Almost every industry in the world is experiencing huge shifts due to volatility in the market, society, and the economy. Today, customers are increasingly looking for exceptional service experiences.
To remain successful in the face of such disruptions and evolving expectations, companies are transforming their business models to the next level. They realize that they need to stay ahead of competition by providing valuable business outcomes to their customers while achieving efficiency, profitability, a great user experience, scalability, and resilience.
This has a major impact on the quote-to-cash requirements as the centerpiece of companies that enable their organizations to sell, deliver, and charge for products and services. Quote to cash is one of the most critical but complex process that encompasses multiple activities in an organization. Whether in a B2B or a B2C setting, it is a comprehensive process that no off-the-shelf, end-to-end solution can handle.
“Cash is king” is an often heard truism in business landscapes, but when it comes to services organizations, it takes a lot more to be successful.
(Products + Services) x Subscriptions = Solution
Transformation means change and that involves understanding both the reason to change and the consequences of change. To thrive today and gain flexibility and variance, businesses need to transform to solution-based business models that expand the responsibility beyond the initial sale: products combined with services, often sold with a contractual promise of an outcome.
Right System for the Right Results
SAP enables all customers according to their specific needs and allows them to keep ahead of today’s challenges and quickly adapt to tomorrow’s world. This is done by simplifying the challenges in three main ways:
- Be more efficient in what you do
- Scale and provide modern ways of selling
- Move from selling standalone products and services to offering bundled solutions to customers
SAP S/4HANA Cloud provides all the core quote-to-cash and finance processes that businesses need to adopt a holistic, solution-based business model rather than cobbling various processes together manually. By doing so, it allows a business to transform into a one-stop shop to offer the best solutions to customers.
Our quote-to-cash process makes it possible for your business to integrate new solutions and subscriptions, which in turn enables your company to cut costs, improve efficiency, and gain visibility with your customers throughout the entire life cycle.
A great example is IBM, which recently underwent an enterprise resource planning (ERP) transformation as it moved its processes to SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
“IBM introduced SAP S/4HANA as a strategic quote-to-cash platform to accelerate the growth of its subscription license, as-a-service, and software-offering business,” said Prasad Chennuru, chief architect at IBM. “The market-leading capabilities of SAP S/4HANA to sell holistic solution and subscription bundles enabled IBM to improve the performance and usability of its order management and financial processes, thus reducing time to value and time to market.”
Besides the business transformation to bundled solutions, quote to cash also powers modern product and service sales by putting user experience at the center and enables streamlined, intelligent, and automated processes to take manual tasks away from the end user.
Our New Generation of Sales
Today the pace of data generation is accelerating, with 90% of the world’s data having been generated in the last two years alone. In addition, last year about 51% of the workloads were processed in the cloud and this will only grow in the foreseeable future. Exponential growth of this kind means that customer experience will become one of the key brand differentiator — dethroning price and product as the leading factors.
With quote to cash as one of an organization’s most critical and complex processes, few ever look to make improvements — until a crisis shocks them into realizing the problems and pitfalls of an inefficient quote-to-cash process.
But complexity conceals value and opportunity. With SAP S/4HANA Cloud, customers can refine their quote-to-cash process to improve performance and scalability that enables a seamless end-to-end process integration and helps boost sales and service productivity by using intelligent technologies like robotic process automation and machine learning. This supports making the right decisions at the right time with embedded advanced analytics and leveraging the pay-per-use offerings.
CEWE, one of Europe’s leading photo service providers, acquired and integrated WhiteWall to expand service and reach. Prior to its acquisition, WhiteWall’s order processing capabilities were limited by its existing systems, which prevented the company from taking full advantage of seasonal sales periods, such as the winter holidays. Today, SAP S/4HANA Cloud automates and accelerates the quote-to-cash process. From the moment a customer places an order on one of WhiteWall’s online stores, the SAP solution processes the sales order, starts the production, then manages payments from PayPal and other payment providers.
According to Alexander Nieswandt, founder of WhiteWall Media GmbH, “Our employees think it’s great because they don’t have to wait for processes to run in the background; they can really concentrate on their work and focus on providing an even better service to our customers.”
Enabling, Integrating, and Incentivizing Sustainability with Subscription Billing
SAP S/4HANA Cloud for billing and revenue innovation management is an end-to-end solution for recurring revenue at high transaction volumes. It provides rapid design of new service-based business models, holistic management of recurring and usage-based revenue, and customer-focused settlement and service at scale. It is designed for enterprises in any industry that want to or that are transforming their offerings into services or aim to lower cost in revenue management and customer satisfaction.
SAP Billing and Revenue Innovation Management is the only solution in the market that natively integrates high-volume billing into financial excellence powered by SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
Courier company DTDC Express Limited is one of India’s leading express parcel service providers. Founded in 1990, the company has grown rapidly and wanted to unify and digitalize its sales and billing processes to help ensure that its IT landscape could scale with its ambitious growth targets. Implementing SAP Sales Cloud and SAP Billing and Revenue Innovation Management has seen an increase in the efficiency of the sales and accounts teams at DTDC — the same number of employees now manage 1.5 times more payment transactions than before implementation.
By driving intelligent automation deeper into and across companies, SAP helps to improve both customer and employee experience. But this must go hand-in-hand with delivering end-to-end processes that include any variation of physical product, installation service, maintenance contract, project, and subscription, as well as embracing complex service scenarios — from one-off repairs to long-term engagements, all the while maintaining and improving compliance, security, and sustainability through all this change.
In the environment that we find ourselves today, companies’ health depends on its liquidity and ability to react fast to changes. We build on our experience and our deep insights into what matters to our customers today and enable that in our end-to-end solution in order to unleash the potential of the cloud and design, streamline, and automate this process to have a direct impact on improving customer and user experience.
Jan Gilg is president and chief product officer for SAP S/4HANA.