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.

An Overview of Omni-channel

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

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SAP IS-U the Digital Core

There is a reason nearly 800 Utilities worldwide trust their core bill to cash operations with SAP. Gartner has rated the SAP Industry Solution for Utilities the leader in this space for 10 years running. IS-U supports Utilities of all sizes, even yours…

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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.

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.

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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 directly on IS-U only. It can also be used on SAP CRM.

Provides Industry specific capabilities that are different and complimentary to SAP Hybris Commerce

History Explained

Used to be just “for Utilities”, recently expanded to “& Public Sector”. Also referred to as MCF or MFU. 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.

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.

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Solution Name

SAP Customer Relationship Management for Utilities (SAP CRM)

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.

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.

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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

Note that C4C currently does have equivalent functionality for SAP CRM7 capabilities such as: AMI, 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.

History Explained

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


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 because it is too big for your organisation.
  • 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.

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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.

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.

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Solution Name

SAP Hybris Marketing

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

The 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 solution is also known as SAP S/4 HANA Marketing for the public cloud edition.

How it Fits In

SAP Hybris Marketing is the “go to” solution for Marketing and campaign management.

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 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 Hybris Marketing can be deployed as a “side-by-side” solution to the SAP Business Suite, having its own SAP HANA database and making use of the SAP LT Replication Server to replicate data from source systems like CRM and ERP.

Alternatively SAP Hybris Marketing can be deployed sharing the same HANA database with one ERP system or one CRM system or S/4 HANA On-Premise is also feasible. In this case, data from the respective system does not need to be replicated, but Hybris Marketing can read this (ERP or CRM) data directly from the shared SAP HANA database.

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).
  • 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…

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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 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.

SAP Hybris Commerce includes a Data Hub solution for integrating master data with backend SAP solutions. However 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 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. The SAP Utilities industry team is currently working on an SAP Hybris Commerce industry accelerator as a best practice template.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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 The New Micro-service Future

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 Hybris as a Service provides a new approach for front office solution extensions.

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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 YAAS, allowing you to easily subscribe to solution packages of micro-services.

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.

SAP Hybris as a Service is also known as YAAS. Hybris has used “y” as a key branding element and you might hear SAP Hybris solutions referred to as yBilling or yCommerce. Hence YAAS is the acronym for “Hybris As A Service”. This new service was recently released for the USA and is currently in BETA for the rest of globe.

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

The recently released YAAS platform includes a marketplace for microservices (provided by SAP and partners) that allows you to transact online and subscribe to the services directly. This is a new approach to extend SAP front office solutions in an easy to consume way. The initial micro service offerings are SAP Hybris Commerce Centric and there is a strong drive to expand across the SAP Customer Engagement portfolio. It is early days for YAAS but watch this space for new content.

Hana Cloud Platform (HCP) offers Platform As A Service capabilities for YAAS. There are are a few articles on SCN that describe how YAAS and HCP work together. For instance http://scn.sap.com/community/developer-center/cloud-platform/blog/2016/01/15/hybris-as-a-service-yaas-and-sap-hana-cloud-platform–simply-better-together

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

Analytics, innovation and simplification… SAP HANA is the other “H” word that powers customer engagement for Utilities.

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Solution Names

SAP HANA

SAP Energy Analysis

SAP IoT Platform

Elevator Pitch

SAP HANA optimises and simplifies IS-U, CRM and Business Warehouse. SAP HANA enables new applications such as SAP Energy Analysis on the SAP IoT Platform. SAP HANA is an innovation platform that Utilities use to drive higher customer satisfaction with lower cost to serve.

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.

How it Fits In

SAP HANA is the go-to database for all new SAP IS-U, CRM and BW implementations. All existing SAP IS-U, CRM and BW users are encouraged to plan their migration to S/4 HANA as this provides immediate benefits in simplification cost savings, functional innovations and dramatically improved performance as well as laying the best foundation to adopt the planned “Simple Utilities” solution.

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.

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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  1. Jayshree Ravi

    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

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    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

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      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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