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Integrating SAP On-Premise Systems with SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer

Q&A with Christian Matz

April 11, 2017

SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer is becoming more and more popular as SAP's cloud solution for marketing, sales and service. It is often used to extend the existing data to sales representatives and field service personnel, giving them a 360-degree view onto their customer and enabling them to use the data anywhere, including their mobile devices.

SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer is not typically deployed stand-alone; it often needs to be integrated with existing SAP on-premise systems such as SAP ERP and SAP CRM. A number of decisions need to be made early that are specific to each customer's scenario, considering there are several different technical options for setup, such as SAP Netweaver Process Integration and SAP Cloud Platform Integration service.

Read the chat transcript with ECENTA's Christian Matz to learn about the different integration scenarios and technical options.

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Live Blog Integrating SAP On-Premise Systems with SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer

Matthew Shea: Thank you for joining today’s Q&A on integrating on-premise SAP systems with SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer! I’m pleased to be joined today by Customer Engagement & Commerce 2017 speaker Christian Matz. Christian has supported many customers worldwide in building reliable SAP CRM and SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer solutions as part of their overall SAP system landscape. Welcome Christian!

Christian Matz: Thank you so much for having me.

Matthew Shea: There are several questions that have already been posted, so I’ll let you get started on those now. Please enter your questions into the module below.

Comment From Petter W: What kind of latency should one expect from the business partner integration?

Christian Matz: Thank you, Petter, for your question. What I have seen is typically a couple of seconds, but this largely depends on the other activities happening in parallel in SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer. The processing of data happens in queues in both SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer and your middleware (PI or HCI), therefore the load of the queues will have an impact as well.

Comment From Binoy Thomas: With a master data governance application (MDG) being the gatekeeper and governance tool for ERP master data at my organization, should MDG continue to be the central source of data for the enterprise? Does SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer integrate with MDG and can it still be a centrally controlled source of master data?

Christian Matz: Hello Binoy. Customers using MDG typically continue to do so, with the exception of prospects — and sometimes contact people. In general, you should review the governance processes once you add SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer to the landscape.

Comment From Petter W: Are there any formal or informal volume restrictions on the integration?

Christian Matz: I am not aware of true volume restrictions, but the amount of data to be integrated will have a direct impact on the time it takes to perform loads, especially the initial load. Also, you might want to look at the amount of data synchronized regularly, as this can influence the system performance.

Comment From Krishna: My company is planning to implement either SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer or on-premise SAP CRM. Is there any documentation for SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer explaining the differences in terms of functionality and features?

Christian Matz: Hello, Krishna, this is a very good question. I have not seen an official document comparing the features of SAP CRM and SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer in detail. Also, based on my experience, this is largely dependent on the scenarios you want to implement. For instance, in some cases, SAP CRM might be more flexible, while SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer provides more out-of-the-box features.

Comment From Khan: Hi Christian. For SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer to integrate with on premise — say ECC box — can we use HCI for some objects and HCI to PI to ECC for other objects?

Christian Matz: Hello, Khan, this is a very interesting question. Technically I would expect this to be possible, and I have heard about customers doing integration even entirely without HCI or PI. If you stick to the standard scenarios, it might be easier to troubleshoot, and SAP provides good documentations for this. At the same time, we have integrated via PI to non-SAP middleware and non-SAP systems as well — which was more work, but it was possible.

Comment From Khan: Does SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer have out-of-the-box, industry-specific solutions for real estate, rental, and leasing?

Christian Matz: Hello Khan. At this point, I have not seen such an industry solution — sorry.

Comment From Yogesh: Where do you see SAP’s investment of SAP CRM as a product headed?

Christian Matz: Hello Yogesh. Of course, this is a question that only SAP can truly answer. Based on what I have seen, SAP continues to invest in SAP CRM, especially in particular features like UI enhancements and integration with SAP S/4HANA. I strongly believe SAP CRM still is a strong product — but again, you might want to check with SAP for the official answer to this.

Comment From Ray: Do I need additional components for integrating back-end systems with SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer?

Christian Matz: Hello Ray. Typically, you can either use HCI or PI as a middleware to integrate SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer with your back-end systems. When using HCI, usually you add another component called SAP HANA cloud connector to the mix, which acts as a reverse proxy. This enables you to exchange messages from inside your network to the cloud systems.

Comment From Khan: How has SAP structured the HCI pricing? Is it per API call, data volumes, a combination of the two, or some other mechanism? For example, consider a scenario with SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer via HCI to SAP ECC on premise.

Christian Matz: Hello Khan. I would think this is a question you need to ask your SAP account executive. I have seen different pricing models in the past, and SAP occasionally changes their pricing models, so something that was true today might change tomorrow.

Comment From Petter W: Is there loyalty functionality in SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer?

Christian Matz: Hello Petter. At this point, there is not. However, there is loyalty functionality in SAP Hybris as a Service on SAP Cloud Platform, which you can integrate. You might want to take a look at for more details.

Comment From Guest: What would be the best integration scenario for customers who are currently on an SAP on-premise solution and will move to SAP HANA within the coming years?

Christian Matz: It depends on a number of factors, and what systems are part of the landscape. Also, it depends on how the migration to SAP HANA (I assume you mean SAP S/4HANA) happens. For SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer, the back-end system is “just” a logical system with some ID mapping, and in the simplest scenario, only minor adjustments are needed.

Comment From Lars: Hello, Christian, what is your experience with choosing a leading system for customer maintenance?

Christian Matz: Hello, Lars, this is a good question. This depends on the systems in the overall landscape, but typically when SAP ERP is in the picture, it remains the leading system for customer master data, due to governance aspects. SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer can become the leading system to prospects and contacts.

