George Anderson


B2B Replatforming: The Pain Is Real

Now way around it—switching your SAP ecommerce platform is incredibly hard. You’ve invested in a system and you’d like to keep the status quo if you can. Your existing platform has worked for years, and chances are, it still fulfills most of your needs.

Why switch? Why go through the pain of replatforming?

Here’s another way to think of it. Say you have a 20-year-old car. What will it take for you to get over the hump and buy a new one? How do you know it’s time?

At Corevist, we believe there are two thresholds you’ll have to overcome to make the decision to reinvest in anything—whether it’s a new car or a new SAP ecommerce solution. We call these the Pain Threshold and the Excitement Threshold. Here’s how they play out in real life.

The Pain Threshold (it’s holding you back)

Let’s talk about pain.

It hurts to let go of a depreciated asset. You spent all that money on it, and it feels like you should get something in return. In the case of your old car, you might get a little trade-in value for it. If you kept it in pristine condition, you might even be able to sell it privately for Blue Book value.

Can you trade in your old SAP ecommerce solution?

Not quite.

That’s the pain of replatforming. You’re scrapping a large investment. The question is, when does the pain of maintaining your old solution become greater than the pain of ditching it? That’s what we call the Pain Threshold. Here’s how to tell if you’ve crossed it—or if you’re about to do so.

Recognizing your Pain Threshold

As a car ages, the maintenance market for that model goes through gradual changes. All of these changes affect the cost and ease of maintaining the car. As each of these factors adds greater friction to owning the car, you get closer to crossing the Pain Threshold.

Here are the factors that contribute to the Pain Threshold:

  • Name brand parts get harder to find.
  • Aftermarket parts don’t have the quality of parts from the original equipment manufacturer, and they have to be replaced frequently.
  • Mechanics shift their specialization to newer cars.
  • Specialized mechanics can charge a premium because of market scarcity.

Notice how none of these factors is catastrophic. No single factor is quite painful enough for you to ditch the car. BUT—and here’s the critical point—taken together, these factors may cause you to realize you can’t justify keeping the car.

From talking to clients and prospects, we’ve come to realize the SAP ecommerce market has its own set of pain factors, just like the car market does. Here’s what those factors look like for B2B IT decision-makers:

  • The ecommerce solution is no longer supported by the software vendor. (Think WCEM, Amazon Stores, SAP Internet Sales, etc.)
  • The security of the ecommerce solution no longer meets current threat levels.
  • The ecommerce solution isn’t mobile-friendly, and the vendor has no plans to address mobile readiness.
  • With solution support discontinued, third-party support firms can charge a premium because of market scarcity.

Like with your old car, the collective friction of these factors can threaten the viability of your old SAP ecommerce solution.

Have you crossed the Pain Threshold with your old SAP ecommerce solution? Every business is different, so you’ll have to evaluate this question for yourself.  But consider the four factors above. If any of them resonate with you, it may be time to evaluate a new solution.

All right, enough negativity. Let’s shift gears and talk about the Excitement Threshold. It has power to reorient your entire perspective.

The Excitement Threshold (it can change everything)

Sometimes, as buyers, we don’t know what we want until we see it. In the case of your old car, you’re aware of the gadgets and features of newer cars, but you’ve made your peace with your old machine—because it works, and because it’s the one you’ve got.

In other words, you’re making compromises. You’re adding oil once a week, you’re living without AC in the summer, and you really need to get those brakes checked—again.

If that’s your approach to SAP ecommerce, you may be making a lot of compromises just to avoid the pain of replatforming. Some of those compromises are just annoying, but others are actually dangerous.

Excitement happens when you realize you’ve been making unnecessary compromises. We’ll talk about the Excitement Threshold in a moment, but first, here are some specific compromises we’ve seen in the SAP ecommerce world.

Compromises in SAP ecommerce

Here are some basic SAP ecommerce compromises that many B2B companies live with:

  • Ecommerce customers can’t see accurate data for inventory, pricing, credit limits, and more because your solution doesn’t interface with SAP in real time.
  • Customer Service is constantly fixing order errors that arise from the lack of a real-time integration to SAP.
  • Your customers complain about your ecommerce store because it makes their lives harder, not easier.
  • You can’t get bug fixes anymore because the software vendor has stopped supporting the product.

Chances are, you’ve made compromises in maintaining your existing SAP ecommerce solution. If you aren’t aware of what’s available in SAP ecommerce now, you won’t pass the Excitement Threshold, and you’ll have no reason to question your compromises.

You may be surprised to learn just how far the market has come since you first launched ecommerce. Once you learn what’s possible in SAP ecommerce today, you just might pass the Excitement Threshold.

Get ready to pass the Excitement Threshold

If our experience with our clients is any indication, these sorts of things help B2B decision makers to pass the Excitement Threshold.

Hint: Corevist Commerce offers all of these features and benefits.

  • An SAP ecommerce solution that shows accurate data for inventory, pricing, credit limits, and more—because it interfaces with your live SAP data in real time.
  • An SAP ecommerce solution that only posts 100% error-free orders to SAP—because it queries SAP in real time and returns error messages to the user.
  • A customer-first SAP ecommerce solution that simplifies your customers’ lives and makes you easier to do business with.
  • A cloud-hosted SAP ecommerce solution that’s always up-to-date, always secure, and guarantees a 99.9% up time.
  • An Agile project methodology that uses feedback from your customers to tailor the ecommerce solution to their exact needs.

The Decision (it doesn’t have to be hard)

Are you about to pass both thresholds?

Is the pain of maintaining your old solution greater than the pain of launching a new one that meets your current needs?

Is the new solution so exciting, you’re already dreaming of what you’ll do with it?

As you move through the decision-making process, try to see with new eyes. Be realistic about what your existing solution offers. Take an objective view of your real business needs and real friction points. Ultimately, you should put the customer first. That means evaluating your existing solution and your potential new solution through the customer’s eyes. Put the customer first, and everything else will follow.

Moving forward: Case study

What does replatforming look like in real life? Just ask LORD Corporation. The company knew they had to move off of an on-premise SAP Internet Sales application onto a scalable, flexible solution. Read the case study below too learn why LORD chose Corevist.

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