Delivering the Future of Digital Commerce: Engaging Tomorrow’s Customer Through SAP Commerce Cloud

Cloud CommerceCloud-enabled digital commerce is here to stay, yet many organizations lack modern capabilities that can help them evolve and thrive as competition intensifies. SAP Commerce Cloud can support the enterprise of the future, enabling businesses to manage multiple sales and communications channels on a single platform. Hosted on public cloud, SAP Commerce Cloud provides true cloud capabilities—such as cloud-based build tools, database-as-a-service, scaling, and automated deployments.

Niladri Gupta (NG), Senior Manager at Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Conner Helton (CH), Senior Product Manager at SAP provided a deep-dive into the functionality of the latest version of SAP Commerce Cloud during a presentation on December 17, 2019. The following is a Q&A from the webinar. To view the full webinar, click here.

Q: What is the typical timeline for an SAP Commerce Cloud migration? 

A: (NG) It can typically take anywhere from six to eight weeks to complete the migration, but certain factors can affect when the end state is ready for production deployment, such as upgrades being implemented or functionality being added. Typically, during the migration, we’ve observed that the client adds more functionality into the property and that can add more complexity around testing and final validation of the product.

Q: What key benefits are derived from moving to SAP Commerce Cloud? 

A: (NG) A move to SAP Commerce Cloud drives a lot of agility because many of the functions and features are maintaining the properties of service so the client can focus on the core business operations. Because it’s in the cloud, there is lower cost of ownership over time because you can scale up and scale down based on your business needs. This scaling ability allows you to be dynamic when deciding what to focus your budget on.

Q: Can you give us an example of how total cost of ownership (TCO) is reduced when moving to SAP Commerce Cloud?

A: (CH) I like to use surge events such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday as examples here. In a typical on-premise model, you generally have a team that’s dedicated just to that event. Your team is measuring inbound requests and doing synthetic testing, which a lot of times that means months worth of planning. There’s hardware that needs to be purchased, tested, installed, and retested, and you’re paying for all of that – from the discreet hardware that needs to go into that to working with and paying your service provider. These costs can add up to thousands of dollars.

With SAP Commerce Cloud we work proactively with our users. When we talk about scaling, it’s done on two sides: One is managed, because there are some events that need to be pre-planned. So for our customers who are impacted by Black Friday, we’re working closely with them to watch and scale their environment. To account for this increased workload, we may work with clients to identify metrics. What used to take weeks or months to plan can take a couple days and a few phone calls with SAP Commerce Cloud.

To hit those unplanned surge events, there’s auto planning built into the solution. That way you can feel confident that your environment can take that increase in traffic without incurring errors and downtime.

Q: What have been the biggest challenges your customers have faced when moving to SAP Commerce Cloud? 

A: (CH) Speaking from the SAP side, it used to be that you had access to the bare metal of the servers themselves. You used to be able to secure shell (SSH) into a server and get around and play with whatever was there to tweak and change it, and that really becomes a challenge because it’s difficult to support that since everyone can then change every little thing.

One of the biggest challenges our clients are facing now is more on the process side. We have customers of all shapes and sizes who have their own business requirements so changes in process can be a big challenge.

You’ll see Dev Ops and IT folks who are panicking because they don’t have direct access to a piece of equipment anymore. Because SAP Commerce Cloud has taken on that risk and responsibility, we’re working with those customers to succeed with adoption within their company.

To help our customers succeed, we’re looking at how the process will change for them when they’re no longer building on their local machine and then passing off a big giant zip file to someone and waiting days for it to be deployed. Customers are now doing that all within their own cloud forum themselves. We’re working closely with our customers and our partners during the migration to best understand what those process changes are and making customized recommendations.

(NG) Adoption is an evolution that needs to happen as part of an SAP Commerce Cloud migration. Another challenge is ensuring that your cloud environment is adequately sized for your business once you’ve migrated your on-premise properties to cloud. Especially if it’s a global property distributed across multiple regions, we need to bake in a fair amount of time to ensure that we do performance testing early and often. In on-premise work, we used to do all of this up front. In SAP Commerce Cloud this exercise happens more towards the end and trying to do that early and often is extremely important.

You can view the full 45-minute webinar on-demand here. Topics include:

  • How to accelerate deployment of advanced cloud-enabled digital commerce capabilities
  • Learning to elevate the customer experience with enhanced personalization—though rapid, real-time engagement, using content-driven services
  • Leveraging a cloud-hosted platform that allows you to respond more flexibly and effectively to changing business needs.

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