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Blog Update for 2018

Two years has passed since this blog was originally published and it is due for an update. A summary of key updates include:

Key Solution Updates:

  • SAP CRM 7 Utilities industry capabilities are moving into S/4 HANA, this solution is called SAP S/4HANA Utilities for Customer Management.
  • Leonardo Machine Learning capabilities are powering the Hybris suite.
  • Hybris as a Service (YaaS) is now part of SAP Cloud Platform.
  • SAP Hybris Commerce, Utilities Accelerator available.
  • SAP GIGYA Customer Identity and Access Management,

Terminology Updates:

  • HANA Cloud Platform (HCP) is now SAP Cloud Platform (SCP).
  • SAP S/4 HANA Marketing is now SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud

Solution Credentials:

  • Analyst Reports
  • Customer Stories (ACEA, Centerpoint, FARYS, FirstEnergy, Jemena, MVV Energie, REWAG, Source Gas, TXU)
  • Integration Content

 

Introduction

It is a Customer Engagement jungle out there, with an alphabet soup of three letter acronyms, new products, re-branding and more buzzwords than a management consulting spelling bee. For those new to SAP, the acronyms can be mysterious. For those that have been around SAP for 20 years it can be disconcerting when the things you used to know have new names or have evolved into something more.

Fear not. Let me help you understand how your utility can better attract and serve your customers with SAP. We will walk through how the different solution components work together, why you might need them and where you can get more information. You may also know some of these solutions better by their former names so I will explain the back story on the branding to help you understand the lineage and hence how it all fits together…

 

But first, SAP Hybris – what’s that about?

Here is a quick history lesson to help you understand some of the product branding and direction. In 2013 SAP acquired Hybris a global leader in commerce. Soon after the acquisition, all of SAP’s customer facing solutions (including SAP CRM, Cloud for Customer, Customer Engagement Intelligence etc) were brought under a “Customer Engagement & Commerce” organisation largely lead by Hybris executives. Recently this organisation (and many of the products) have been branded SAP Hybris. This is consistent with SAP’s dual branding of other lines of business such as “SAP Ariba” for procurement and “SAP Successfactors” for HR.

Large utilities continue to rapidly adopt the SAP Hybris stack. ACEA and First Energy have both talked about using the Hybris portfolio of solutions while dozens of Utilities have chosen to adopt SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer, including a Utility in the United States with more than 4000 users.

Acea is one of the major multi utility operators in Italy, managing and developing water and electricity networks and environmental services. The Acea Group has implemented a process of radical change, characterised by a decisive move towards the latest digital technologies. ACEA deployed the Hybris solution suite including SAP Hybris Service Cloud, SAP Hybris Marketing and SAP Hybris Commerce to transform the customer experience. The myACEA site offers a one stop shop for a customer’s end to end digital journey.

First Energy has launched a completely new deregulated business using the complete Hybris Suite (SAP Hybris Commerce Cloud, SAP Hybris Billing, SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer, SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud) as well as integration into their on-premise ECC to support customers using their utility bill as a payment method on the web site to purchase equipment. FirstEnergy’s 10 regulated distribution companies form one of the nation’s largest investor-owned electric systems. The company needed a new platform to enter new markets and launch new products. Learn how they transformed their end-to-end customer facing business, gained a 360 customer view and increased speed to market with SAP Hybris. Here their story in this ASUG Webinar First Energy’s SAP Hybris Suite Implementation. This includes their Hybris Commerce powered Smartmart by FirstEnergy consumer site with fresh, innovative products and services that can help you live smarter while giving you greater peace of mind.

 

An Overview of Omni-channel

Here is an updated view of the Customer Engagement & Commerce portfolio for utilities. This is a updated and adapted version of the diagram you will find on the scn home page. I will use it to navigate the solution portfolio.

 

SAP IS-U the Digital Core

There is a reason more than 800 Utilities worldwide trust their core bill to cash operations with SAP.

SAP has been named as a Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Utilities Customer Information Systems for 12 consecutive years. Similar leadership accolades from analysts including IDC and Quindi reinforces the position of SAP as a leading best of breed solution for utilities billing.

SAP supports billing for Utilities of all sizes, even yours…

 

Solution Name

SAP Industry Solution for Utilities

Elevator Pitch

SAP IS-U is the heart of a Retail Utility’s operations or a distributors metering and network billing business. IS-U is used by small Utilities with less than 10,000 customers and large utilities over 16,000,000 customers. The global IS-U ecosystem of system integrators, boutique consultancies and independent contractors is unparalleled. The simplification of HANA, template solutions, cloud hosting and subscription licensing makes IS-U more dynamic and easier than ever.

How it Fits In

IS-U covers core Utilities Customer Information System processes including:

  • Meter Administration and Operations (reading, installation, removal etc)
  • Bill to Cash
  • Meter Data Management for time of use metering
  • Advanced Meter Infrastructure support for digital/smart metering connectivity
  • Intercompany Data Exchange for deregulated markets
  • Network Billing for network companies in deregulated markets
  • Prepay Metering (via an SAP add-on solution)

SAP IS-U is deployed as an industry module of ERP. This means that standard ERP functionality is used to seamlessly extend business processes. For example to cover the procurement, warehousing and disposal of meters.

