As SAP Commerce/Hybris 6.7 support is coming to its end of life in August 2020, more and more customers are contemplating whether to remain with their On-Premise SAP Commerce/Hybris orSAP Commerce Cloud in SAP infrastructure (Commerce Cloud version 1 or CCV1) solution or migrate to SAP Commerce in Public Cloud (Commerce Cloud version two or CCV2). This decision becomes more meaningful if you realize that SAP has stopped licensing CCV1 to new customers. Since 2019, SAP is only licensing CCV2. The following 5 reasons should be evaluated when developing your roadmap to migrate to SAP CCV2. 

1.     Future Proof your Commerce

The Digital Commerce landscape is changing more than ever. Voice Search, Multi-and Omni-channel retail, social commerce, subscription models and personalization are some of the key trends shaping Digital Commerce in 2020 and beyond. To ensure your customers keep coming to your online storefront, it is critical that your Commerce Platform allows you the flexibility to include these new features as quickly as possible so that you don’t lose market share to your competitors. Traditional SAP Commerce (Hybris) Accelerators based storefronts (Java Server Pages or JSP) are not flexible enough to promptly add these new features. As there is an increased focus on creating an engaging experience for the customer, the future of commerce is all around headless commerce, where the modern online storefront is decoupled from the commerce backend platform. How you engage with your customers is primarily driven by your customer touchpoints not so much by the core commerce functions. Decoupling your storefront from commerce backend functions empowers you to constantly update your storefront for a more engaging Customer Experience, without worrying about making any changes to the Commerce platform. Whether you want to include a chatbot, new personalization, voice search or social commerce, you implement this at the storefront level (the customer touchpoint), not at the core commerce platform level. If you have to make any such changes in SAP Commerce On-premise or CCV1, it will be a project in itself. Hence it is critical that your Commerce Platform Architecture is aligned with new trends in the Digital Shopping Experience.  

2. Align with SAP Commerce Roadmap

SAP’s Commerce Cloud architecture is built with the goal to provide SAP Commerce as a Software as a Service (SaaS). It is based on a headless commerce concept where the Storefront is decoupled from the Commerce Platform but integrated through various Microservices, also known as Domain Services. SAP Commerce Accelerator-based storefronts (B2B/B2C/Telco, Travel, etc) will be phased out. SAP recommends using an open-source JavaScript-based Spartacus Storefront for any new SAP Commerce Storefront, and not to use legacy JSP based accelerator Storefronts. You can even use your own JavaScript-based Storefront and then use the Microservices available in SAP Commerce Cloud to deliver the unique shopping experience to your customers. The fundamental shift in SAP’s Commerce Cloud architecture is to progressively move towards a Microservices based architecture such that you are not restricted by your commerce platform in providing the engaging experience to your shoppers across all the channels. Core Commerce features like Catalog, Pricing, Inventory, Authentication, etc. remain within SAP Commerce Cloud features. However, core customer-facing processes such as Store, Search, Shopping Cart, Checkout, Content, and Customer Service are moved to Microservices. These Domain Services are offered as SaaS that you can integrate with your JavaScript storefronts to deliver an engaging Customer Experience (CX). Customers can browse the Storefront built using Spartacus or JavaScript. Spartacus or JavaScript storefronts will use these Domain Services to power the Customer Experience. These Domain Services are available as Features or Business Tools in the SAP Commerce Portal, allowing you to configure the desired CX.

3.  Focus on Customer Experience

Customer Experience is the key to combating commoditization, securing sustainable competitive advantage and achieving market leadership for your brand. There are three integral components to a great Customer Experience, namely Touchpoints, Interactions, and Engagements. A Touchpoint exists where a customer comes in touch with your brand. These can be social media posts, ads, a company’s brand image on a social media platform, websites, storefronts, receiving emails, blogs, news, reports, etc. It occurs across various channels and devices. Interaction is a communication process with your customer, such as communicating with a customer service agent, Sales Rep, interacting with a company’s product, sharing a company’s resources on social media, etc. Engagement is dependent on the quality of the interaction with your customer, such as signing up for a free trial, attending a webinar, agreeing for a call with a sales rep, buying a product or service, etc. CCV2 architecture empowers you to focus on delivering an engaging experience to your customer across all the Channels and Touchpoints without worrying about even touching a single line of code in your SAP Commerce platform. A Decoupled Storefront and Commerce Platform allows you to update your storefront independently and as frequently as needed. In the same way, the SAP Commerce Core platform can be upgraded and updated as needed, independent of the Storefront. In SAP Commerce On-premise or CCV1, making changes to customer Touchpoints and Interactions is a very time-consuming process. With CCV2, you can easily and quickly make changes to customer Touchpoints and Interactions to deliver the most engaging CX.  

4. Simplify Operations & Reduce Operational Costs

If you run SAP Commerce on-premise or CCV1, you have to take care of your own build and deployment process. There are no automation or self-service capabilities available. CCV2 makes it easier for customers to build and deploy applications through self-service Commerce Portal integrated with your git repository. If you are running CCV1, even for small changes, you need to work with SAP. With CCV2, you enjoy the advantage of automation for environment setup, deployment, backup and restore. helping you to significantly reduce your operational costs associated with maintaining your online storefront. Some of the key features available in CCV2 are automated infrastructure, self-service tools, cloud build platform, automated scaling, disaster recovery, Dynatrace application management, cloud-native technology (Kubernetes), and globally available.

5. SAP Commerce/Hybris End of Life Consideration

As SAP Commerce is transitioning to a new architecture in CCV2, SAP will stop supporting previous versions. SAP Hybris 6.7 support ends in August 2020, SAP Commerce 1811 and 1905 support will end in May 2021. Currently, SAP releases both On-premise and CCV1 at the same time and they have already stopped licensing the On-premise version of SAP Commerce to new customers. The frequency of updates to CCV2 is monthly compared to yearly for On-premise. Depending on what version of SAP Commerce you are running, it is recommended that you plan your migration to CCV2 in line with the end of life of your SAP Commerce release in production. You can try to upgrade your On-premise Commerce to the latest version of O-premise, e.g., from 6.7 to 1905 and extend your product support to May 2021. However, it will be like kicking the can down the road. The longer you wait to migrate to CCV2, the longer you are delaying your ability to take advantage of new SAP Commerce Cloud Architecture.  

If you are not sure how to migrate from your current SAP Commerce/Hybris on-premise or CCV1 to CCV2, you can take advantage of our ‘Falcon’ Commerce Cloud migration services. ‘Falcon’ includes a FREE assessment of your current SAP Commerce/Hybris application to provide a detailed roadmap with scope of work and timeline to migrate to CCV2. For details please contact falcon@asaramerica.com