This is one of my favourite questions, and it is often asked just like this:
Should we use Customer Management or C4C?
I will answer this question very clearly at the end. Before we jump there, let’s have a look at related questions. They will explain why the answer is relatively simple. And no, it’s not ‘it depends…’.
1st related question: Do I go cloud or on-premise?
Answer: From an industry point of view, all new applications are cloud, that started years ago. Anyone remember ‘CRM On Demand’ and want’s to guess the year? Like all newly designed customer experience solutions, C/4HANA is cloud only. At the same time, we have a meter-to-cash backend in the on-premise ERP with a roadmap to cloud. So unless a company wants to stay away completely from any newer customer experience solutions, the answer to this question is the hybrid recommendation: Go cloud and on-premise.
2nd related question: What is the difference between C4C and Customer Management?
Answer: It’s like the comparison of apples and oranges.
C/4HANA Service Cloud (aka C4C or Cloud for Customer) is part of SAP’s next generation customer experience suite designed for customer service moments. It comes with 90+ processes for the utilities industry.
More about customer experience in Utilities.
S/4HANA Customer Management is part of S/4HANA ERP Service. The classic CRM 7 design provides a service agent role, the application is now embedded in S/4HANA. It comes with 45+ processes for the utilities industry.
More about S/4HANA capabilities.
So the answer is: While both solutions have capabilities for utilities customer service which could be compared feature by feature, they are also fundamentally different. And they are part of one end-to-end lead-to-cash solution for utilities that SAP designed. So 1/2 an orange and a few slices of the apple might be best for you.
3rd related question: When should I go to C4C or customer management?
Answer: You can start with Service Cloud (C4C) any time, regardless of your backend application version (ECC ERP 6 EhP0+ or S/4HANA). You can use S/4 customer management only with S/4 1709+.
Back to: Should we use Customer Management or C4C?
Answer: ‘Yes, and’. Use both solutions, they work hand-in-hand one with a focus on the consumer and front office and the other in the back office. Have a slice of apple now, that keeps the doctor away and 1/2 an orange when you go to S/4HANA.
As a utility with end customers, use the customer experience suite to drive a higher customer satisfaction. Once you implement S/4 HANA you will also get customer management. The exact scope of each solution is determined with your competing values of customer centricity, cost-to-serve, agility, time-to-value, transformation readiness and constraints.
Learn more about this topic in upcoming discussions and events and contact me for any questions.
Update on product names (as of March 2020):
Sometimes it can be tricky to relate product names, solution names, technical names and licensing bundles. And some of those change over time. A product name for a release rarely changes once it is generally available, but the next release could have a different name. Back to the products we discussed in the blog above. The current name for our industry specific cloud solution for customer service is ‘C/4HANA Service Cloud for Utilities’. The current name for our industry specific on-premise solution for customer service is now changing from ‘S/4HANA Utilities for Customer Management’ (used for the 1709 and 1809 Add-On versions) to ‘S/4HANA Utilities for Customer Engagement’ with release 1909 and higher. The functionality is now fully embedded, it technically became part of the service core. We did this across the industries, going forward we will use the ‘Customer Engagement’ when describing the CRM functions in S/4HANA 1909 or higher.