SAP CPQ Landscape Considerations
SAP product offerings and system landscapes are rapidly evolving, especially the cloud offerings. As you might expect, there are situations where not every feature or capability in one system works with every other feature or capability in another. In the world of cloud computing, different teams build each product and then another team is responsible for integrations. In many cases, you must be at a specific product level or have certain options active to use a specific feature. I’ve seen quite a few limitations in recent months and so I am writing this blog to share some considerations for your plans to use SAP CPQ.
CPS – Model Once, Configure Anywhere
First, if you want to leverage the backend ERP configuration and pricing then you need to integrate CPQ with Cloud Platform Integration (CPI) and SAP Variant Configuration and Pricing Services (CPS). This requires Smart Data Integration (SDI) with an agent installed on your ERP system, or at a minimum within your firewall, and used to synchronize data with the CPS cloud services. You must be running a compatible database for your ERP system. Note that Sybase and MaxDB are not supported natively. Don’t forget to look at the ERP requirements as well - you must at least be at a certain EHP and Support Pack level for the SDI to run. I have some potential workarounds if this is blocking you.
Advanced Knowledge Base Generation
Your next decision with CPS is whether to use Classic Knowledge Base generation or Advanced Knowledge Base generation. Don't confuse Advanced Knowledge Base generation with Advanced Variant Configurator (AVC). They are completely different things. The key difference is that Advanced Knowledge Base generation supports certain constructs like intervals in variant tables that can be useful and reduce the number of rows you must store to represent a relationship. If you’re just starting out, my recommendation would be to use Advanced Knowledge Base generation right away, and if you’re already running then consider converting now to advanced generation. See note 3022814 for details and requirements.
CPQ Quote Engine – 1.0 vs 2.0
Perhaps your biggest decision is which quoting engine to use. CPQ Quote engine 1.0 is the original quoting engine and the default choice when a new tenant is created, while CPQ Quote engine 2.0 is the next generation engine that has been evolving since SAP acquired CallidusCloud. You can find a feature comparison of quote 1.0 and quote 2.0 in the SAP CPQ help. Most customers started with quote 1.0 because they needed certain functionality that was not yet available in quote 2.0. In our experience, this is namely the native integration to submit a Quote as a Sales Order from CPQ to ERP. CPQ Quote 2.0 is where the vast majority of new investment and capabilities reside, and it offers a wide range of benefits over 1.0, including better performance, new feature functionality that includes pricing procedure integration, stateful versus stateless pricing, and more. Consider these features that are only available in CPQ Quote 2.0:
Involved Parties (Business partners and partner functions)
Solution Design with Teams
Solution Quote with SAP Billing Revenue and Innovation Management (BRIM)
Native CPQ Quote engine 2.0 sales order submission integration is now available. It does work differently than the quote 1.0 integration and only works with specific releases of S/4 HANA. We can help you if that is the only feature that prevents you from moving on to CPQ Quote 2.0.
Bundles with VC items
An additional key benefit of the CPQ Quote engine 2.0 is the ability to do Variant Configuration (VC) bundles. We're seeing this as a very powerful capability that was not available in CPQ Quote 1.0 and it opens several solutioning possibilities in CPQ that weren’t possible before. In some ways, we could compare it to the fast data entry configuration functionality in S/4HANA or ECC with DIMP. It is really the golden piece of the CPQ configuration puzzle.