Comment From Binoy Thomas: With Microsoft Dynamics CRM running on the cloud in an existing landscape, do you see benefits of adding SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer?

Christian Matz: I have to admit that I am not an expert in Dynamics CRM, and the answer largely depends on the expected business benefits. Based on my experiences, I have seen customers running more than one — even cloud-based — CRM systems, for example, for particular groups or specific regions.

Comment From Yogesh: How do we integrate SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer with SAP S/4HANA (logistics) implementation? Is there documentation or an architect diagram we can reference?

Christian Matz: The typical system landscape includes SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer, HCI or PI, and SAP ERP or SAP S/4HANA. SAP provided integration set-up guides and process flows for those as a starting point. Some technical documentation can be found at (Login required).

Comment From Bruce Wayne: You had mentioned troubleshooting in a previous answer. How much troubleshooting can really be done in SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer?

Christian Matz: Hello Bruce. There is some troubleshooting, especially through the web service message monitoring, as part of the admin work center. You can analyze the payload and the error messages provided by SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer, which helps you in many cases. Unfortunately, you cannot start debugging the messages.

Comment From Anders: What would be the biggest advantage in having both SAP CRM on premise and SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer in the landscape?

Christian Matz: Hello Anders. I have seen a number of scenarios where having both systems made sense. For instance, the call center scenario is still stronger in SAP CRM on premise. Also, if you have parts of your processes with a lot of custom development that you cannot or don't want to standardize, SAP CRM on premise might still be the better option. Certain industries also benefit from SAP CRM on premise since some integration is easier ABAP-to-ABAP via RFC, especially if you don't want to expose your systems to the cloud too much. At the same time, SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer has a lot of features SAP CRM on premise does not, like out-of-the-box mobility. What I have seen is that when both systems coexist, typically is it “divided” by user groups, for example, call center agents in SAP CRM on premise and field sales in SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer.

Comment From Binoy Thomas: Is there an option to maintain customer hierarchies? Today, we maintain them in SAP ECC, but ideally these should transition to a CRM application in future.

Christian Matz: SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer does offer account hierarchies as well, but as far as I know it does not offer the same level of complexity as SAP ERP or SAP CRM.

Comment From Tomas: Hi Christian. Can SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer fully replace current SAP CRM CIC functionality, including BCM (telephony) integration?

Christian Matz: Hello, Tomas, SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer does offer telephony integration, however with a more lightweight approach — in a sense that you will probably still require the native telephony toolbar for advanced CTI features (for example, warm transfer). SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer does not replace BCM (now CCtr), but rather integrates with it.

Comment From Binoy Thomas: In a typical SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer and SAP ECC landscape, does SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer handle transactional data, too?

Christian Matz: Yes, it can. For instance, SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer could handle lead and opportunities in sales and tickets in service, and may integrate in different ways with quotes and sales orders. Activities, tasks, or visits are also very useful, and are transactions that SAP ERP does not handle.

Comment From Guest: What are some challenges with running group- or region-specific CRMs?

Christian Matz: Typically, you want to achieve a 360° view on your customer, and depending on how the regions or groups operate, you may have difficulties consolidating this information. Also, having multiple CRMs will result in higher integration effort. Plus, if those CRMs are from different vendors, you will have additional effort for reporting and mapping values for consolidation.

Comment From Petter W: In your experience, what are the typical use cases for SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer and an on-premise SAP solution in a B2C scenario?

Christian Matz: A typical use case for having both systems is different user groups, for example, marketing using SAP CRM on premise and field sales using SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer. This typically happens if you have an existing process for one of the groups and can start green-field for the other, or if you need to enable mobility for one group, while the other group is more office-based (typically call centers, marketing, or groups with tight integration into SAP ERP or other back-end systems).

Comment From Petter W: In a customer service scenario, are there any benefits to using SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer and SAP CRM on premise as opposed to using only SAP CRM on premise?

Christian Matz: SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer has a few features out of the box, which SAP CRM does not, for example, a mobile app or the ability to capture signatures. There is also definitely a stronger case for sales than for service at this point. Again, this largely depends on the specific scenario. Today, my impression is that SAP CRM on premise still has the better integration with SAP ERP (and it is easier to build the missing parts) when it comes to service. However, these gaps may get smaller with every release.

Comment From Khan: Hi Christian. We have some business teams using Genesys. Does SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer have out-of-the-box integration or will this have to be custom built?

Christian Matz: Hello, Khan, I assume you are talking about Genesys CTI integration? As far as I know, SAP does supply sample code to be enhanced to the specific CTI vendor, but not out-of-the-box integration, except for SAP CCtr. I’m not sure, if Genesys (or any other vendor) does provide this already prebuilt.

Comment From Tomas: Can visit generation be done in SAP CRM and integrated to SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer via PI?

Christian Matz: Hello Tomas. There are ways to integrate CRM activities with SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer visits, and there are ways to generate visits from within SAP CRM — so yes, it is possible. However, I believe you need to enhance the integration for this.

Matthew Shea: Thanks to everyone who participated in today’s Q&A and thank you to Christian for your time and for all your insightful answers! You can review the Q&A chat replay at any time, and I will alert you by email when the transcript of today’s discussion is posted.

Christian Matz: Also, a big thank you from my side. These were a lot of very good questions, so this was a lot of fun!

Matthew Shea: Christian will be presenting two sessions at Customer Engagement & Commerce 2017 in Amsterdam from June 14-16:

  • From casual buyer to customer for life: SAP CRM loyalty management strategies and best practices
  • Drive efficiency and growth with your sales pipeline process — from lead to order

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