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For the last couple of months, I have been curious about Vlocity CPQ offering. I have worked on a Vlocity project before but not on Vlocity CPQ.

So, I started the Vlocity CPQ essentials course to find out how it matches up with Salesforce CPQ.

In this blog, I will try and present a contrast between Vlocity and Salesforce CPQ. This will get completed in the 2parts.  

Initial Impression – I started off by assuming that Vlocity CPQ will be a child product of Salesforce CPQ and pretty much derived from it.  This is incorrect because it comes across as a new product although built on top of Salesforce. It does not borrow from Salesforce CPQ. We will figure this out in more detail in this blog.

This article is also written with the purpose of answering Clients’ questions of Why Vlocity CPQ over Salesforce CPQ?

Differences between Vlocity and Salesforce CPQ

  • Vlocity CPQ is a cloud-based Quote and order capture System built for the communications industry. For example, Vlocity CPQ can be used by carriers like T-Mobile, ATT&T. It takes care of Lead to Order scenarios like registering an inquiry as a lead, going through the opportunity, quote, order, and contract process, and post-sales asset-based ordering. In its current avatar it can only be used in the communications industry however I see that this solution can get applicable to many other industries with major modifications.  

In the contrast, Salesforce CPQ is a generic full-blown CPQ application that can be used and customized for any industry. Salesforce CPQ sits on the Salesforce Platform and comes with its core custom objects like Quotes.

  • Vlocity CPQ uses Salesforce standard objects like Opportunity, Quote, Order, and Asset while Salesforce CPQ comes with its own custom Quote object. This is just a design perspective. It does not indicate a rating of one over other as both have quite different use cases.
  • Vlocity CPQ comes with a prebuilt process flow to perform a customer credit check and product availability checks in the quote to order cycle. In Salesforce CPQ, the same functionality can be built by using the best practices provided by Salesforce Integration Patterns and scenarios. I am assuming that Vlocity is using its REST-based integration procedures for its pre-built process flows. 
  • Vlocity quote and order capture process are very tightly integrated. Vlocity uses EPC (Enterprise Product Catalogue) and Vlocity Cart along with Vlocity CLM for the creation of quotes and capturing the order. With Salesforce CPQ the Quote creation process is separated from the Order creation and capture process. Again, this is because they both serve different purposes. In Salesforce CPQ, a quote caters to many industries and is a separate process by itself. The quote can be used separately in both applications, but it is more integrated and comes under common Vlocity Cart UI in Vlocity CPQ. This is by design because it caters to the communications industry.

Vlocity Cart is a Shopping Cart UI integrated with Vlocity communications and is built on the Vlocity cards framework. Vlocity cart integrates the quote and the order capture process. Vlocity cart is like the UI of the order entry screen of carriers like AT&T, T Mobile, and others. It reminded me of my in-store experience with T-Mobile. Vlocity cart is customizable

  • Vlocity CPQ comes with a component-based Pricing system like charges, discounts, adjustments, and penalties. Again, the pricing functionality here is quite different from Salesforce CPQ as it caters to the communication industry. Salesforce CPQ has a very extensive and generic pricing ability with standard pricing types like List Price, Block prices, Cost + Mark up the price, Subscription pricing with the system, additional, partner, and distributor discounts with a full developed pricing waterfall.

Both applications have rules for Product and Price configuration. Salesforce CPQ offers many base pricing methods and discounts, and rules are used on top of them while in Vlocity CPQ a different pricing method will have to achieved by rules. More on this in the next blog.

  • Vlocity CPQ uses its Omniscript technology for Guided selling and CPQ. Salesforce CPQ also uses its quote process record for guided selling. I would like to add here that Guided selling cannot be achieved through an out of the box framework for Salesforce orders while via omniscripts it can be extended to Vlocity CPQ orders also.
  • Vlocity CPQ uses an EPC (Enterprise Product Catalogue) for its product modeling. Again, EPC is a very communication-centric product modeling tool that can be further extended to other industries as well. EPC uses a communications-based Product, Service, Resource (PSR) model wherein it categorizes a product as products, services, and resources. A product could be an iPhone 11, a future product could be an iPhone 12, a service could be data service or broadband internet service, a resource could be a cable network or equipment which supports the service and product.

    Additionally, Vlocity CPQ has a product lifecycle which captures the selling start and end date of the product, end of support date, and retired date along with future product dates which are accordingly handled in the cart and selling process I believe this is a very interesting feature which can be used across industries. Vlocity offers product bundling, usage-based products along with product configuration rules.

Salesforce CPQ offers a full-fledged and generic product model that can be used across industries. Salesforce CPQ has product types like Product Bundles with options and constraints, Multi-dimensional products (MDQ), Subscription and Usage-based products along with very robust product rules like Alert rules, filter selection, and product actions.

The idea is to bring out a contrast between the two offerings and not necessarily do a scorecard as it is not an Apple to Apple comparison. They are different products and should be viewed accordingly. This is my conclusion. I will come up with another blog comparing the pricing and rules framework for both applications.

I hope you like the above blog and your likes, shares and comments will keep me motivated.