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SAP Hybris commerce/SAP commerce Cloud Lessons learned


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Most of the Hybris commerce projects are a part of the Digital Transformation initiatives at various organizations. The objective of these initiatives is to transform the systems/platforms and associated business processes to offer customers a unique service experience that exceeds their expectations. In this white paper, we have shared our learnings from multiple Hybris Commerce implementations with backend SAP integration. These lessons are the recommendations that can help you plan your implementations better.

Key Learnings are:

Benefit Driven Digital Transformation with key KPI measurements for solution lifetime
Select an Implementation Partner who knows both Hybris and SAP
Break the walls between teams and align them to project goal – One Team
Strong Project Management with tight scope control
Download this white paper to find out how to implement complex Hybris Commerce project with integration to SAP ECC/CRM successfully.

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SAP Hybris commerce/SAP commerce Cloud Lessons learned

  1. 1. LEARNINGS FROM SAP HYBRIS COMMERCE IMPLEMENTATION DESCRIPTION The lessons learned that are described in this document have been incorporated based on multiple Hybris Commerce implementations with backend SAP integration. These lessons are the recommendations and views of the author that can help you plan your implementations better. Key Learnings ____ Strong Project Management with tight scope control ____ Select an Implementation Partner who knows both Hybris and SAP ____ Break the walls between teams and align them to one project goal – One Team ____ Benefit Driven Digital Transformation with key KPI measurements for solution lifetime
  2. 2. OBJECTIVES Most of the Hybris commerce projects are a part of the Digital Transformation initiatives at various organizations. The objective of these initiatives is to transform the systems/platforms and associated business processes to offer customers a unique service experience that exceeds their expectations. In addition, it improves organizations agility in innovating, launching new products & services and rapid time to value. IMPLEMENTATION LANDSCAPE The systems/software for these Hybris B2B/B2C implementations includes SAP ECC, SAP CRM, SAP Hybris for Commerce, SAP Cloud Platform Integration (SCPI), DataHub, SAP Hybris for Service/Sales, SAP CPQ and their integration with third-party software. Some of the third-party integrations include SiteMinder & OKTA for SSO, Vertex/Vertex/Avalara/Sabrix for Tax software, Trillium/Informatica for address validation, Salesforce for opportunities, Paymetric for Credit cards, SharePoint/Akamai for content/digital assets, UPS & FedEx for shipping details, Google Analytics/Webtrends for reporting and many others. LEARNINGS 1. Implementation Partner a) Select an implementation partner who has done multiple complex global SAP Hybris implementations with different currencies, languages, and countries b) They should have experience in integration of SAP ECC/CRM with SAP Hybris, in addition to integration with other third-party software for credit cards, taxes, freight etc. c) Implementation partner should have SAP team members along with Hybris team d) They should own the complete solution and design the architecture and solution that supports end- to-end e-commerce, logistics and invoicing processes. e) Ideally the solution architect should be an expert in Hybris as well as SAP.
  3. 3. 2. Project Team a) Many companies assume Digital transformation projects are primarily owned by Marketing and realize later during the project the need for additional SME’s from other departments. Continuous business involvement throughout the project is a key for the success of the initiative. b) Ensure business teams from Marketing, User experience/Creative, Order Admin, Customer Support, Logistics, Finance, Material, Web content, Pricing, Change Management and Legal departments have adequate representations with key decision makers from each area c) SAP, Cloud Infrastructure, Network, Testing, Project Management, Security, Database Administration, Middleware, and Web IT teams should be participating in the project. d) Key members selected from each area should be SME’s and highly experienced in their areas whether they are from business or IT 3. Methodology a) SAP ECC/CRM are traditionally Waterfall based projects. Hybris projects normally use agile methodology. Our recommendation is to use a mixed methodology which incorporates both Waterfall and Agile, especially with Hybris projects that integrate with backend ERP systems. b) Allocate sufficient time for a detailed design phase for end to end processes, which can be based on the waterfall method. The development, configuration, testing