Together with the need to upgrade the SAP Commerce Cloud platform, another significant business value opportunity was identified; the legacy portal was set up to only support one division. Huntsman would really benefit from another architectural approach and technical setup of SAP Commerce Cloud, allowing them to avoid significant extra development effort whenever new divisions would onboard in the future. A huge opportunity to lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) and time to market (TTM) for Huntsman.
When Digitalum was asked to do this migration, we also had to consider that the SAP Commerce Cloud portal was tightly coupled with the SAP ERP system of record. A lot of customisation was applied to the platform as well, which increased the complexity even more in moving to a more flexible, loosely coupled and scalable solution.
Given the business objectives, technical challenges and non-negotiable deadline, first the scope was identified and defined through stakeholder workshops to get a view on the requirements for existing functionalities. These workshops were complemented with a code analysis and milestone planning.
Although the initial challenge was referred to as a “like for like migration”, the new solution has been built from scratch to accommodate onboarding of new divisions “by configuration”, as opposed to “by development”.
From a technical perspective, this entails:
- Storefront and backend system are now loosely coupled in a headless setup, which allows Huntsman to connect any type of storefront or application to the SAP Commerce Cloud backend system.
- The solution is now loosely coupled with ERP system, meaning the portal currently doesn’t need to know which ERP system to call and how to call it, as we have introduced an API layer which will dispatch the requests to the correct ERP system. This allows Huntsman to switch to a new ERP system in the future without requiring re-development on the SAP Commerce portal.
To demonstrate progress and gather feedback on incremental changes delivered, development team efforts were organised using an agile approach in which Huntsman stakeholders were also embedded.
Especially in terms of testing, Huntsman played a crucial role in sprint testing and conducted user acceptance testing (UAT). This close collaboration resulted in a very stable application at go live as no business critical issues were reported.
All identified requirements of Huntsman were met, resulting in a flexible, easily maintainable and future-proof platform.
Additional enhancements and functional improvements were proposed and delivered by Digitalum as well, resulting in a platform that’s more effective and user friendly.
The new SAP Commerce portal is set up in such a flexible way that onboarding new divisions requires mostly configuration activity, rather than development activity.
About the client
Huntsman Corporation is a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated and specialty chemicals with 2021 revenues of approximately $8 billion. Their chemical products number in the thousands and are sold worldwide to manufacturers serving a broad and diverse range of consumer and industrial end markets including aerospace, automotive and transportation, building and construction, energy, as well as textiles and footwear.
They operate more than 70 manufacturing, R&D and operations facilities in approximately 30 countries and employ approximately 9,000 associates within four distinct business divisions (Polyurethanes, Advanced Materials, Performance Products, Textile Effects). .
- SAP Commerce Cloud
- SAP Spartacus
“Project delivery success depends on knowledge, collaboration, willingness to work as one team with well-defined roles and responsibilities for each member. Transparency to the business is key to prevent surprises on cost, timeline of the project. This project was definitely a great success thanks to the right mix of Huntsman and Digitalum people involved.”Quote by Huntsman stakeholder