More importantly the seamlessly integrated ERP is fast becoming the secret sauce for Utilities as their business models change to include a broader range of home energy management and water saving products and services. ERP seamlessly extends IS-U processes to sell, lease, install, service, manage warranties and handle returns for any type of product from an airconditioner to shower head. Also SAP ERP supports professional services for any type of consulting or advisory services Utilities want to provide.

The customer service capabilities in IS-U are rudimentary as the development focus in this area the last 15 years has been on SAP CRM and SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer. Importantly the legacy IS-U call center transactions ec20 and cic0 are deprecated in s/4 HANA as of November 2015.

History Explained

SAP Industry Solution for Utilities (IS-U). Previously known as IS-U/CCS (Customer Care & Billing). Sometimes referred to as CR&B (Customer Relationship Management & Billing) reflecting that IS-U is typically deployed with SAP CRM. Occasionally referred to via the generic industry term of CIS (Customer Information System). IS-U began in SAP R/2 in 1988 as a solution called RIVA. IS-U/CCS began development in 1995 and has consistently followed a path of organic internal development rather than disruptive acquisitions. In 2013 IS-U was optimised to run on the HANA database.

SAP IS-U is now available within SAP’s next generation ERP solution S/4 HANA. S/4 HANA is much more than just a finance system and includes SAP market leading utility billing capabilities

Why You Want It

  • You need a core billing engine to support a strategy of customer centricity.
  • You have a point CIS solution that does not easily allow you to offer users the sale (or lease), installation, warranty and servicing of home energy or water saving products.
  • You have a legacy CIS solution comprised of disparate acquired technologies that is difficult to maintain and upgrade.
  • You realise replacing your CIS is a once in 20 year decision and are looking for a trusted long-term partner.
  • You want to stand up a metering business or an embedded network operator. SAP IS-U can be deployed in wide variety of lean and creative ways to support different market participants.

More Information

SAP IS-U Application Help


Digital Self Service Fast with MCF

Running SAP IS-U and looking to get some solid wins in your customer engagement strategy? SAP Multi-channel Foundation for Utilities & Public Sector might be just what you are looking for.

Solution Name

Multi-channel Foundation for Utilities & Public Sector

Elevator Pitch

Enables comprehensive Utilities Self Service functionality. It provides a library of Utilities industry services via Netweaver Gateway and supporting key supporting functions like user account management. Includes standard User Interface for mobile and desktop web apps as well as native apps for Android and IOS. It can also expose non-SAP operational systems like Outage Management.

How it Fits In

Can be used to enable a library of services across IS-U and SAP CRM. 

MCF provides Industry specific capabilities that are different and complimentary to SAP Hybris Commerce.

You can fast track the delivery of rich self services based on MCF with the SAP Hybris Self-Service Accelerator for Utilities by SEW.

History Explained

Used to be just “for Utilities”, recently expanded to “& Public Sector”. Also referred to as MCF, MFU or even MCFU. This solution is effectively a replacement for the old Utility Customer Self Service (UCES) solution, which was an industry specific extension of the Biller Direct solution.

More than 50 Utilities globally have adopted SAP Multi-channel Foundation.

Why You Want It

  • MCF provides a fast start digital self service capability.
  • MCF can provide a simple first step and solid foundation of services for a longer term program of work in your customer experience strategy.
  • MCF supports an “out of the box” approach using standard UIs.
  • MCF supports a “build” approach with any UI consuming the library of services.  
  • MCF can be a very advantageous way of licensing Netweaver Gateway for customer facing use cases.
  • UCES is no longer developed and is out of mainstream maintenance 31.12.2017.

More Information

Key Topic: SAP Multichannel Foundation for Utilities and Public Sector


The CRM suite for those that compete

Are you fighting to win and retain customers in a deregulated market? SAP CRM has the full range of tools that you need to lead and succeed.

SAP CRM Utilities Industry capabilities are moving into S/4 HANA. This solution is called SAP S/4HANA Utilities for Customer Management and the first release is available. It will be the focus of a workshop at the International SAP Conference for Utilities. With SAP CRM moving into SAP S/4 HANA,Utilities core systems of record are simplified further into single system that includes the best of breed SAP CRM and Billing capabilities in a single system without replication.

