Interview with Dr. Christian Cuske, CEO of In Mind Cloud
Last week we were looking at the advantages of using a Cloud CPQ and CRM for manufacturing businesses. Indeed, cost-effectiveness, scalability, enhanced collaboration and a more efficient way of processing the company’s data are some of the main advantages of a cloud solution, that we highlighted.
Today we will take a closer look at SAP’s Platform-as-a-Service, the SAP Cloud Platform (SAP CP) and interview Dr. Christian Cuske, In Mind Cloud’s co-founder and CEO, to give us more insights.
Question: What were the main reasons that lead you to choose SAP technology when you launched the In Mind Cloud adventure?
When you look at companies in manufacturing industries, you can clearly see that a major percentage of them are SAP customers with at least their backend being SAP ERP. We were aiming to build a Manufacturing CRM and Configure Price Quote solution specialized for this industry with a deep integration into manufacturing processes. Wanting to build software with a true value for this industry, we knew that only an underlying SAP platform could serve our purpose. Other factors, like the SAP Cloud Platform’s global availability with data centres around the world and its high standards in terms of security and reliability, affirmed our decision.
Question: What would you say – from a developer’s as well as from a customer standpoint – are the advantages of the SAP Cloud Platform?
When choosing a technology platform, the speed to value and innovation is a critical factor. We quickly realized that the SAP Cloud Platform is the right choice to build cloud enterprise applications in a relatively short time. Keeping the business case of our customers in mind, we needed a platform empowering us to seamlessly integrate into SAP ERP and SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer. Our customers are benefiting from these capabilities and enjoy near-zero latency thanks to the SAP in-memory database. On top of that, we developed a unique set of industry specific features, which could not have been built with traditional database technologies. What makes the end users happy are the ease of use and a seamless experience when navigating from their SAP CRM to our CPQ, facilitated via single-sign-on.
As one of the first partners developing on the SAP Cloud Platform, we also got great support from their team and entered a partnership where both sides benefitted from the learning process. So to say, we are quite happy with our decision.
Question: With the latest 1704 Release, In Mind Cloud focuses on bringing a clear competitive advantage to the manufacturing industry. Please explain how using the SAP Cloud Platform has enabled these enhancements.
In Manufacturing industries, sales processes take a few complex turns. For example, it becomes necessary to extract costing information from SAP ERP and use it within the Configure-Price-Quote process to produce accurate quotes in a timely manner. Additionally, after quotes are won, data like costs and make-to-order assemblies or services need to be transferred back from the CPQ to SAP ERP to facilitate production planning. Thanks to the SAP Cloud Platform, we could build this deep level of integration and pair it with the capabilities of our Internal Calculation Engine to bring the maximum benefit to our customers.
Question: SAP recently launched Leonardo – the digital innovation system to accelerate digital transformation with the SAP Cloud Platform as the foundation. How do partner applications like In Mind Cloud’s CPQ for Manufacturing fit into this strategy?
Looking at Industry 4.0 emerging in 2011, we knew our customers in manufacturing are going to move towards strong customization of products under the conditions of highly flexibilized mass production. This trend does not only influence technological innovations on the production floor but also has to be facilitated on the sales side. Digital Transformation for manufacturing businesses can take up speed when a cloud solution like ours delivers value fast, at low costs. This enables manufacturing companies to improve on their revenue, whilst focusing on their core business. Having built our solution on the SAP Cloud Platform, we are able to deliver on that promise and help companies to turn their large amount of data into a value-creating asset.
Question: SAP and In Mind Cloud have built a successful partnership, as one could see at the recent SAP Global Partner Summit and SAPPHIRE NOW. What are the main benefits of this collaboration for the customers and what can be expected in the future?
SAP helps businesses to succeed in their digital transformation and we share this commitment. To lay out what is to be expected from In Mind Cloud, we have included our roadmap within the Extensibility Roadmap of the SAP Cloud Platform. Over the years, we have built this strategic partnership with SAP, that we are proud of. Our solutions are certified by SAP, which confirms technical and syntactical consistency of the applications in accordance with SAP’s high standards. Customers can also expect an accelerated and pre-tested implementation and integration within the SAP environment, which is a major decision driver for IT departments. Another pro for SME customers is that you can now buy our CPQ for manufacturing via the SAP App Center.
We will continue to innovate for our customers in manufacturing industries, counting on SAP technology and are looking forward to our continued partnership with SAP!