and validation could be iterative, and sprint based. c) Proper planning needs to be done to keep sprints in alignment for SAP and Hybris development tasks 4. Project Management a) A single master project plan which incorporates all systems and third-party software, design comps, wires and content should be created at the beginning of the project with agreement from key stakeholders. Sufficient time should be allocated for this activity. b) Project managers should have experience on both SAP and Hybris projects as both projects have been following a different methodology. c) A Project RACI is very helpful in defining and assigning roles & responsibilities across multiple teams d) Over communication between the various teams should be encouraged by the PMO e) Detailed and single Cutover plan incorporating all tasks that need to be performed for different systems is a must have. 5. Integration a) There are multiple options to integrate SAP Hybris with SAP ECC/CRM like SAP PO/PI, DataHub, SAP Cloud Platform integration, Dataloader and Third-party middleware products. Each integration approach has its own challenges and a proper analysis should be done.
  4. 4. b) Clients who already own SAP PO/PI for middleware can leverage it for integration. SAP Cloud Platform Integration (SCPI) would be the preferred integration approach as most software products these days are cloud based. SCPI should be preferred over Datahub. c) CPQ/Dataloader still have multiple issues and they need to be resolved or escalated to SAP asap. d) Plan for a resource who will be managing middleware errors and troubleshooting during Integration Testing, User Acceptance Testing and Post go-live. e) Expect significant changes in Hybris Data model for products, price, customers and orders for integration between SAP ECC/CRM and Hybris specially for B2B scenarios. f) Plan for significant time for design, development and testing for integration with back end SAP systems as well as other third products like Single Sign On, Credit cards, Freight, Carrier, Inventory, Tax and Analytics. 6. Product Catalog a) Most companies have a complex product catalog/s with multiple attributes, digital assets and hierarchies which can vary by country, customer, channel partner etc. This Information is stored across many different and disparate systems and even physical documents. Definition of product attributes and gathering this information is a challenging and tedious task. A product champion with significant product experience should be allocated for driving product catalog tasks, along with PMO support. b) Tools like Akamai should be used for storage and organizing of digital assets c) Plenty of time should be allocated for designing and gathering of information for product catalog d) Templates need to be properly defined in advance for capturing the requisite information for product catalog components like Categories, Product Attributes, Digital Assets etc. e) Design of Product launch and obsolescence processes should not be forgotten f) Country/Sales Organization specific product catalogs and business process for post go-live management of changes need to be incorporated in the design g) A single master product catalog across the organization is a very good idea. 7. Customer a) SAP’s representation of B2B Customers is quite complex (e.g. Sold to, Bill to, Payer, Hierarchy etc.) and Hybris has to be enhanced significantly to match SAP’s data model. b) Customers, Distributors and Dealers have complex hierarchies with users being assigned to multiple customers. The design of customer and users requires significant time. Business should provide various representative examples in order to finalize the design c) Customer registration, new customer creation & inactivation with related user linkage and deactivation processes need to be properly defined
  5. 5. 8. Pricing a) SAP supports complex pricing with various business rules that are difficult to replicate. Depending on the complexity of your business and pricing, synchronous pricing should be leveraged. Complex pricing calls to SAP ECC could be slow and may have a performance impact. b) Pricing in Hybris should be done if the pricing model is simple and is based on Material, Customer/Material or Customer/Material attributes/grouping. This eliminates the dependency on SAP and helps an improved performance during pricing. c) Complex freight rules and freight pricing should ideally be leveraged from SAP ECC if possible. 