Solution Name

SAP Customer Relationship Management for Utilities (SAP CRM)

SAP S/4HANA Utilities for Customer Management

Elevator Pitch

The flagship CRM solution is a must for Retail Utilities in deregulated markets

How it Fits In

SAP CRM is not just a call center front end to IS-U it provides rich process extensions that can only be done in SAP CRM. These include:

  • Advanced Residential Quotation and Contract Management
  • Multi-site quotations and contracts for Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Customers
  • Complex pricing for C&I via the Pricing and Costing for Utilities (PCU) add-on
  • Configurable products that allow you to have fewer more flexible products
  • Product bundling and offer management (PMU/PFC)
  • Demand Side Management programs (DSM)
  • Comprehensive loyalty management
  • Advanced Meter Infrastructure support (AMI)

SAP CRM for Utilities includes industry specific Sales & Service functionality on top of the full cross industry SAP CRM suite.

SAP Multi-channel Foundation offers standard self service content for SAP CRM for Utilities.

SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer can be deployed as a hybrid on top of SAP CRM to provide B2B sales support.

History Explained

SAP CRM for Utilities has been co-developed with IS-U since 2001.

Reports of the death of SAP CRM have been greatly exaggerated.

SAP CRM continues to be developed with EHP 4 due in 2016.

Core SAP CRM future functional improvements are customer driven. SAP is currently working through 200+ requests as part of the CRM 2016 customer influence initiative.

The SAP CRM for Utilities development team delivered a range of industry specific customer driven improvements in 2015.

The delivery of SAP S/4HANA Utilities for Customer Management provides a vibrant future roadmap for the more than 250 Utilities that rely on SAP CRM and those Utilities that are implementing SAP CRM today.

Why You Want It

  • You are a retailer in a competitive market.
  • You need to be able to bring flexible products to market fast.
  • You need to support complex C&I customer quotations, pricing and contract management.
  • You have a complex environment with multiple SAP and non-SAP CIS systems and want a single CRM solution.
  • You run a large scale customer service operation that requires best in class capability.
  • You don’t want to spend 12 months building a integration and orchestration layer between your billing system and a 3rd party cloud based CRM.

More Information

http://scn.sap.com/docs/DOC-57706

SAP CRM On-Premise Update: Q1 2016


CRM essentials made easy

Are you after a simple solution that gives you the CRM essentials to support Utility customer service? Do you already have SAP CRM for mass market but your sales team want to do their own thing? SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer could be just the ticket.

Solution Name

SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer

Elevator Pitch

Essential Utilities industry sales and customer service features delivered in the cloud with standard integration to ERP and IS-U.

How it Fits In

SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer is not designed to replace 100% of SAP CRM capabilities. It is focused on essential sales and service capabilities with a simpler integration approach than SAP CRM. SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer is also designed to complement and extend SAP CRM with next generation collaborative sales and service tools.

SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer supports a range of scenarios such as:

  • Utilities Customer Service (with deep IS-U integration)
  • Salesforce automation tool for B2B sales teams (with integration into SAP CRM)
  • Sales and Service for non-energy products

For more information on the standard integration delivered by SAP Hybris refer to:

  • SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer for Utilities Solution – Integration with SAP ERP API Package
  • SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer for Utilities Solution – Integration with SAP S/4HANA API Package
  • SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer Integration with SAP CRM Integration Package
  • SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer Integration with SAP Hybris Marketing Integration Package

Note that C4C currently does have equivalent functionality for SAP CRM7 capabilities such as: DSM, Loyalty, Complex C&I Quotations, PCU, PMU/PFC. Nor can products defined in PMU in CRM7 be sold in C4C using Finder and Configurator functionality. If all these acronymns are puzzling – please refer to the SAP CRM section above.

To illustrate how SAP Cloud for Customer might fit into your Utility’s business here are some customer examples to consider.

FARYS is a Utility delivering services to about 600 000 customers in Flanders. have implemented SAP Hybris Sales Cloud primary targeting B2B customers. The strength of the integration to their existing systems SAP CRM 7 and SAP IS-U was differentiator that helped them select SAP Hybris Sales Cloud.

MVV Energie implemented SAP Hybris Sales Cloud as a highly flexible CRM solution  for an affiliate company Luminatis that works closely with MVV EnergySolutions. Luminatis specialises in lighting technologies, especially in the high-demand LED market – from analysis and light planning via product selection and procurement through to installation and the launch of operations. MVV used standard integration between SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer and SAP CRM 7 through SAP cloud middleware. This reduced complexity of the the end-to-end sales process and provided a 360 degree view of the customer throughout the sales funnel.

REWAG has provided safe, reliable, high-quality energy and drinking water in Regensburg in Germany for more than 40 years. REWAG needed a simple to implement, user-friendly solution to structure its customer and sales information in one place. Its salespeople also needed mobile online and offline access so they could access and enter data on the go at customer sites. REWAG implemented SAP Hybris Sales Cloud in just 50 days, the new solution gives REWAG a clearer, more utility-focused view of customers, speeding sales and helping REWAG serve its customers based on tight integration with their SAP IS-U system.

Jemena owns and operates a diverse portfolio of energy and water transportation assets across the east coast of Australia supplying millions of households and businesses with essential services every day. Jemena has deployed the SAP Hybris Sales Cloud in 8 weeks to deliver a single customer view to staff in the office and in the field. Based on this initial success Jemena has expanded their solution and will present at the Utilities conference in Lisbon on “Digitalizing Connection Requests to the Grid”. This will cover how SAP Cloud for Customer has helped Jemena reduce time to connect to the grid by streamlining internal process and automating the customer experience.

