Enterprise software is moving to the cloud, and Configure Price Quote (CPQ) solutions are no different. Both large and small organizations pay a monthly fee in exchange for no longer needing to maintain on-premise infrastructure or worry about patching and software updates. Instead, they are guaranteed access to the latest version that is optimized and secure.
Moving CPQ to the cloud is a cost-efficient move, but only if the organization takes full advantage of product updates and new features as they are released. Instead of being content to pay their monthly license and leave it at that, organizations need to see ongoing value from their CPQ cloud software and plan effective rollouts of new features that users can adopt in their day to day operations.
Here are three tips to ensure you are getting the most ROI on every development sprint:
- Stay Engaged with Your Software Provider
Nearly every cloud provider has a team of success managers on staff whose sole job is to make sure you utilize every ounce of value from their cloud software. Take advantage of these resources. Make sure you visit the resource center often and download white papers, use cases, case studies and information on new features and the product roadmap. Be active in the user community—both sharing the knowledge you’ve gained and consuming the expertise of other users. And just generally keep in touch with your point of contact—checking in, staying active and participating in the feedback loop.
- Know the Software Release Cycles and Plan Accordingly
Every provider has a regular release cycle, and it’s in your best interest to learn it, know it and plan for it. Build your own release cycle that matches your provider’s, so you can test and rollout updates accordingly.
- Make Sure Each Update Moves the Needle for Users
Of course every provider needs to send out small updates to fix bugs and patch vulnerabilities—and these should be implemented on your end as quickly as possible. However, updates that include new features or functionality aren’t always critical and pushing these out as they are released can create unnecessary complexity and user confusion. It’s better to space them out—perhaps bundling several releases into one—and limit these major releases to once a quarter. This allows you to take your time to research new features, determine how they can be best integrated into existing processes, train users appropriately, test the software upgrade and then strategically implement the rollout in stages. Done right, this process should take four to six weeks—making it impractical to push updates as soon as they are issued.
CPQ solutions in the cloud provide economy of scale and allow organizations to focus on their core business. Taking advantage of existing resources, knowing your provider’s release cycle and building your own strategic implementation strategy ensures you are getting the most value out of your cloud software.
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Config Consultants is a systems implementer focused on creating Digital Transformations strategies. Our A5 methodology modernizes your lead to cash process and makes your supply chain lean by leveraging industry-leading packaged software, such as Salesforce, Oracle, Apttus, and Anaplan.
By Dave Farley, Vice President of CPQ at Config Consultants