Faster, Easier Complex Solution Configuration
As software offerings grow ever more complex, configuring solution components and generating sales quotes for the resulting bundle have become equally challenging. Many companies use standard product configuration tools and processes to facilitate solution configuration.
Product configuration follows a top-down approach to identify product characteristics, define a maximum bill of materials, and then mass-produce the product. It’s a process many companies understand. But those that run standard product configuration for automating complex solutions may learn the hard way that this top-down, restrictive approach can ultimately result in losing marketing share and competitive advantage.
Bottoms up: configuring complex software solutions more easily and dynamically
Solution configuration involves a bottoms-up approach that includes functional analysis:
- Define components that address functional requirements.
- Orchestrate existing product knowledge for solution design.
- Minimize maintenance chores by leveraging current data models for product
- Resolve any interdependencies.
- Combine components into a single package customized for each customer.
Challenges become benefits: more customized configurations and quotes in less time
At its simplest terms, a software solution is a bundling of components. Your entire organization can benefit from flexible, faster solution configuration:
For sales: Sales staff can focus on selling after quickly bundling hardware, software, and/or service components of complex offersings. Using interactive pricing, sales reps can bypass arduous updates of adding components and the overall solutions price.
For IT: Tedious data migration chores recede as automatic processes replace them. And collaboration for building and storing configuration models becomes more convenient with a plug-in.
Across the organization: Configuration of complex solutions that meet customer needs helps drive profitability. Automatic, scalable, solution configuration processes with a familiar interface can minimize retraining. Total cost of ownership of configuration software can decrease with automatic price updating, as well as integration with other sales and service applications.
From simple to profits: component bundling and data extraction
By bundling components into custom-fit solutions for customers, you can generate quotes faster and speed up the sales cycle. By tracking various customizable configurations, you can spread individual knowledge across the entire sales force and organization.
Bottom line: You need to understand which solutions are profitable:
- Instead of spreadsheets, use data extraction to analyze solution sales with analytics tools.
- Dig deep into data for insights on which components sell most often at the highest margin by customer type.
- Gain competitive advantage by speeding up sales quotation generation – and the sales cycle.
- Beat your competition by providing your customers with customized solutions that help you maintain long-term
Like this story? Sign up for the SAP Business Trends newsletter here.