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2022-10-19 5:00 pm
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How to Switch From SAP Promotions (Hybris) to an External Promotion Engine?
Julia Gaj
Julia Gaj
April 26, 2022
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How to Switch From SAP Promotions (Hybris) to an External Promotion Engine?

The disruption of the enterprise architecture is now a fact. Digital teams can no longer afford to work with a single system to cover all of their needs. Considering rapidly evolving customer expectations, new touchpoints, and a growing appetite for innovation, a modular architecture based on micro-services powered by API is now becoming table stakes.

Typically retailers and brands experience large, risky and costly monolithic re-platforming exercises every 3-5 years - this is a macro level investment. It may not be apparent at the initial point of investment but change is constant within your business and externally in the market. – Adam Sturrock, Ampliance.

More and more enterprises come to find themselves in dire straits – striving to work in an agile way but operating on a huge system where even minor changes take weeks before they come to pass. The single platform mindset started to be even more troublesome when the pandemic came around, forcing businesses to pivot quickly and teams to work remotely. Single system policy hindered businesses from pursuing innovation, teams from becoming agile, and technology from being scalable and open to experimentation. 

In this short article, I wish to explore why businesses are making a switch towards modular architecture and how this change affects the promotion experience for customers. To highlight the difference between single-system and modular architecture for promotions, I will compare the pros and cons of a SAP Promotion Engine and Voucherify

What is a SAP Promotion Engine?

SAP is a Germany-based IT giant that devises solutions for top market players. In other words, it is advanced, multi-module IT system (ERP) used to optimize different processes taking place within an enterprise organization. The SAP platform includes a lot of various applications (SAP HR and payroll, accounting, marketing, and plenty more). Each of them deals with a slightly different area of ​​operations, which inevitably translates into a different interface, flows, benefits and pitfalls.

As a part of their offering, SAP provides a Promotion Engine to allow businesses to generate, run, and manage digital offers operated by their custom Rule Engine. The SAP promotion software acts as an extension to SAP Commerce services. 

What kind of promotions are offered by SAP Promotion Engine?

SAP Promotion Engine focuses on standard promotion use cases, such as cart-, order-, or customer-based discounts and promotions. This way, SAP users can build promotions that target whole carts, selected products, or specific users, which covers most of the basic promotion use cases. Customization is possible, but requires more development work. 

SAP Promotion module also offers ready campaign templates, campaign-level restrictions, promotions messaging, and simple timed promotions as an additional module. 

What is Voucherify?

Voucherify is an API-powered Promotion Engine used by over 300 enterprises to generate, run, and manage discount promotions, gift cards, referral, and loyalty programs. Voucherify offers a single technology for running all types of promotional campaigns so that you don’t have to unnecessarily extend your already bloated stack with more and more single-issue software that your team has to integrate, learn and manage. 

Voucherify API data model

Unlike SAP Promotion Engine, Voucherify is not a ready-to-go library of promotional use cases with heavily limited customizability. Instead, Voucherify lets clients quickly add custom data to build specific promotion flows and rules on top of them. This way you can extend and personalize campaigns infinitely. The idea of promotions-as-a-service is slowly blossoming among decision-makers in all business verticals. After all, you don’t code your CRM platform, email system, or support service from scratch.

Why should you replace SAP with an external Promotion Engine?

SAP is a monolithic system that powers plenty of enterprises and governments. By nature, SAP platform has to be slow to evolve as any risk of changes can break the system. What I am getting at is that a software that can run everyone’s business is going to be insufficient in one way or another. Add to that notoriously bad user experience, business stagnation, and million-dollar contracts and SAP solutions stop being perceived as the go-to market solution to future-proof your organization. In the context of promotions, SAP solutions may not be enough for a drastically evolving digital landscape that requires flexibility. New customer touchpoints, deep personalization and smart targeting are difficult business goals to achieve, especially with a bloated legacy system holding you back.

Another key point to factor in is that SAP announced that it will end support and maintenance of its current ERP system at the end of 2025. This change would force businesses to once again negotiate contracts which will take time and resources. But, this also gives your organization a unique opportunity to make a switch to a more modular, scalable promotion infrastructure. 

Benefits of moving to an external promotion provider from SAP

If your organization is currently at this phase, you can consider replacing legacy SAP system with a more agile external promotion solution, such as Voucherify. Thanks to our API-first approach, you can choose which building blocks to use and quickly integrate any third-party apps to automate and simplify even complex workflows. We made Voucherify hyper developer-friendly so that you can plug us into your stack in hours, cutting development time by weeks, if not months. Here are some potential benefits that your organization should experience after switching from SAP to an external headless Promotion Engine:

  • Quicker time-to-market – headless architecture allows enterprises to adapt functionality of the platform to their unique business needs. With API-powered system connectors, headless Promotion Engines are quick to integrate and easy to manage once integrated. 
  • Flexibility – with the system split between several specialized micro-services, updates and system changes are much easier to perform as a simple frontend change won’t affect any other part of the system. Also, any campaign changes can be introduced from a user-friendly interface, with no IT involvement. 
  • Influence on the product – usually external Promotion Engines are SaaS companies that can quickly adapt their roadmap to client’s needs. Given SAP scale and client portfolio, it is unlikely that any big update will be introduced at your individual request, which leaves you with a huge system that you have virtually no control over. For instance, here you can see our open roadmap and let us know which features you would like to see implemented in Voucherify. 

What is holding companies back from leaving SAP Promotion Engine?

Continuity is an import factor in any organization’s success. Most businesses consider any disruption a potential threat to customer experience and revenue. As proved by MACH Alliance’s research, the biggest roadblock to update the legacy system to a more flexible modular built stems from resistance to change and lack of understanding of potential benefits.

MACH Alliance Enterprise research

Here is how Voucherify can help you continue running legacy promotions without ever hitting the breaks on your campaigns:

  • Sandbox project and test data. 
  • Unlimited free trial and free plan to build a PoC without spending a dime. 
  • Easy import of multiple data objects, such as customer, product, and campaign data via API or CSV. 
  • Technical migration support.
  • Currency-agnostic API and flexible data model that allows users to operate on custom business data in any format.  

Go here to learn more about how Voucherify can support with migration from SAP Promotion Engine. 

Summary

Keep in mind that replacing a SAP Promotion Engine with an external solution would be an ongoing process that would need to engage some chunk of your development resources. 

However, by making a switch, you multiply your organization's potential for success in terms of quicker time-to-market, better customer-facing technologies, and overall, more room for strategy changes and offer optimization. 

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