Volume 8, 2020: Issue 2

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Knowledge-based systems for the Configure Price Quote (CPQ) process – A case study in the IT solution business


Michelle Jordan, Leipzig University of Telecommunications (HfTL), Germany

Gunnar Auth, Meissen University of Applied Sciences (HSF), Germany

Oliver Jokisch, Leipzig University of Telecommunications (HfTL), Germany

Jens-Uwe Kühl, T-Systems International GmbH, Germany


Software systems for the Configure Price Quote (CPQ) process of complex product portfolios have emerged in the sales function of companies recently. A flexible quote of complex products, in particular for a Business-to-Business (B2B) customer requires a wide variability of product features and configurations, along with the ability to deliver competitive quotes in short time. The CPQ system aims to reduce the process time, to increase the process quality by integrating information and data stored in several enterprise systems with codified explicit and implicit knowledge from individuals. As in most of the knowledge management systems, the openness of the knowledge holders to share and codify their individual knowledge is a critical success factor. In this case study, we look at the CPQ system implementation of a multinational Information Technology (IT) solution provider from a process perspective and with regard to both the technical and organizational challenges in a holistic approach. The article starts with an introduction to CPQ systems based on works from the Knowledge Management (KM) domain. After outlining our research methodology, we present the case together with a generalization of the CPQ implementation process. Our findings from the investigated scenario indicate positive influence of 1) the internal promotion of CPQ systems as technology innovation for motivating expert knowledge holders to collaborate; 2) an active preparation of the organizational environment for the upcoming changes; and 3) a hybrid agile implementation process.


Product configurator, sales configurator, CPQ system, hybrid agile, implementation process




Research paper


The Online Journal of Applied Knowledge Management (OJAKM), ISSN: 2325-4688


International Institute for Applied Knowledge Management (IIAKM)


21 February 2020


30 May 2020; 8 June 2020


11 June 2020

Accepting Editor:

Meir Russ