Article published previously on Wapice's Summium -product's blog.
According to one estimate, the global CPQ market continues to grow even about 25 % annually. This inevitably reshapes the market as far as features of CPQ tools and customer requirements are concerned. Here I have compiled some essential trends that can be identified in the market.
Ease of Purchasing
Companies strive to make purchasing as easy as possible for their customers. This is true for all products but particularly in the case of complex customizable products and services. In part this has expanded the use of CPQ tools to other industries in addition to traditional manufacturing industries. These include for instance High Tech, telecommunications and healthcare. Also dealership and consumer businesses are awaking which will increase the significance of self-service interface. All this implies to growing market and completely new user groups.
Necessity of Mobile Usage
Nowadays practically same features are expected of tablets than are of laptops. Salesmen are often on the go, and many use the tablet as their primary tool. Thus the mobile usage of CPQ tool is no longer considered as a competitive advantage but rather a necessity. Practically the tool is required to have a visual interface optimized especially for the tablet.
Easy of Deployment and Usage
As with mobile usage, the easier usage of the tool will play more important role in the future. Deployment is desired to be fast and usage easy, so that a new user can quickly internalize the new tool and use it smoothly without external support. The importance of visual features is increasing because customers often want to see 2D and 3D images that illustrate the configuration. Also the possibility for SaaS is starting to become an important alternative which will free customers from server maintenance responsibilities.
Significance of Flexibility and Integration Possibilities
Companies’ processes are getting closer to Assemble to Order, Stock Transport Order or Design to Order, so these processes must be supported by CPQ tools. This leads to the fact that the tools are expected to have more and more extensive integration possibilities to companies’ other information systems. Thus the overall flexibility of the tool is essential in order to fulfill the needs of companies’ different and complex processes. On the other hand, often these processes are improved alongside with the deployment of the CPQ tool. This in turn requires some flexibility on the part of the organization.
As CPQ tools are becoming more widespread, competition is intensified. Similarly the requirements towards CPQ suppliers are also increasing. Even though there are still fairly few CPQ suppliers worldwide, individual suppliers are expected to have aces in their sleeves with which they can differentiate themselves from competitors. But as always, Summium team is excited and ready for the challenge!