Transform Your Supply Chain Planning and Marketing Strategies with Google Cloud and SAP Integration
September 27, 2023 | Tarun Kumar
Blog / Planning in a Box: The Unified Data Platform Solution for SAP and Salesforce Integration
Businesses today are on a relentless quest for insights. They’re looking to predict market trends before they shape, understand what ticks their customers, streamline their inventory, and keep their financial flows optimized. However, the real challenge often isn’t understanding what needs to be done, but accessing the necessary insights to do it. The data that can guide these decisions often lie scattered—tucked in CRM systems, buried deep within ERP solutions, or spread across diverse analytics platforms. More often than not, by the time these insights are collated, they are outdated, leading to lost opportunities.
|Questions Decision Makers Are Asking||Where the Answer Resides||Avg Time to Retrieve|
|What is our current inventory level for Product X?||ERP||2 hours|
|Which customers are most likely to churn next month?||CRM + ERP||4 hours|
|What are the projected sales for the next quarter?||ERP + CRM||3 hours|
|How effective was our latest marketing campaign in Region Y?||CRM + External Datasets||6 hours|
|Are there any supply chain bottlenecks affecting product Z?||ERP + External Datasets||2.5 hours|
|How do customer reviews correlate with our sales trends?||CRM + ERP + External Datasets||7 hours|
|What’s the profit margin for our new product launch?||ERP + CRM||4.5 hours|
There’s a tangible cost associated with this delay. The inability to act promptly can lead to missed opportunities. Customers, used to instant gratification in the digital age, could shift loyalties, impacting revenues. The expenses, both direct and those emerging from missed opportunities, can be staggering.
Consider this example: Your Salesforce indicates a surge in interest for a particular product. Simultaneously, SAP flags that the same product’s inventory is running low, but these insights remain siloed in their respective systems.
As a result, the sales team continues to promote a product that the operations team struggles to restock, leading to customer dissatisfaction and lost sales opportunities.
Historically, bridging this gap has been challenging due to technical complexities in integrating the two platforms.
However, with Google Cloud’s Cortex Framework, there’s a solution. This framework facilitates the integration of SAP and Salesforce data into BigQuery, establishing a consolidated data model. This means that data from both platforms can be accessed in one place, allowing for comprehensive analytics.
By leveraging the combined insights from SAP’s operational data and Salesforce’s customer interactions, businesses can react more quickly to market shifts, ensuring that product availability aligns with demand, and, ultimately, driving more informed and efficient decision-making across the board.
Planning in a Box stands as the solution that seamlessly integrates SAP and Salesforce. By functioning as a centralized data platform, it pulls operational data from SAP and customer insights from Salesforce, offering businesses a unified view of their ecosystem.
Here’s a common scenario: A business wants to strategize for an upcoming sales season. Key data lies in different places – Salesforce holds sales predictions, SAP has current inventory numbers, and Oracle EBS offers historical sales figures.
To navigate this, a business analyst uses Planning in a Box to ask, “Given our sales forecasts, how does our current inventory match up for the next sales season?” Using Generative AI, Planning in a Box consolidates data from these systems, providing a clear answer on inventory adjustments required.
Planning in a Box can handle such scenarios with ease. Users can simply type in questions and receive contextual answers. Examples include:
Planning in a Box is a data platform built on the Google Cloud Platform. It can unify multiple datasets from systems like Oracle EBS, SAP, Salesforce, Netsuite, and others into one common platform. Delving deeper into its capabilities:
With these components working in tandem, Planning in a Box provides a comprehensive solution to the age-old challenge of data silos, offering businesses a clear path toward insight-driven decision-making.
Example: A business identifies a trend where a certain product’s interest is spiking on Salesforce. Planning in a Box pulls real-time inventory data from SAP, enabling the business to foresee potential stock shortages and adjust procurement processes accordingly.
Example: An e-commerce company wants to offer personalized discounts. By integrating Salesforce data on individual customer purchase behaviors with SAP’s financial records, Planning in a Box can suggest optimal discount rates that maximize customer engagement without compromising profitability.
Example: A global enterprise wants to reward its best-performing products and regions. By blending sales data from Salesforce with cost and profitability figures from SAP, Planning in a Box can highlight which products in which regions are the true stars, ensuring that resources and rewards are allocated effectively.
Example: A customer raises an issue about a delayed order. Instead of flipping between systems, a service rep using Planning in a Box can immediately access the order’s status in SAP and the customer’s communication history in Salesforce, enabling quicker resolutions and enhancing customer satisfaction.
Example: A marketing team is planning its next big campaign. By analyzing previous campaign data from Salesforce, and comparing it with actual sales and revenue figures from SAP, Planning in a Box can provide insights on which campaign elements worked best and where improvements are needed.
If you are considering a data platform, join our workshop to explore tailor-made use cases for your business. With our approach, you can expect a pilot tailored to your needs in 4 weeks or less.