How can efficient CPQ modeling be achieved?

How would business experts model themselves?
From the IT bottleneck to the agile modeling team

A company's IT covers a wide range of tasks: From providing information about the latest technical possibilities and tools, to setting up and installing new workstations, to IT services for solving employees' everyday IT problems and introducing new software systems.

The introduction of new software in particular requires several weeks or even months of effort. In addition, IT departments are affected by a shortage of skilled workers.

We took a closer look at the topic with a view to modeling the world of rules in CPQ software and asked Lukas Schweizer, Account Manager at CAS Merlin, how companies can avoid the IT bottleneck and become modeling professionals themselves.

In conversation with
Lukas Schweizer
Account Manager at CAS Merlin

What are typical tasks that the company's IT department takes on when introducing a CPQ project?

"The typical tasks of corporate IT naturally vary greatly depending on the industry and organizational structure. In general, there are the classic topics such as providing systems, installing them and associated administrative tasks. However, the strategic further development of IT landscapes is also becoming increasingly important in times of cloud models.

A common observation for us at the start of a project is that many of our customers believe that IT has to take over the modeling of the rules and regulations. This is actually a misconception, as the modeler does not necessarily need an IT background. Product expertise is much more important. This allows IT to concentrate on the key strategic and administrative aspects."

What is your approach and could you share a tip on how companies can proceed in this case to optimize their modeling process?

"Modeling the rules and regulations is a big issue. If this is left to IT, the many different tasks can lead to delays that unnecessarily drag out the project. I clearly see the potential in forming a modeling team independent of IT. The team could, for example, consist of technical experts such as product managers, members of technical sales or other technical experts. It is important that this modeling group has a very good overview of the product world. This is where we rely on the customer's product expertise.

With an independent modeling team, modeling processes become more agile and are transparent and structured right from the start.

We have had very good experiences with this for most of our customers.  The processes, especially at the beginning of a CPQ project, are much more agile, the knowledge is well structured from the outset and changes can be updated without delays. We also offer our customers a wide range of services. Not all of our customers want to take on the modeling or associated tasks as a whole. For example, we offer modeling support or take on modeling tasks ourselves. Our modeling experts are then available for this."

How do you ensure that the technical experts from the modeling team can build a successful and transparent product world?

"An intuitive and self-explanatory solution is helpful in mapping the professional structure of the product world in the CPQ system. We rely on appealing, graphical elements that can be used to gradually build up a transparent world of rules using drag and drop. It is also very helpful if the modeling team does not require any additional programming knowledge. This saves time and reduces the inhibition threshold for employees to get involved with the new system."

Your advantages with CAS Merlin CPQ

  • New product rules are created without detours
  • No need for long training periods
  • Redundancies with the inheritance function are avoided
  • A uniform knowledge base is established
  • Programming skills are not required
  • All product knowledge is managed centrally
Optimize your CPQ modelling now More on CAS Merlin CPQ

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