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Former Member
Jun 07, 2013 at 09:02 AM

SAP to acquire hybris - What does that mean for WCEM?

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Hello community,

this is my first time starting a discussion on SCN.

I am working in the metal working industry in Austria and have been responsible for Online Marketing, Social Media, Keyword Marketing, etc. for the past two years. I am currently undergoing a transition and will probably be part of our internal SAP team and dedicate my time to E-Commerce exclusively. My company has been talking about a B2B online shop for one of our brands for quite some time now and the story so far has been more than interesting. Let me try to sum it up for you:

We started out in the summer of 2012 by interviewing different possible partners and the scenario we were looking at was a stand-alone shop, possibly done with Magento, with the master data coming from our old AS/400 system. At the same time, a separate project team in our company started to look at the option of replacing our AS/400 system with SAP ERP. From there on, we started to look at B2B online shop systems that would pull all necessary master data out of SAP ERP. For quite a few months we were then going back and forth, discussing with both companies, one implementing E-Commerce solutions via hybris and another partner that would offer a 100% SAP solution. While evaluating both offers, many in the company - especially people on the online marketing/brand management/content management side - would have preferred a hybris solution consisting of hybris PCM and WCEM. For various reasons that I don't want to state here, the company offering hybris lost the bidding and my company decided to go for the SAP solution. Advantages pointed out here were having to deal only with one partner and not having to come up with interfaces between hybris PCM and SAP ERP. Work was then started on a SAP WCEM shop prototype, specifically a scenario were SAP ERP master data would be imported into SAP MDM. Product catalogs would be maintained in SAP MDM, while the shop itself would go online via the WCEM web channel builder. So far so good. After working with our prototype, we quickly found out that we would also need some SAP CRM components, first and foremost CRM order management and complain management. These would be necessary to achieve our initial goals of bringing the whole customer support process online, including customer complaints.

Next month we will further define the project milestones, we're currently looking at 1x ERP, 1x CRM, 1x MDM, 1x WCEM, 2x PI, 1x FTP. The necessary MDM repositories will be prepared for PD1, PQ1, and PP1. A PI integration scenario will be defined for PD1, PQ1, and PP1. I am more than excited to finally start some serious work, after a long phase of evaluating different scenarios, bidding, prototyping, etc.

Yesterday I visited hybris.com and I read there about SAP's plans of acquiring hybris. While not exactly unprepared for this (I heard SAP has been knocking on hybris' door for a while), it nevertheless came as a surprise for me - even more so after considering our story so far. I am certain that our ERP/CRM/MDM/WCEM project will be successful and meet our initial expectations. But I also know about hybris PCM's strengths and totally understand SAP's planned acquisition. To come to a point: I now wonder what this will mean for SAP's E-Commerce offerings. I know it is way to early to tell, also because so far this is nothing more than a plan to acquire hybris. Nevertheless, I am imagining different future scenarios. I don't want our company to go the MDM/WCEM route with the possibility of these products being obsolete in 2 years. To be honest though, I am not sure about the alternative at the moment: wait another year to see if the acquisition goes through, then wait some more to see how hybris' products will be integrated into SAP in the future. As far as I understand, hybris is supposed to stay an independent business unit, but what does that mean for the Web Channel/WCEM offering?

Any thoughts, inputs, comments are more than appreciated! Thank you.