A couple of weeks ago, I taught a SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C) class to a group of 15 at SAP UK. The participant group size has consistently been in the 10 to 15 range across Europe for the last 12 months or so. While last year the attendee profile was exclusively SAP partners this year customers are making up 20% to 30% of the class size. This has been great to see because it not only means that SAP C4C is in the ascendency within the partner community it is also showing that early partner investment in the solution is translating into sales and projects.
Deliver SAP Cloud for Customer projects faster using smaller teams than you are used to
After the obligatory round of introductions, I kicked off.
"Welcome to the New World", I said. "In this room today we have enough consultants to resource 3 large SAP Cloud for Customer projects. In fact if we get the project timing right, we have enough consultants to resource 6 projects running in parallel."
The room was silent. I understood the reaction. Before I started working with the solution a couple of years ago my reaction would have been the same. But, it's true. With SAP C4C you must completely re-think what it means to run an SAP project.
Let me put this into perspective. We're currently implementing SAP C4C for one of the largest retailers in the world. The first phase of the project to implement the Service functionality went live in 12 weeks with a team of 5 consulting resources (full-time PM, C4C Functional, C4C Technical and C4C Development) and 10 customer resources (full-time PM, Key Users and part-time ERP Functional, ERP Technical, SAP Integration, Change Management, Test Manager, Training Lead and BASIS). The second phase is currently underway with the same team.
This is not the SAP you used to know
It may of course be necessary to field larger teams of consultants to deliver the solution. The customer may not be willing or able to provide ERP/CRM Functional Resource, ERP/CRM Technical Resource, SAP Integration, Change Management etc. to support the project.
The complexity of the current landscape may also impact the number of resources required. For example, integration with a highly bespoke SAP ERP and / or SAP CRM system will require more consulting effort as will integration with external non-SAP systems.
Similarly, the requirement for a large number of enhancements using the Cloud Application Studio (SDK) will impact consulting effort.
Having said all of that a 5-person team should be your starting point for a project requiring integration and enhancements and, assuming you use the SAP Cloud implementation methodology, it should be possible to go-live in anything from 4 to 12 weeks according to scope and complexity.
If SAP ERP / CRM configuration is an ocean, SAP Cloud for Customer configuration is a small lake
SAP has gone to great lengths to bake best practice into SAP C4C. Very little configuration is required to get the solution up and running because it has been done for you.
Let's consider an Opportunity. With SAP CRM we configure Partner Determination Procedures and Access Sequences, we configure Status Profiles, Text Determination Procedures, Organizational Determination Profiles, Actions Profiles and so on and so forth. With C4C the core Opportunity works out of the box and we do not have the same level of control over the Opportunity. Instead of this we focus on our Sales Cycles, Sales Assistant (massively simplified over Actions), Approval and Workflow settings.
For a seasoned SAP professional configuring SAP C4C for the first time comes as a bit of a shock to the system. Configuration is simple and straightforward. Don't overcomplicate it.
Don't assume you can build missing functionality. You are not using ABAP anymore
Developing in the Cloud Application Studio is not like coding with ABAP. With ABAP the types of development you can build is virtually limitless. SAP C4C is different. Your Tenant (unless a Private tenant) is running on a system shared by other C4C customers and so the type of development you can implement is constrained by the cloud architecture. You don't have access to the ABAP layer so your approach to development must be different. If the functionality does not exist, don't simply assume that you can build it. You can of course engage with SAP directly for developments not possible using the Cloud Application Studio but there will be a cost and time impact on your project.