Basic Integration Capabilities
CPQ solutions sit right between front-end (Customer Relationship Management Solutions) and back-end (Enterprise Resource Planning or Finance/Accounting Solutions or Order Management Solutions) solutions.
Now consider that many customers already have a CRM or an ERP solution when they start their CPQ search, and so this means that the CPQ solution has to integrate with their existing solutions. In addition to these solutions, customers may have Product Information Management (PIM) solutions, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) solutions, Computer Aided Design (CAD) solutions, IoT devices, eCommerce solutions and many other solutions they want to integrate with a CPQ solution.
Hence, it is important that the integration to these solutions is as much out-of-the-box as possible in order to save time and money.
Advanced Integration Capabilities
Over time, requirements change for CPQ solutions. Take for example the current high interest in subscriptions. Is this something your company is doing or is interested in doing or planning to explore in the future? If it is, then it may make sense to understand how much a CPQ solution supports these potential future business changes.
If we adhere to the subscription example, then it might be important to have a future option to connect to a Billing Solution and/or a RevRec Solution. How about adding more visual capabilities for physical products like cars, furniture, dentist equipment, motorcycles, and boats? If that is interesting, what visualization capabilities are needed during the sales process? 2D, 3D, AR or VR, or a combination of these?
For example, some CPQ solutions can import data from CAD solutions like Autodesk, SolidWorks, PTC Creo and more, while others cannot. Is this even important?
Future CPQ customers should decide, as much as possible, which additional capabilities are important to them early on to select the CPQ solution that will get them the closest to their goals.
Information in this series should provide you with a solid basis for good decision-making regarding selecting the right CPQ solution for a specific business. Also note that no CPQ solution has everything for every customer in every industry and in every location. What is useful for one industry/customer/location, can be useless for another industry/customer/location.
And if there is too much information to digest or use confidently in the real-world, then it can always make sense to involve a CPQ expert in the decision-making process.
Talk to us today or book a demo of XaitCPQ to discover what you should look for, and if XaitCPQ could be a good fit for your organization.