When experts model by themselves - from IT bottleneck to agile modeling team
The IT of any company covers a broad spectrum of tasks. This includes learning about the newest technical possibilities and tools, setting up and installing new workstations, IT services for solving everyday IT problems of employees, and the introduction of new software systems.
Especially the introduction of new software requires a few weeks or even months of effort and expenses. Additionally, IT departments often fall victim to the well-known shortage of specialists.
We have taken a closer look at the topic with regard to the modeling of sets of rules in CPQ software and are asking Lukas Schweizer, Account Manager at CAS Merlin, how companies can prevent the IT bottleneck and become modeling professional themselves.
1. What are the typical tasks the IT of a company has to carry out during the introduction of a CPQ product?
"Obviously, the typical tasks of the company IT department vary widely depending on the industry and organizational structure. In general, there are the usual topics, such as providing systems, installing them, or performing administration tasks. However, the strategic advancement of IT landscapes is also gaining importance in the age of Cloud models.
We can see that many of our customers think the IT needs to model the set of rules at the start of a project. Actually, this is a fallacy as the modelers do not need an IT background. What matters more is product expertise. Thus, the IT department can focus on the essential strategic and administrative aspects."
2. What's your approach, and what do you recommend companies do to optimize their modeling process?
"Modeling the sets of rules is a major topic. If you shove it into the IT department, the many different tasks can result in delays which unnecessarily prolong the project. I definitely see the potential in the creation of a modeling team that's independent of the IT department. For example, the team could consist of experts, such as product managers, members of the technical sales departments, or other professional experts. It's important that this modeling group is equipped with an excellent overview of the product landscape. Here, we're betting on the product expertise of the customer.
With an independent modeling team, modeling processes become more agile and are more transparent and better structured from the start.
With most of our customers, we have already had great experiences using this approach. Especially at the start of the CPQ project, the processes are much more agile, the knowledge is well-structured from the start, and changes can be updated without delays. Additionally, we offer a broad spectrum of services to our customers. Not all of our customers want to take on the modeling process and its accompanying tasks in their entirety. For example, we offer modeling support or take on modeling tasks. That's what our modeling experts are for. "
3. How can I ensure that the modeling team experts create a successful and transparent product landscape?
"To be able to model the professional structure of the product landscape in the CPQ system, you need an intuitive and self-explanatory solution. We rely on appealing graphical elements which you use to steadily construct a transparent set of rules using drag and drop functions. Additionally, it would be helpful if the modeling team wouldn't need additional programming skills. This saves time and reduces the threshold for employees to engage with the new system."
We thank Lukas Schweizer for the helpful insights and hope you could pick up one or two useful tips along the way. Feel free to click through our small image gallery and take a closer look at the intuitive M.Model interface.
Your benefits with M.Model
- New product rules are directly created
- Avoid long training periods
- No programming skills required
- Create an integrated knowledge database
- Prevent redundancies using inheritance functions
- Manage the entire product knowledge at one central location