 

 

History Explained

Previously known as SAP Cloud for Customer for Utilities. Also known as C4C.  Rebranded as “SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer for Utilities”. Also referred to as SAP Hybris Sales Cloud or SAP Hybris Service Cloud.

Quarterly releases deliver rapid evolution, however the core sales and service functionality is already a mature solution – originally launched in 2009 as SAP Sales on Demand and SAP Service on Demand.

SAP has engaged in deep collaboration with leading Utilities to rapidly evolve the solution. Thames Water presented at the International Utilities conference (April 2016) in the Hague that they have been working intesely with the SAP C4C team intensely since September 2015. This has resulted in a significant step change improvement in C4C for Utilities capabilities.

SignificantUtilities Customer Service” improvements in the 1605 Release include:

  • New Quote Wizard. Guided customer quote process similar to SAP CRM7.
  • Customer Overview & Hierarchy. “Tree views” of account information
  • Premise Overview and hierarchy
  • Switch Document integration to support deregulation 

Why You Want It

  • You are running SAP IS-U and never implemented SAP CRM.
  • You are migrating SAP IS-U to S/4 HANA and can no longer use the deprecated IS-U call center transactions EC20 and CIC0.
  • You are a regulated utility and are looking for essential utilities customer service capability
  • You run SAP CRM and you need to support your C&I sales team with an easy to use salesforce automation solution.
  • You are launching an internal start-up businesses to sell and service non-energy products (solar, storage, EVs, home energy services etc)
  • You are a network operator looking to support customer sales and service.
  • You want a cloud CRM solution with native Utilities industry functionality & roadmap (rather than paying for an SI partner to implement their one off industry template on a generic cloud CRM service)
  • You don’t want to spend 12 months building an integration and orchestration layer between your billing system and a 3rd party cloud based CRM.
  • Your C&I sales team signed themselves up to a  3rd party cloud based CRM and there is major process disconnect when moving from managing opportunities to generating a quotation.

More Information

Call Center and Customer Service for Utilities in SAP Cloud for Customer

Cloud for Customer (C4C) with Utility specific objects and attributes

http://scn.sap.com/community/cloud-for-customer

Telephony integration that just works

Having problems connecting telephony, chat, sms, webchat with your agents’ CRM system? SAP Contact Center is a proven performer.

Solution Name

SAP Contact Center

Elevator Pitch

SAP Contact Center offers the most powerful and simplest communications integration to SAP CRM.

How it Fits In

SAP Contact Center is a standalone IP telephony solution with deep standard integration to SAP CRM. SAP Contact Center also provides an Embedded Communications Framework that allows you to seamlessly embed contact center functionality into any application such as SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer.

SAP Contact Center interfaces with your corporate telephony system and can provide:

  • Interactive Voice Response,
  • intelligent routing (of calls, sms, email, chat),
  • On screen soft phone controls
  • Automatic Number Identification
  • Customer screen pop with Call Attached Data
  • On screen integrated editors for email, chat, sms.

History Explained

Previously known as SAP Business Communications Management (BCM). Originally known as Wicom when acquired by SAP in 2007.

Several Utilities have spoken about their success with SAP Contact Center at conferences over the years.

SourceGas is a natural gas distributor headquartered in Golden, Colorado. The company and its affiliates serve nearly 410,000 customers. SourceGas aims for exceptional customer service. That’s why it brought an outsourced call center in-house and adopted SAP CRM and SAP Contact Center. This helped SourceGas to cut call-handling times in half with outstanding improvements in customer satisfaction.

Why You Want It

  • You have SAP CRM and are looking to refresh your telephony system.
  • Because seamless integration between your communications channels and CRM system delivers tangible productivity improvements to your call center
  • You have tried integrating SAP CRM to other telephony systems and know that it is complex.

More Information

SAP Contact Center


Closing the Loop from Insight to Segmentation, Campaign Execution and Reporting

Whether you want to drive customer acquisition via digital marketing campaigns or a pro-active customer messaging platform (for severe weather, demand management, credit & collections, etc) SAP Hybris Marketing provides the brains and the brawn to reach your customers with tailored communication via their channel of choice.

Solution Name

SAP Hybris Marketing

SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud

Elevator Pitch

Take everything that you know and deliver real-time 1:1 contextual marketing. Close the loop between insight and execution to increase the agility of your marketing.

History Explained

SAP CRM has integrated marketing and high volume campaign management capabilities. Large Utilities like FARYS and Centerpoint Energy are using SAP CRM Marketing to communicate outages to end customers.

The Hybris Marketing solution evolved from SAP Customer Engagement Intelligence (CEI) and SAP Audience Discovery and Targeting (ADT) that were originally developed as HANA applications. The solution was subsequently built out from this core of big data customer profiling, data enrichment, predictive insight and segmentation to become a full featured marketing resource management, campaign management and reporting solution.

