Recap of the new features on Hive CPQ in 2021
The past year has been extraordinary. 2021 was the year of vaccinations, more remote work, and the attempt to catch up on the things we had to miss out on in 2020. Today, we’re taking one final look back at the previous year to see which features we treated our customers to! We added 150.000 lines of code to Hive, what kind of features does this translate to?
Hive rollout in China
We started the year off by rolling out our solution in China. At the end of 2020, we received a request from one of our customers who’s operating on a worldwide scale to use Hive in China. After some initial testing, we discovered that although our platform was accessible in the country, it did not work very fast.
This was caused by a network delay between our existing servers and the users in China. The Great Chinese Firewall also caused some fluctuations in the network, resulting in slow or unresponsive connections.
We decided to rollout our whole infrastructure in China. Entering this market was not an easy task, considering there are quite some rules to follow. We had to reinvent our infrastructure, conform to the Chinese regulations and the restrictions on the AWS environment.
In March of 2021, we were able to release Hive China! Our CPQ solution is now all set and ready for our Chinese customers.
A second big challenge for our dev team this year was the making of our experience configurator. We noticed that a lot of our customers requested to have a product configurator on their website. This would increase product knowledge, lead generation, and sales volumes. However, it was not easy to make the entire experience user-friendly.
We decided to recreate the Hive configurator experience but tailor it to customers visiting a website and requesting a quote. After some initial mock-ups we found a sweet spot in how we could build a public configurator. By the end of the year, this new module came off beta and is now generally available!
Take a look at this example:
Standard integrations with Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics
Integrations are a crucial in every CPQ project. That’s why in 2021 we prioritized making them easier for customers using Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics platforms. Together with some partners, we developed some out-of-the-box modules that connect HiveCPQ to these platforms.
This means we can now exchange data in both directions, so users working in the CRM or ERP can see live updates from HiveCPQ. These integrations are incredibly user-friendly and customizable.
We look forward to building more standard integrations soon!
Analytics and reports
Powerful analytics and reporting are needed to drive the sales process and help users to make the right decisions in terms of strategy. How active are customers on the sales platform? What is the average amount of revenue generated by Hive?
It was already possible to link HiveCPQ to reporting engines such as PowerBI, Tableau, and Qlik. These tools provide useful insights into the data Hive presents about dealer activity. However, exposing these reports to distributors was not possible.
In 2021, we developed a feature to expose powerful analytics dashboards to dealers and to back-office users. Distributors can now track their own sales figures, while back-office employees use the same customizable reports to understand and optimize the dealer performance. Throughout 2022 we will continue to improve the reports, so they generate better insights into the sales process.
A unified buying experience through plugins
Imagine that before the implementation of HiveCPQ, there was already an application in place that allowed your dealers to manage their invoices. How would these two systems work together? How can we avoid that dealers have to login to both applications separately?
With our new plugin system, Hive users can now develop or integrate existing applications directly into the platform. The plugins make your app accessible for dealer within the platform and guarantee the safety of sensitive information.
We are very excited to see how our users will extend Hive with plugins and we are convinced that this feature will offer a unified buying experience for distributors.
Fun fact: The plugin system started out as an internship project! We were so thrilled with the quality of the work that we decided to include it in Hive! We built a Google Maps plugin as part of the project to showcase the possibilities:
New admin modules and quick edits
Lastly, our dev team worked on some new admin modules. Over the years, we have developed new features for customers to use within Hive. These features came with a toolset that was used by our internal Project Engineers but lacked the user-friendliness to be used by customers.
We therefore developed a brand-new self-service administration module in 2021. Users can now easily change settings in the platform, add new products, change prices, and manage configurators themselves. We have included more user-friendly dropdowns and quick edits, so users can make quick changes without having to open the configurator. We will continue this approach in 2022 so that customers can do more themselves within the platform.
These new developments allowed us to optimize Hive CPQ in 2021. We look forward to making our platform even more user-friendly in the new year with new features, standard integrations, administration modules and our public configurator.
We’re ready for a buzzing 2022, are you?
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HiveCPQ is now locally available in China!
HiveCPQ simplifies international B2B e-commerce even further now: our platform is running in China! It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, working its way up to the number 1 spot. China, known as a manufacturing hub, is therefore an interesting place for B2B players around the globe to target.