Smart3D Episode #21 — Challenging the Big Three in CPQ

These are changing times, everything is possible… so why not challenging some really big guys…

Poor little SimpleCom, surrounded by the Big Three, and in big danger…

Everyone knows Africa’s Big Five; the (ERP/)CPQ’s Big Three are SAP, Oracle and Microsoft with their corresponding products like LO-VC/IPC, CPQ Cloud, Dynamics, etc. — which BTW are really heavy tanks! They kinda dominate the CPQ market, with SAP as market leader (rule of thumb: SAP = Oracle + MS)… But, that could be over, sooner or later, because…. here come’s a new challenger: SimpleCom!

SimpleCom is a word composed of Simple and Com[mercial] — standing for a simple approach to describe commercial data; by definition, the absolute minimum of product data needed to simulate a backlink to real ERP data, from whatever is created on the visual side. Here we talk about 3D/AR/VR… so SimpleCom is simply some way to enable the creation of 3D content.

Basically, SimpleCom focusses on the atomic static entities like product codes and texts, characteristics and their values, but completely ignores the dynamic relations between them. Dynamic relations control all kind of dependencies between characteristics and their values, e.g. visibility/availablity of values depending on some other things. And the Big Three provide a whole bunch of weapons to implement this: constraints, decision table, pre/post conditions, user actions, etc.

As we’ve learned Episode #12, our story is not to re-invent CPQ but connect to the existing (or upcoming) CPQ micro services, no matter if from the Big Three or any other company, and add 3D as an incremental service to them. But why then SimpleCom? Who needs such as primitive, rudimentary thing of CPQ that, honestly, shouldn’t even named so?

Well, there’re quite a few use cases where this does make sense:

  • Maybe, your industry partner cannot provide the commercial data right in time but you have to start with 3D anyway.
  • You’re creating a demo/mockup and later on, the connection to the CPQ system will be implemented then.
  • You’re implementing a simple solution that does not require any dynamic knowledge, i.e. all combinations of characteristics are fully available.
  • In a specific integration scenario, this could be used for a communication layer from commercial back end to 3D.

Maybe, there’re a few more use cases but this is what we already use.

In our cloud-based data creation tool IG.Creator, we even provide some basic functionality for creation and mangement of SimpleCom data, although IG.Creator is not and will not become a tool for creation of full-featured commercial data.

So, you now know all and everything about poor little SimpleCom (not to confuse with Simplygon-a mesh reducer aquired by Microsoft)! Let’s see how the Big Three will react on this challenge and who will win at the end of the day…