The SAP Hybris Marketing branding reflects that the solution is a key to driving a 1:1 customer experience throughout the customer journey across all channels.

The public cloud solution was known as SAP S/4 HANA Marketing and was subsequently re-branded as SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud.

SAP has been positioned as a leader in the 2017 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Multichannel Campaign Management report, which looks at vendors orchestrating customer engagements and marketing content to individuals and segments across multiple channels.

According to IDC MarketScape, the SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud solution provides customers with a unique opportunity to employ artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) across many use cases and levels of complexity. “The AI and ML use cases available from SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud are invaluable to digital marketers, particularly those operating at scale where rapid decision-making is crucial to conversion rates, average sale value and customer experience and loyalty,” said Gerry Murray, director, IDC Marketing and Sales Technology Research. “It’s currently all baked in at no additional cost, so customers of SAP Hybris solutions should embrace this technological windfall and accelerate to the forefront of AI-enabled marketing.” You can download an excerpt of the report.

Italian multi utility ACEA presented at the International Utilities Conference in 2017. They use SAP Hybris Marketing to perform sophisticated analysis on internal and external data in real time to identify customer sentiment and needs to develop personalised communication strategies or next best action for both residential and commercial customers.

Based on Utilities’ rapid adoption of the SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud, a customer influence project is being run to expand the out-of-the-box industry specific content https://influence.sap.com/sap/ino/#/campaign/1372.

How it Fits In

SAP Hybris Marketing derives customer insight and generates segmentation from any data source (SAP and non-SAP). Campaigns are executed via a wide range of direct digital channels as well as standard integration with other solutions:

  • SAP CRM (lead generation, outbound calls, CRM Target Groups/Campaigns),
  • SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer (lead generation)
  • SAP Hybris Commerce personalisation and recommendations.

Trigger based campaigns can also be initiated by real time events like cart abandonment in SAP Hybris Commerce.

For more information on the standard integration provided by SAP Hybris refer to:

For utilities that are heavily using SAP CRM Marketing consider using SAP Hybris Marketing as the social listening, customer profiling, insight and high volume segmentation and campaign execution engine for digital channels like facebook, SMS, microsites, email. You can still execute traditional channels such as outbound telephony, lead generation, invoice print messages in SAP CRM Marketing via the Target Group integration with SAP Hybris Marketing.

SAP CRM Marketing capability is not planned for the scope of S/4HANA Customer Management as the focus is on SAP Hybris Marketing as the “go to” solution for marketing and campaign management.

SAP aquired the global leader in Customer Identity and Acess Management GIGYA. GIGYA works with SAP Hybris Marketing to:

  • Enable more dynamic customer profiles
  • Enhance segmentation and campaigns
  • Increase commerce marketing effectiveness
  • Drive customer loyalty and advocacy via deeper personalisation

 

Why You Want It

  • It should be a key element of every Utilities’ broader HANA roadmap.
  • You want to drive a customer vision that enriches every customer touchpoint with predictive insight to reduce cost to serve and improve customer satisfaction.
  • You are struggling today to “close the loop” between customer insight tools, segmentation, execution and reporting.
  • You want to respond to consumers in real time with trigger based marketing and “next best actions”.
  • You want to boost the effectiveness of existing investments in Commerce, CRM or Cloud for Customer.
  • You want to enrich you customer profile with “implicit” data from online browsing and social listening.
  • Your marketing environment today is slow to segment your customers and limited to contact customers via legacy channels (e.g mail, email, telephony, bill print). You want to develop digital first channels (facebook, microsites, paid search, mobile commerce apps, SMS).
  • You want to proactively communicate planned and unplanned outages to your customers.
  • You need fast and verifiable communication of outages to medically dependent and vulnerable customers.
  • Spatial and predictive segmentation can drive intelligent customer messaging for potential outages (e.g. potential severe weather events).

More Information

SAP Hybris Marketing 


Take Customer Experience to the Next Level

Websites as electronic brochures are dead. Self Service is functional but not particularly engaging. Exceptional customer experience comes from bringing together compelling personalised content with the easiest possible buying process any time, any device. Hello SAP Hybris Commerce…

Solution Name

SAP Hybris Commerce

Elevator Pitch

SAP Hybris Commerce offers consumers a dynamic blend of engaging personalised content with easy product search, evaluation, bundling and purchasing via mobile, tablet or pc. As Utilities business models evolve into home energy and water saving product and service providers, SAP Hybris Commerce supports Utilities with the same tools used by the world’s leading retailers and consumer products companies.

How it Fits In

While MCF offers essential self-service functions SAP Hybris Commerce is the flagship solution for digital customer engagement.

