a SFDC look and feel to SAP C4C using SAP UI5 and Fiori. There, I’ve said it.
Overall, I think that the strengths of the SFDC UI lie in the simplification of basic form filling activities. The SAP C4C UI design with its embedded analytics, sphere of influence component and 360o customer view (i.e. data from BW, CRM, ERP) provide deep insight into how best to manage customer relations in addition to a simple form filling experience.
SAP C4C provides mobile access anytime, anywhere on any device with offline capabilities and true native apps that support real time end-to-end business processes. Furthermore, mobility and access to the mobile apps is included in the SAP C4C subscription price. With SAP C4C you can forget all the infrastructure required to get the old Sybase mobile solution up and running or if you’ve been around SAP longer, the horror show that was SAP CRM Mobile Sales.
If you are an SAP CRM customer and wondering whether it makes sense to implement SAP C4C, I would recommend you consider SAP C4C not necessarily as a replacement to your SAP CRM system (there remains a significant functionality gap between the two products) but as a tool to cost effectively extend SAP CRM and rapidly mobilize your sale and service teams.
While SFDC offers mobile apps at an additional cost to customers they are unable to support end-to-end business processes in the same way as SAP C4C.
Let’s face it, most businesses who choose SAP C4C will already have an established SAP infrastructure including SAP ERP, SAP CRM and SAP BW. As a business user I may need access to data from these systems. SAP provides a number of ways to access this data including full data integration, mash-ups and dedicated functionality including customer 360 insight.
Most SFDC installations are primarily stand alone or loosely integrated with ERP, CRM and BW systems via batch files transfer. They cannot provide real time customer insight based on the rich transactional data available on in other CRM/ERP based applications
End to End Business Process Support
Siebel created the CRM market and the software boom that followed. Projects requiring the integration of Siebel into enterprise ERP systems such as SAP ran into trouble as the difficulty of integrating the different products became apparent.
When SAP CRM was first launched it lacked the functionality, usability and sophistication of Siebel but rapidly grew within the SAP installed based nonetheless. Why? The Siebel “killer” in my opinion was SAP CRM in-built middleware. It made the integration between SAP CRM and other SAP products a relatively simple, straightforward activity. SAP CRM Middleware enabled the seamless integration between SAP CRM and SAP ERP and made the 360 view of the customer a possibility. SAP CRM Middleware meant that project resources could be focused on realizing the expected business benefit rather than setting up the integration between two different systems.
While SAP C4C does not have an in-built middleware in the same way as SAP CRM. SAP C4C provides out-of-the-box native integration to SAP CRM and SAP ERP with pre-packaged iFlows that can be deployed on SAP HANA Cloud Integration or SAP Process Integration. The iFlows make it possible to seamlessly orchestrate the complete buying cycle down to pricing, configuration, quoting and orders.
Most SFDC installations are primarily stand alone or loosely integrated with ERP, CRM and BW systems via batch files transfer. As such they cannot support true end-to-end business processes.
Lower Total Cost of Ownership
SAP C4C has the lowest Total Cost of Ownership. It’s drastically lower-end user subscription costs along with its zero cost full-mobile applications and pre-packaged integration content are at the heart of this customer value.
SFDC’s Total Cost of Ownership is typically 2x that of SAP C4C. Higher end user subscription pricing, additional costs for mobility and data as well as development and maintenance of 3rd party integration are the key culprits.
SAP C4C’s numerous pre-built, HANA-based predictive dashboards provide insightful information. Embedded reports enable the tracking of, for example, sales cycles, wins and losses, and revenue trends.
SFDC offers very basic operational reporting and dashboards. More complex “what-if” or aggregate reporting from other systems requires 3rd party solution at additional cost and complexity.
Native Enterprise Integration
SAP C4C has native integration with SAP CRM and SAP ERP. Support for both master data synchronization and key end to end business processes are fully developed and supported by SAP.
SFDC has no native integration with SAP CRM or SAP ERP and needs to be developed custom per customer most times requiring 3rd party applications at an expanded cost and risk to both develop and maintain.
A key attraction for many SAP C4C customers is the native integration with Outlook for the synchronization of emails, contacts and activities eliminating double entry of information. I always felt that the SAP CRM Groupware Integration was all “pain” with no “gain”. The Outlook integration for SAP C4C is effortless to install and it simply, just works.
SFDC offers limited Outlook integration capability based on a 3rd party add-on tool.
Application Level Collaboration
SAP Jam is one of SAP’s hidden gems. SAP C4C integration with SAP Jam enables end-to-end collaboration at the application level. What I particularly like about it in a SAP C4C context is that the collaborative activity (conversations, documents, reports etc.) can be associated with specific SAP C4C objects such as Opportunities and Accounts.
SFDC’s Chatter platform is only integrated with their front office CRM solutions and not across a customer’s entire enterprise
SAP C4C is hosted by fully owned and fully certified SAP Data Centres which are not affected by the US Patriot Act.
SFDC uses 3rd party Data Centres. These are not controlled by them and a customer’s sensitive data can be accessed by the US government.
Global 24/7 Support with SLA’s
SAP C4C Global 24/7 support is organized and operated by SAP. All SAP C4C customers receive full global 24/7 support in over 130 countries. All customers receive an SLA on incident response time and receive an uptime guarantee with SLA and penalties.
SFDC offers global support in 22 countries and SLA’s need to be negotiated.
SAP allows customers to run the SAP C4C in either a Public or Private cloud setup.
SFDC only offers a Public cloud setup.