What is SAP Hybris? (Now Commerce Cloud)

What exactly is SAP Hybris? SAP traditionally has been very succinct in product offerings and its messaging. When we talk about ERP we know what exactly it means. And what processes and modules (Sales and Distribution, Material Management, Finance and Controlling, Production Planning, Plant Maintenance, etc.) are included in ERP. If we talk about CRM, we know it includes sales, service and marketing. Similarly when we talk about SCM, SRM, we know what these products include. However, the same is not true for SAP Hybris products.

SAP uses Hybris as an umbrella term to address huge market segment called Customer Engagement Management or Custom Experience Management. Hybris is a brand like SAP, not a solution in itself. It’s not a single product like ERP or CRM. And doesn’t have a suite of capabilities tightly integrated with each other as one unit. Hybris is merely a family of products not necessarily built as modules of single entity like ERP or CRM. Rather they are individual products positioned together as a comprehensive suite to offer end to end customer experience management solution.

The Hybris Umbrella

It appears that SAP has decided to name anything and everything Hybris as long as it touches customer facing processes. It is important to understand the history of Hybris. Historically, Hybris is an ecommerce platform. SAP bought Hybris to establish itself as a viable player in ecommerce and Omni channel market place. However naming anything and everything Hybris gives a false impression. Making customers think that all those Hybris titled solutions are part of the Hybris platform. Earlier this year, SAP renamed its cloud based CRM solution. Formerly SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C), now SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer. I do not understand the rationale behind this. One thing it’s surely done is added its own dimension to the already confused state of SAP CRM market. Customers think that C4C is now part of Hybris commerce platform.

SAP may argue that C4C integrates with Hybris commerce platform. Thus Hybris C4C, as together they offer a consistent end-to-end customer experience solution. However Hybris Commerce platform and Cloud for Customer are distinctly two different products, built separately to serve two different audience. Buying Hybris commerce won’t give you C4C. Conversely, buying C4C won’t give you Hybris commerce just because they are both called Hybris. By painting all customer facing applications with Hybris, SAP has created more confusion in market. I believe it’d be better to offer a consistent customer engagement platform.

What does Hybris Encompass? 

In this article I would like clarify what exactly Hybris includes. The challenge is, moment we think Hybris, we think commerce or Omni channel, which is not true anymore. It’s what follows Hybris term that matters rather than Hybris itself. For example when we say Hybris Marketing, it’s a totally different product. It’s NOT part of Hybris Commerce suite. When we say Hybris Cloud for Customer, it is SAP on demand cloud based CRM. Not part of Hybris Commerce suite.  

Think of Hybris as an umbrella or suite of products NOT one product with suite of modules like ERP. It’s very unique and unprecedented approach for SAP. Going back to my initial comments in this article, SAP ERP is one product and it includes everything (SD, MM, PP, PM, QM, FI, CO, etc.). Hybris is a product family to cover all the SAP products to manage end to end customer experience.

The SAP Hybris Product Family includes Product for Commerce, Silling, Sales, Service, and Marketing

The above figure shows SAP Hybris Product family includes distinct products namely Hybris Commerce, Hybris Billing, Hybris Cloud for Customer (for Sales and Service) and Hybris Marketing. Of course you can integrate these products with other SAP Solutions like ERP and CRM to achieve end-to-end Omni channel anywhere, anytime customer engagement and experience, in reality these are different products under Hybris product family. Please note that though figure shows 5 products under Hybris family, essentially there are only 4 products as of now. The products for sales and service are part of Hybris Cloud for Customer (C4C) which was earlier known as Cloud for Customer or C4C. I don’t want to details the capabilities of each of these products in this article, but let me at least give you overview of these offerings in context so that you are able to identify the key differences between these Hybris solutions:

Hybris Commerce

It offers comprehensive B2B and B2C commerce applications including Product Content Management (PCM), Order Management, Search and Merchandising. Hybris Commerce is a market leader in ecommerce and it offers anything and everything you need from an ecommerce application. Of course you may need to integrate your backend order management and fulfilment system to seamlessly achieve end-to-end Omni channel process.

Hybris Billing

This is one of the most cutting edge and comprehensive billing solutions available in market. It helps in monetizing your products and services using subscription and usage based billing in real time. It offers Subscription Management and Pricing Agility, Billing and Revenue Management, Usage Mediation and Service Control.

Hybris Cloud for Customer (C4C)

This is nothing but SAP CRM Cloud solution and potential replacement for on-premise SAP CRM. It comprises of Sales and Service Solutions. SAP comes with quarterly releases to add new functionality to C4C. Consider C4C as an evolving but promising product. C4C Sales Solution offers Sales Force Automation and Sales Performance Management Solution. C4C Service Solution includes Self Service (both customers and employees), Contact Center and Field Service.  SAP has finally come up with a cloud based CRM solution to give salesforce.com run for the money.

Hybris Marketing

Hybris Marketing solution addresses some of the serious gaps in on-premise SAP CRM Marketing solution. It enables real-time contextual marketing and helps you understand real-time customer intents and deliver unique customer experiences. Hybris maintains customer profiles. Dynamically enhancing their profiles with additional attributes based on data gathered through various channels customer interact with. It helps you understand, define and make in point offerings to the customers. Traditional CRM Marketing campaigns are based on historical customer attributes and are not very effective in leveraging real-time marketing. SAP Hybris Marketing definitely offers the most cutting edge solution to marketers. This way they can deliver personalized experiences to their ever changing customer needs.  

Before I end this article, I want to clarify that the distinction of these Hybris products may be diminishing in the future. SAP may be planning to bring Hybris Commerce, Billing, C4C and Marketing all together on one platform, but till then they are separate products under Hybris product family.

I hope I’ve been able to educate you at high level on what exactly Hybris product family is made of. Next time you hear the term Hybris, you should be better able to connect the dots. This way you can communicate with your peers, customers and vendors. Appreciate if you can bless this post with your valuable comments. 

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