SAP Hybris Commerce is proven to meet the highest volume demands of digital customer experience in order to support retail industry events like Black Friday. Key capabilities of Hybris Commerce include: product content management, product bundling, search, penalisation, assisted service, order processing (both online and offline), data replication and persistence,

SAP Hybris Commerce includes a Data Hub solution for integrating master data with backend SAP solutions. Additionally Hybris Commerce has a proven track record of interfacing to non-SAP backend systems. So even if you are not using SAP IS-U or SAP ERP, Hybris Commerce can be the core of your digital customer engagement strategy.

SAP Hybris Commerce offers advanced personalisation and product recommendations powered by SAP Hybris Marketing.  SAP Hybris Commerce includes a complete Web Content Management Solution with an intuitive Smart Edit mode for marketers to browse the site and update content in place on the screen in real time.

For Utilities that have already invested in digital customer experience, SAP Commerce can work with your existing front end in an API first or “headless” approach. It is common for organisations to run Hybris Commerce to support Adobe, Sitecore or bespoke front-ends. SAP Hybris Omni Commerce Connect helps you enable new touchpoints and channels without lengthy and costly IT cycles.

SAP Hybris Commerce is focused on customer acquisition, conversion and retention. These are ideal to wrap around the essential self service capabilities of MCF which is more focused on areas such as consumption history display, invoice display and payment, payment arrangements, customer meter readings, outage notification etc.

History Explained

SAP Hybris Commerce is the leading global commerce solution with a long history of success. It is now an innovator leading in the emerging Digital Customer Experience Platform space.

SAP Hybris Named a Leader in Gartner 2017 Magic Quadrant Report for Digital Commerce. The report evaluated 21 providers of digital commerce platforms based on the ability to execute and completeness of vision. You can download a copy of the report here. This reinforces the position of SAP Hybris Commerce as the leading best of breed solution.

The SAP Hybris Commerce, Utilities Accelerator enables Utilities to offer an online sales process from order to billing through integration with SAP IS-U. Energy products, such as gas and electricity can be offered together with non-energy products and services. With SAP Hybris Commerce, utilities accelerator Utilities can easily set up an order to cash process for energy and non-energy products. As a result, the new solution helps utilities accelerate the time to market with any product and service while reducing cost to serve their customers.

Why You Want It

  • You have a focus on customer acquisition, conversion and retention in a deregulated market.
  • You are in a regulated market and customer expectations are increasing due to their digital experience with other service providers.
  • You want your omni-channel customer experience to consistently reinforce your branding and customer strategy. 
  • You have an existing customer self service capability that you want to take to the next level.
  • You want to take a leadership position in growing markets such as home energy management, water conservation and related services.
  • You understand that Net Promoter Scores and Loyalty are impacted by customer’s digital experience. Refer to the Australian Digital Experience Report.
  • You have an existing site based on a Content Management System which limits your ability to easily convert prospects into customers.
  • You are challenged to bring new product bundles to market with commodity, non-commodity and 3rd party partner products.
  • A a major utility you want to foster an ecosystem of partner products and services via a industry marketplace for your customers.

More Information

SAP Hybris Commerce Solutions for Utilities

SAP hybris Customer Engagement Solutions for Utilities

When is MCF not enough?


Billing for New Energy Products and Services in a Subscription Economy

Utilities’ business models are rapidly evolving. They are increasingly required to charge, bill and offer subscriptions for new products and services without disrupting their core energy and water billing. SAP Hybris Billing could be your next best friend.

Solution Name

SAP Hybris Billing

Elevator Pitch

SAP Hybris Billing is a flexible engine to bill anything and it works with your existing invoicing and accounts receivable.

History Explained

SAP Hybris Billing was previously known as SAP Billing Revenue Innovation Management (BRIM). The flexible rating and charging engine component (SAP Convergent Charging) began life as a charging tool for the telecommunication industry and was called High Deal when acquired by SAP in 2009.

SAP was named a Leader in the IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Subscription Relationship Management 2017 Vendor Evaluation. The report stated, “SAP Hybris Billing is a rating engine with the ability to build both simple and sophisticated B2C and B2B monetization models as well as with the ability to evolve these monetization models rapidly for fast-moving markets.” It went on to highlight, “SAP Hybris Billing is natively integrated across the SAP Hybris portfolio and broader SAP suite including [SAP] S/4HANA and Classic ERP. SAP Hybris Billing’s integration with SAP Hybris Commerce allows a complete ‘click to cash’ scenario, whereby SAP Hybris Commerce’s omni-channel commerce capabilities act as the front end for SAP Hybris Billing’s powerful subscription and usage-based product catalogs, order management, and customer financials, receivables, and collections.” SAP Hybris Billing was also rated as a leading solution in the MGI 360 Market Ratings Report; Agile Billing Solutions. This reinforces the position of SAP Hybris Billing as a leading best of breed solution.

How it Fits In

SAP Hybris Billing is not designed to replace SAP IS-U. It is a complimentary billing engine for new products and services.

