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Oracle BigMachine CPQ - One Solution for many problems

Cloud products have entered into the market quite recently and spreading their reach in different sectors / domains. Oracle BigMachine Configure, Price, and Quote (CPQ) is recommended as quoting solution in many sectors. Here is a point of view on the CPQ capabilities for some sectors.

Professional services

Even today, many professional service sector companies rely on Microsoft Excel (XLS) files to create a quote. As in other sectors, using XLS file for quoting has many limitations like manual errors, discrepancies in different quotes as no version control on XLS, no single system to show all the quotes, etc. Other problem could be when quote is accepted by the customer, sales user has to create project and other details manually in resourcing system like e-business suite (EBS).

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CPQ can play a big role in streamlining the quoting process. In usual professional service quotes, we see job titles, their rate cards, project planning information, and others. Depending on this information, final quote value is calculated. CPQ can hold these job titles and their rates in its data tables. While configuring the quote, sales agent needs to select only the required job title and number of employees of that title. CPQ will calculate the price according to the rate card. Different variations like onsite / offshore billing rates, hourly / weekly billing rates can be configured in data tables.

Similarly, project information can be captured on configuration page by introducing few new attributes. This information may or may not have pricing impact. For example, introduce an attribute which captures the number of weeks each role / employee working on a project, or whether an employee works full time or part time. If required, specific information like which role will work on the project from which date / week can be captured. For instance, a business consultant will be on project only for first 2 weeks, senior developer will start from second week and will be on project till fifth week, etc. Simple formulas can use this information and give final cost of the quote.

If the quote is accepted by the customer, the sales agent can pass on this information to resourcing system like EBS to create project and corresponding opportunities / employee requirements. It is a direct integration between CPQ and EBS with no manual intervention requirement and reduces sales agents' work considerably in EBS as they have ready project created in EBS. Resource manager can directly start assigning employees to the newly created opportunities.

This will be beneficial to many service companies some of which got employee straight more than 100K and work on multiple proposals at same time.

Manufacturing

The CPQ has strong presence in manufacturing sector. With its new bill of material (BoM) feature, it has become quite easy for companies to integrate their CPQ system with fulfillment systems like EBS. As CPQ can create sales BoM similar to manufacturing BoM required in EBS for fulfillment, manual order creation in EBS is now a thing of past.

While configuring the CPQ product, BoM details can be imported and saved in CPQ data tables. According to the functional requirements, BoM can be added depending on values selected on configuration attributes. CPQ also offers functionality where user can select attributes for BoM item.

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For instance, a Japanese robotic company wants to configure its CPQ system where customer can configure robotic hands depending on its requirements. Robotic hands come in different shapes and sizes with different requirements for power ports, motors, and other spare parts. Company can create BoM for each of the robotic hand style and add entire BoM structure to quote when customer selects a hand. Customer also has option to select the BoM item attributes. For example, customer wants all its power sockets in two pin instead of three pin, customer can select so on Power Socket BoM item. If this selection needs adding new transaction line in quote for two pin socket, then CPQ can do it automatically.

Above example shows how the complex products in manufacturing sector can be easily configured by CPQ with no manual errors. Once quote is accepted by the customer, sales agent can trigger the order creation in EBS from CPQ action. CPQ to EBS integration has significantly simplified as CPQ sales BoM are similar to EBS. BoM in CPQ can also eliminate 'need to configure BoM mapping' rules in EBS.

Insurance and finance

CPQ and insurance sector are not new for each other. Insurance plans can be configured in CPQ quite easily employing current product models and parts or with new feature like BoM.

To understand it better, let us take an example where a finance company 'WealthGuru' is setting up its insurance plan on CPQ. To start with, company can have multiple product lines like tax saving plans and high yield plans. For each plan, there could be fixed set of holdings options. Either customers can select which holding / shares they want to invest in or WealthGuru can suggest how the investors should split their money. In tax saving plan, WealthGuru gives the fixed split. Simple recommendation rules and data tables can be used to configure plans and their corresponding holdings. Depending on plan selected, fund information section will be editable for user. User can capture the amount that customer wants to invest and on selecting the plan, CPQ can show how that amount can be invested in different holdings.

Holdings can be large cap shares, mid cap shares, emerging markets, and more. If WealthGuru wants to go beyond just holding names and give specific stock details under holding, then multi-level BoM can be employed. As BoM can have parent-child relation, CPQ can show under which holding which companies' shares are considered. So when customer selects emerging market, WealthGuru can show on quote the exact markets in which investment will happen. This will be a real customer delight as they will come to know where exactly their money is getting invested.  

Similarly, WealthGuru can explore option of 'Customer Asset' page to show customer's holdings from previous financial transactions. This will be useful to show customers how their investments are performing and they can take informed decision on their next investments. CPQ can estimate the returns on investments if financial advisors configure the formulas in the system.

So all in all, investment products can be configured in CPQ with all its variants. 





Comments

Excellent way of contextualizing industry examples with technology jargons

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