9. Sales orders/Shopping Cart/Check Out a) A key challenge is to decide whether orders should be created in Hybris first and replicated to SAP or should they be created in SAP directly. Multiple factors including order replication issues, building business rules again in Hybris, Taxes, Pricing, Credit cards, Credit check, Order approvals, ATP, Order history etc. should be considered before making the decision. b) Changes to Sales orders should not be allowed in Hybris, but plan for changes to Sales orders in SAP due to various reasons like Customer Service, Order Processing & Fulfillment etc. c) Plan for development of an Order simulation and other API’s during Shopping Cart and Check Out process. Avoid multiple order simulation calls to SAP as it could impact performance. This may be needed to avoid building business rules in Hybris and leveraging them from SAP system. 10. Back office/Assisted Service Module (ASM) a) Although a lot of time and energy is spent on the design and User experience of customers, Back office (ASM) design & development and employee business process, including impersonation is of critical importance. b) Plan for sufficient time for Back office enhancements and in some cases new functionality. c) Clear definition of business processes in Back office and SAP for employees with Single Sign On 11. Web Content a) A separate team should be assigned the task of Web content creation, feedback and business & legal approval. Ensure relevant teams are included in this. b) Preview, review and approval of Web content (using Smartedit) before publishing needs to be done with proper planning and due care. 12. Design Comps & Wires a) Ensure you have professional UX designers in the project team b) Mockup of the User interface with the ability to provide feedback in the mockup enables faster review and feedback.
  6. 6. c) Key stakeholders with decision making authority should be involved in this and fringe team members should not be included. d) Separate internal meetings should be planned for gaining consensus on Wires and Design comps. Definition of a consensus building process should be done upfront. e) Limit the number of review and approval iterations to a max of 2 13. Testing a) Proper testing of the end to end solution as well as unit testing of features and functionality should be done, including Integration Testing, User Acceptance Testing, Regression Testing, Unit Technical Testing, Unit Functional testing, Smoke Testing, Exploratory Testing, Sanity and Performance Testing for a robust and bug free solution b) Ideally, a single tool is recommended for tracking Test scripts planning & execution, Issues, and Issue resolution. However, SAP teams typically have their own tools like Solution Manager, HP ALM, Panaya etc. which may differ than a Testing tool for Hybris. In such a case, a proper definition of how end-to-end testing will be performed across multiple systems needs to be done by the QA team at the beginning of the project. c) Performance Testing should be done using Performance Testing tools such as Dynatrace, that can simulate real world scenarios and large volumes of transactions. 14. Data Load a) Data load strategy should be defined upfront for products, categories, SKU’s, digital assets, product attributes, pricing, customers (Sold To/Ship to/Bill To/Payer), users/contact persons, customer hierarchy, sales orders and custom objects b) Data load templates should be pre-defined accurately c) Large volumes of data should be loaded thru IMPEX. Mock data loads should be done for large volumes of data. d) Smaller volumes of data can be loaded using OCC (Omni Commerce Connect) web service e) Data load can be triggered from SAP using EDI which can also be used after go-live for new and changed records 15. Conclusion Hybris Commerce projects with integration to SAP ECC/CRM are quite complex and take a significant amount of resources, time and cost, and hence should be planned well. These projects involve multi department teams with a need to break departmental silos and serve as a part of the digital transformation initiatives. It would be a good idea to do a small discovery project of about 4 to 8 weeks to define and accurately capture the project vision, goals and business requirements.
  7. 7. AUTHOR Ashish Saxena Ashish Saxena is a co-founder of Accrete Consulting Solutions and is responsible for delivery of E- commerce Sales, Service, Logistics and Finance solutions. Ashish is a highly experienced professional with 20+ years of business, technology and digital consulting experience. His consulting experience includes multiple digital transformation projects to reimagine customer experiences, full lifecycle SAP projects with responsibilities including project management and team leadership, strategy/roadmap and business process design, scoping and blueprinting, solution design, deployment and support. Ashish can be reached at LinkedIn: For all enquiries please contact at:, Tel: +1(877)-849-5838 Visit us at: Accrete Consulting Solutions USA Head Office 3350 Scott Blvd, Bldg 34 Santa Clara, CA 95054 South Africa 609 Lanseria Corporate Estate, Falcon Lane, Lanseria, Gauteng Chile Galvarino Gallardo 1638, Providencia, Santiago India Development Centre 102A, HARTRON, Electronic City, Gurgaon Copyright © Accrete Consulting Solutions 2018.