As an end to end solution SAP Hybris Billing requires SAP CRM to contract with customers. It also requires SAP Finance Contract Accounting (FI-CA) for invoicing and accounts receivable – this is a core component that any IS-U customer will already be using. So Hybris Billing fits neatly with an existing IS-U environment. There is standard functionality to jointly invoice SAP Hybris Billing charges with IS-U billing charges on an IS-U invoice.

The core SAP Convergent Charging component (from the High Deal acquisition) is a standalone non-ABAP technology stack that has been integrated with CRM and FI-CA over the last 6 years. However it can also be used standalone for utilities that do not run IS-U and feed charge items into any non-SAP billing system.

TXU is the largest electricity provider in Texas with 1.7million customers. They have successfully branched out into new non-commodity products such as: iThermostat (web-controlled thermostat); TXU MyHome Protect (home warranty); and TXU ACProtect (HVAC system service warranty). After piloting the products on their existing billing solutions TXU implemented SAP Hybris Billing fully integrated into their existing Utilities Invoicing and accounts receivable in 6 months.

Why You Want It

  • You are looking at subscription services, or metered services (e.g. solar as a service, battery storage as a service, Electric Vehicles as a service) and are concerned about your ability to bill them via IS-U.
  • You have a new energy start up within your business that wants its own billing engine to complement the traditional energy or water billing system.
  • You need to support new Electric Vehicle charging business models with complications such as telco-style roaming.
  • You are exploring options to monetize the “Internet of Things”

More Information

https://www.hybris.com/en/billing


Solution Extensions and Microservices

Your core operations and customer engagement are running on SAP and you are looking to accelerate innovation. Solution extensions from partners like OpenText work hand in glove with your SAP solutions. While SAP Cloud Platform provides a comprehensive approach for front office solution extensions.

Solution Names

SAP Document Presentment by OpenText

SAP Document Access by OpenText

SAP Digital Asset Management by OpenText

SAP HANA Cloud Platform

Hybris as a Service (Yaas)

Elevator Pitch

Innovative partners can extend your SAP solution, driving more value from your existing investment as well as simplifying integration and future upgrades.

SAP Hybris is taking solution extensions to the next level with SAP Cloud Platform allowing you to easily build and consume microservices.

History Explained

SAP sells and supports solution extensions by key partners like OpenText. SAP Document Presentment by OpenText was previously known as Streamserve before OpenText acquired it in 2010.

A microservice approach to front office solution extensions started with SAP Hybris as a Service also known as YAAS. YAAS has matured from a Hybris centric platform to provide the core of the microservices capabilities in the SAP Cloud Platform. SAP Cloud Platform was previously known as HANA Cloud Platfrom (HCP).

How it Fits In

SAP has a long successful history of partnering to drive innovation. There is a showcase of partner solutions at https://store.sap.com. SAP’s strongest partnerships are with 3rd party software companies that provide SAP “Solution Extensions”. These solutions are sold and supported by SAP.  They offer the highest level of integration, complimentary functionality and roadmap alignment with SAP. These solutions are co-branded, and key examples used by utilities include:

  • SAP Document Presentment by OpenText
  • SAP Archiving and by OpenText
  • SAP Document Access by OpenText
  • SAP Digital Asset Management by OpenText

SAP Cloud Platform is an open platform as a service (PaaS) which provides Utilities and their partners with in-memory capabilities, core platform services, and unique business services for building and extending personalized, collaborative, mobile-enabled cloud applications.

Why You Want It

  • You want to bring the design and formatting of your invoices and correspondence inhouse to support increased e-billing and reduce your reliance on an external printing house. You might need SAP Document Presentment by OpenText
  • You want your agents to see what the customer sees. You need invoice and correspondence images available exactly as the customer received them and you want these documents automatically linked to the customer and invoices in the SAP Industry Solution for Utilities. You might need SAP Archiving by OpenText and SAP Document Access by OpenText.
  • You need to manage the acquisition, creation, distribution and use of digital assets in a way that is consistent with your branding and marketing objectives and respects the usage rights for each asset. You might need SAP Digital Asset Management by OpenText.
  • You want to add customisations and new features to your applications via a simple low touch market place. Take a look at YAAS.

More Information

http://scn.sap.com/community/solution-extensions

SAP Document Presentment by OpenText

SAP Archiving and Document Access by OpenText

SAP Digital Asset Management by OpenText

Digitization: Changing the Utilities Customer Engagement
Smart Customer Communications for the New Energy Era

https://www.yaas.io/

 

The Innovation Platform at the Heart of Customer Engagement

Machine Learning, innovation and simplification… SAP Leonardo is the innovation system that powers customer engagement for Utilities.

 

Solution Names

SAP Leonardo

Elevator Pitch

SAP Leonardo delivers off the shelf machine learning applications to simply make your front office smarter, minimise cost to serve and drive customer satisfaction. However with the SAP Leonardo Machine Learning Foundation, innovation is only limited by your imagination. The SAP Leonardo innovation system helps you rapidly bring bespoke innovations from idea to production so you can drive breakthrough business outcomes.  

