If you’ve been following this series, you know that Mark Bartlett, Chief Experience Officer at FPX, was recently interviewed by Frank Sohn, President and CEO of Novus CPQ Consulting Inc. for Sohn’s CPQ Podcast.
In the first part of the podcast, we learned what a Chief Experience Officer does and why it’s important to listen to the customer. In part two, we heard how customers can prepare for CPQ projects and what’s in store for the future of CPQ.
In this installment, Mark shares how FPX is partnering with SAP, how FPX leverages its 30-year history, and what differentiates FPX CPQ from the competition.
Especially with your partnerships like the one you have with SAP, is there anything interesting product-wise that might be happening in the near future?
We’re continuing to attach ourselves to enhance and extend front-office capabilities. Our first core integrations at SAP were to ECC and leveraging variant configuration, but we saw an opportunity in Hybris’ customer engagement and commerce group, specifically the Hybris commerce stack and their cloud for customers stack.
This allowed us to move the experience of CPQ further out into the front office, and that’s been something we continue to invest in. We’re pursuing more integrations with front office experiences, not only on the commerce stacks but also on the content management and experience management stacks.
FPX has been around for quite a while, are there any common myths about FPX that you’re still running into?
One can see a 30-year history as something that’s difficult to change or more traditional. The responsibility of those of us who are newer to the organization is to communicate how FPX is changing. First, we have to be proud of that tradition. FPX started in the 80’s helping farmers in America’s heartland create complex configurations of international Harvester and John Deere tractors on the Iowa and Minnesota border. There’s a lot of experience and learning that comes from solving problems for an essential set of end users and customers like that.
From the earliest days, our technology and solution have been developed as platform agnostic. It’s really our modern construction and architecture that can leverage this history as expertise and depth of experience. Our history isn’t a burden, it’s an asset. And it’s what has allowed us to be one of the early pioneers in CPQ. We’ve been there, done that, and seen a myriad set of business problems and solutions. We’ve taken that experience into our modular platform so that we’re also relevant to the emerging technologies of tomorrow.
What do you think makes your product better or different than your competitors?
One of the things that gives us an advantage is our open, modular, web-service based architecture. The power of our core engine can be deployed into whichever ecosystem, environment, touch point or experience that we want to create for our end users. We have our productized integrations in the leading CRM platforms—we were one of the first to have an application on the SalesForce App Exchange almost 14 years ago—but we’re not dependent on those other stacks or solutions to deliver our solution.
If we want to take modular architecture out into the front office, connect to an experience management technology, and provide early product configurations, pricing reference, and guidance in that self service, early-discovery part of the customer journey, our technology enables us to do that. We don’t have to be deployed into Salesforce or another CRM environment in order to run our solution, we can deliver that experience at other touchpoints, in other ecosystems, etc. That platform agnosticity is something we’re very proud of, and it allows our customers to be flexible.
Want to hear the podcast for yourself? You can listen to the entire interview here. We hope you’ve enjoyed this series!