31 Oct 3 ways to accelerate the time-to-value in CPQ projects
by Erich Rusch
Getting value out of a purchased license is one of the most important focuses we have at Simplus. Based on the way enterprise software is sold today, the customer is forced to carry the burden of the licenses for a short time after purchase while the software is being configured to meet specific organizational needs. Also, companies probably purchased this software for a reason, and presumably, after implementation, they’ll start to realize real-world cost benefits to deploying this software.
As such, shortening the length of time it takes to implement the software is critically important to realizing value. There are three main points that we focus on at Simplus to ensure organizations get the most value as quickly as possible.
Focus on the Minimum Viable Product
The one thing our customers notice when they begin scoping with Simplus is we will continually reinforce that our first phase engagement is what we refer to as the minimum viable product. The minimum viable product does not mean we won’t configure the tools to customer specifications, but that each requirement must satisfy the fundamental question of whether or not this functionality is absolutely mission-critical to obtain value from the solution.
The organization may be tempted to go for a Big Bang approach, especially during global rollouts, but most often there’s a more straightforward path to going live in the first phase. Can the customer narrow their initial rollout regions from the first phase to eliminate the need to add additional languages, currencies, and other theater requirements? Are there ways to reduce the scope and reduce risk in the initial phase to enhance the chances of success in a Phase 1.0 rollout? Once the customer is live, they can incrementally improve the system until they reach full adoption.
Don’t start from scratch
Simplus starts out every customer with our FastTrack package. This package contains all the foundational elements of CPQ and prevents us from having to reinvent the wheel during every CPQ implementation. The Simplus philosophy is that getting live with the least amount of risk and the best results leads to higher client satisfaction and an opportunity for follow-on engagements.
When deploying, we want to avoid repeating the same steps for every implementation and, as a team, we don’t want to execute against certain elements in ten different ways. Implementation teams need to collaborate across projects, and individuals need to interpret custom-configured objects, code, and data structures. To eliminate the difficulty and shorten timelines, our teams use common standards for common use cases, which allows us to leverage best practices across every implementation and use a conventional structure in our approach. Ultimately, our implementations are more consistent across the project portfolio, which leads to better quality and happier customers!
Leverage standard functionality
Every implementation hits a point where there’s a business process that doesn’t map precisely to how the tool is supposed to function. At this juncture, there’s a choice to shoehorn the process into the tool with custom code and workarounds or to compromise on the process to leverage the standard functionality. While there are sometimes legitimate reasons to resort to customizations, the vast majority of the time there are compromises we can make from the process standpoint to allow our customers to leverage mostly native processes. Minimizing customizations will provide customers easier maintainability in the long term, a lower total cost of ownership, and more seamless upgradeability in the future. Given a choice, we leverage standard functionality wherever possible in our implementations.
Ultimately, guiding reduction in the initial project phase, leveraging a solid foundation of repeatable knowledge, and using standard functionality whenever feasible will accelerate the timeline to value for the client.
If you want to know more about how Simplus can accelerate your CPQ project’s time-to-value, please contact us today!
Erich Rusch is Director of CPQ Presales Solutions at Simplus. Co-founder and CSO of CirrusOne until joining Simplus, Erich has years of experience in the CPQ space and has unparalleled expertise in cloud solutions.