When you’re in a business with complex products and have SAP ERP implemented to create Quotes and Orders, chances are that you made major investments in setting up and maintaining (Advanced) Variant Configuration in SAP ERP. So when you’re thinking of implementing a best-of-breed CPQ (Configurable Price Quote) solution like SAP CPQ it makes sense to leverage the setup/work already done in SAP ERP. This is now possible with an integration between SAP ERP and SAP CPQ, in this blog I will provide you with the details.
In a previous blog my colleague Roderick already introduced SAP CPQ so I will not go into detail here, the important thing to know is that CPQ is a powerful sales tool with an intuitive guided selling interface that enables companies to produce accurate and highly configured sales quotes for customers, especially in complex sales transactions.
A prerequisite for the guided selling interface is of course that the products with all possible attributes, attribute dependencies and pricing are available in SAP CPQ. These can be maintained directly in SAP CPQ but as stated in the introduction, when already maintained in SAP ERP these can remain there and via the integration leveraged in SAP CPQ.
SAP Variant Configuration and Pricing
The integration between SAP CPQ and SAP ERP is referred to by SAP as “SAP Variant Configuration and Pricing”. This provides the functionality to replicate the product configuration options and pricing data of SAP ERP or SAP S/4HANA via SAP Cloud Platform into SAP CPQ.
As part of the masterdata synchronization the material (product) masterdata is interfaced via IDOC to SAP CPQ. The variant configuration models knowledge bases (KBs) maintained in SAP ERP or S/4HANA are transferred via SDI (Smart Data Integration) to the SAP Cloud Platform and SAP CPQ (attributes are interfaced to SAP CPQ, constraints remain in SCP, see also the example below). SDI Data Provisioning Agent is an on-premise application that is to be installed and operated locally in the customer’s on-premise landscape.
Example laptop SMB-15
I will illustrate the integration with an example:
- Material: Laptop SMB-15
- Options processor: Intel core i3, Intel core i5, Intel core i7, Intel core i9
- Options memory: 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB
- Constraint: processor i7 only with 32 GB
The material “Laptop SMB-15” maintained in SAP ERP or S/4HANA is transferred via SCP to SAP CPQ. Notice that at first it becomes available in CPQ as a “simple”, non configurable product. The options and constraints configured as part of the variant configuration are transferred to SCP and stored there in a knowledge base.
Next, the characteristics in the knowledge base available in SCP are transferred to SAP CPQ, these are registered as product attributes and are linked to the product Laptop SMB-15. Notice now that the product Laptop SMB-15 changes from a simple product to a configurable product (side note; both simple and configurable products can be quoted in SAP CPQ).
In SAP CPQ you can customize which attributes appear on which tabs of the guided based selling views. In the below example both attributes are customized to be displayed on Tab 2. When configuring Laptop SMB-15 in SAP CPQ the constraints are being determined in real-time with a synchronous interface to SCP, the result in this example is that based on the selection of Processor i7, memory option 32 GB is defaulted and the other options are greyed out.
Good to know
There are some points to consider when setting up integration from SAP ERP or S/4HANA to CPQ, these are described in note 2726240. Also, there are minimum system requirements, e.g. your SAP ERP system must be at least on EHP5 FOR SAP ERP 6.0 or higher, details available in note 2711932. More detailed information on the integration is available on the SAP help site.
So hopefully this blog helps you to understand how the variant configuration in your back-end system can be transferred to SAP CPQ so that end-users are provided with a state-of-the-art CPQ tool without having to write off all the work done in the past in SAP ERP (advanced) variant configuration. If you have any further questions on this topic don’t hesitate to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.