History Explained

SAP HANA was first released in November 2010.

At SAP TechEd 2011 SAP announced a new HANA application called SAP Smart Meter Analytics (SMA). Subsequently SAP released Customer Energy Management (CEM) to enable customer facing analytics. I have described these solutions before . However SAP chose to retire SMA, CEM and the underlying SAP Smart Energy Data Foundation. This because Utilities were asking for a broader IT/OT integration platform, and at the same time SAP has embraced the Internet of Things (IoT) across all industries.  SAP has rebooted this solution set as SAP Energy Analysis.   

SAP BW, CRM, ERP and IS-U have all been optimised to run on HANA as their operational database. This is typically referred to as Suite on HANA (SoH).

SAP HANA is the foundation for the next generation of SAP business suite S/4HANA including a future “Simple Utilities” (sUtilities) solution which is expected to be a reimagined, simplified IS-U in the same way that Simple Finance has reinvented the SAP Financials application. The IS-U application has been released on the new S/4 HANA solution platform in November 2015.

 

SAP Leonardo is a new digital innovation system from SAP. It delivers software and microservices that enable customers to leverage future-facing technologies like the Internet of Things, machine learning, blockchain, analytics, and Big Data. SAP Leonardo is 3 things:

  • Packaged intelligent applications
  • An integrated set of foundation technologies (Machine Learning, Block Chain, IoT)
  • A digital innovation methodology

How it Fits In

SAP HANA is not just a better database for SAP IS-U it is the only database that supports S/4 HANA.

SAP Energy Analysis is based on the SAP IoT platform that is driven by a customer influence initiative. More details will be revealed at the International SAP Conference for Utilities in a micro forum. The solution is expected to support the following use cases (similar to the superceeded Smart Meter Analytics solution):

  • Segmentation and Clustering of profile data
  • Aggregation and Forecasting
  • Pattern Determination, Benchmarking
  • Peakload determination
  • Interactive exploration of data
  • API access to analytical scenarios for external usage, e.g. customer engagement

In addition to running core applications (IS-U, CRM, BW, Hybris Marketing, SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer) and SAP Energy Analysis, SAP HANA is an innovation platform for Utilities to predict customer intentions and drive deeper customer engagement. I have blogged previously about the way Utilities have innovated on SAP HANA to realise a wide range of customer engagement scenarios such as:

Any Utility today can use SAP HANA as a sidecar or standalone deployment to power innovative customer engagement without disrupting core systems.

 

SAP Leonardo is SAP’s next generation innovation system it is overarching brand and consolidation of capabilities like machine learning, Conversational Artificial Intelligence,  IoT and Blockchain while providing integration with existing capabilities like big data, analytics and cloud.

Leonardo also provides prepackaged applications like:

  • SAP Service Ticket Intelligence
  • SAP Predictive service
  • SAP Brand Impact
  • SAP Customer Retention

Why You Want It

  • You want to improve customer satisfaction AND reduce cost to serve.
  • You have a bulging store of smart meter data, but are struggling to realise the value of the data.
  • You are approaching a refresh of your IT infrastructure and want to ensure that you are not locked out of SAP’s HANA centric innovation roadmap.
  • You want to simplify the integration of IT and OT (Operational Technologies).

More Information

End to End Digital Transformation for Utilities enabled by SAP – Roadmap and Use Cases

Why SAP S/4HANA? Why now?

Key Topic: IT/OT Integration

Forrester: Cost Savings Enabled By Transitioning to the SAP HANA Platform

What can SAP S/4HANA do for your enterprise?

I have tried to give you a comprehensive view of the breadth of the Customer Engagement and Commerce portfolio without going into too much depth. Hopefully you have a better view as to how the parts fits together. Of course there is always more – so if you have any questions about solutions past or present in this space I am happy to answer your questions.

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9 Comments

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  1. Former Member

    Great write-up Scott

    A quick question – Whatever happened to Smart Meter Analytics – something that SAP used to speak about when BW on HANA was announced. Does that still exist?

    Jayshree

    (0) 
    1. Scott Hirst
      Post author

      Hi Jayshree,

      I left off the section on HANA! My apologies. You will see above that I have made reference to history of SMA/CEM and the reboot of this solution as SAP Energy Analysis. We should know more in the coming weeks. Hoping some more definitive information will be released at the international Utilities conference next month.

      While SMA/CEM is no longer available as an off the shelf solution it is still possible to leverage the legacy code base as an accelerator for an SAP Custom Development project. But for most utilities the new SAP Energy Analysis will certainly be the go-to solution as it benefits from SAP’s cross industry investment in the Internet of Things (IoT) Platform.

      Cheers

      Scott

      (0) 
      1. Scott Hirst
        Post author

        Paul,

        There was a recent presentation for ASUG, most international SAP user groups offer reciprocal access to the American SAP User Group content. You can access the webinar and slides here  ASUG.com – Events

        Cheers

        Scott

        (0) 

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