In a recent conversation with my grandparents, they asked me about the company I work with – “what do they exactly do?” they asked. I attempted to explain what exactly CPQ software is. Of course, they had no clue what CPQ meant! Firstly I explained that CPQ stood for Configure, Price, and Quote and they understood the words independently but not how they all came together in a system to provide instant quotes. My grandmother then asked me a very fitting question “So why would a company want that, why do they fail?” In a moment of panic, I glanced across the room and saw a healthy house plant that I know has survived and flourished in my grandparent’s house for years and quickly realized; CPQ and house plants are quite alike! Much like a CPQ software, a house plant requires correct selection, appropriate nutrients, constant nurturing, and supportive owners. Here’s how I broke it down for my grandparents;
Selecting The Right Plant
When selecting the right house plant various considerations are made; What plant is most suited to the room? How much maintenance will the plant require? What pot and other necessities are needed for the plant to live and grow? If a plant is not suited to its environment, it’s very difficult to maintain and keep healthy. The selection of the right plant can be considered the most important element and its key to the long-life or quick death of a house plant; the same can be said for CPQ. A rushed selection of a CPQ software vendor without a detailed analysis and careful consideration of what system provider is best for your organization can lead to a quick death of a project. Some house plants are just better genetically than others; just like a newer CPQ system can keep up with the rates of change/climate differences.
If you’re putting the plant in a sunny area or a windy area, you might need a more sturdy house plant. When you’re a business you have certain conditions that you’re solving for. So the appropriate selection of your enterprise technologies is as important for it to be successful. For example, in CPQ there are organizations very focused on large-scale manufacturing, others on technology, high rates of change, or pricing paradigms. Some plants are very easy to nurture and maintain such as a CPQ system with a codeless approach that doesn’t require armies of software engineers to support it. servicePath is focused on heterogeneous solutions, combining physical (i.e hardware switches and racks ) virtual (i.e virtual machinery, software, and solution packages), and human products (i.e consulting hours, project management hours, developer hours) to create a solution
Selecting The Right Soil/Water
A house plant’s soil is vital to the health and longevity of the plant’s life; the wrong soil can lead to a quick death for a house plant. However, the right soil allows for a house plant to flourish and grow. Much like in a CPQ system the right resources and supporting team must be on board to guarantee the success of a system. Furthermore, appropriate integrations into different systems are pivotal for CPQ systems. Such as the ability to integrate with a CRM system to feed information, pricing feed, solution feed, and output to enablement systems. Metaphorically speaking the soil is the nurturing of a CPQ software and the information that’s also sent seamlessly out of a CPQ system to keep it healthy. For a CPQ system, the soil is the constant flow of information to the system that metaphorically feeds it. Too much water can kill a house plant, much like too much customization, information, and data can metaphorically kill a CPQ project. The scale of a project must be appropriate as if it’s too big or too complex to change, it’s extremely difficult to keep the system alive.
Care And Maintenance; Water And Fertilizer
You guarantee the plant has the right amount of water, sun and remove dead leaves accordingly. It’s equally as important to make sure within a CPQ system you have a team that’s constantly focused on the continued success and wellness of the solution. CPQ systems need to be constantly kept up to date with the latest information and solutions in order to be most effective and healthy. Much like if you leave a house plant unattended for too long you can cause permanent damage and force an early death, the support of executive teams in regard to constant maintenance is essential to ensure your CPQ project isn’t left to starve and die.
Through the use of this analogy, my grandparents were able to understand why CPQ systems can be so beneficial and also the challenges and care that has to be taken when a CPQ system is in operation. However, my grandmother turned to me and said “I think I’ll stick to house plants” and the conversation ended there. However, the conversation doesn’t have to end…servicePath is on a mission to eliminate the use of spreadsheets and poorly implemented CPQ software for configuring solutions at technology companies. Companies that are serious about accelerated growth choose servicePath’s cloud-based Configure Price Quote (CPQ) software. The platform smoothly handles complex pricing models, multi-step approval processes, and complex technology + service configurations. servicePath clients have shortened proposal times by as much as 90% and reduced their financial risk by millions. The company serves clients in the US, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East. Frictionless sales start with servicePath.