Spartacus implementation + SAP Commerce Cloud
Creating a custom partner portal for a world leader in surface finishing technology
Mirka Ltd is a world leader in surface finishing technology and offers a broad range of groundbreaking sanding solutions for the surface finishing and precision industry.
As a globally expanding company with 18 subsidiaries all over the world and cooperating with many partners, Mirka needed to build a solid partner portal to keep the brand consistent and to communicate with its partners
SAP Commerce Cloud
Why were we asked to help?
Leveraging eCommerce capabilities to build a partner portal.
Mirka has 18 subsidiaries located in Europe, the Middle East, North and South America, as well as Asia. The headquarters and main production are located in Finland. More than 97% of Mirka’s products are exported and sold in more than 100 countries.
Mirka sells its products to the market through distribution resellers, official export partners, and direct-to-end customers. Having a wide range of partners, Mirka decided to invest in digital services and become a digital pioneer in the industry. This strategic investment aims to cover all of their customer groups from contract distributors to end-consumers.
Key factors in Mirka’s business transformation journey and ambition are to offer a superior omnichannel customer experience that utilizes new operative models and a modern technology platform. To achieve that, Mirka needed to create a partner portal incorporating the functionality of eCommerce.
The main objective of Mirka’s Partner Portal was to help its partners do business by providing them with information about offers and tools. In addition, Mirka's Partner Portal was also supposed to act as an administration hub. Mirka decided to choose SAP as the main technology provider, and so they were looking for an experienced partner for front-end implementation.
As a core contributor to SAP Spartacus storefront since 2017 and a global leader in eCommerce-oriented progressive web apps, Divante proved to be a perfect fit for the project.
In the meantime, Mirka found a back-end partner, which was the KPS agency. Their work was mainly concerned with integrations with different SAP products used at Mirka and also with Mirka’s proprietary ERP system. Divante worked closely with KPS on the OCC REST API side and SAP CDC integration.
"Working closely with Divante on this project was a great experience for us. Their knowledge of SAP Spartacus and their pedigree with building eCommerce storefronts is outstanding and was crucial to the success of this project. Rather than working in silos, KPS and Divante worked seamlessly together as a single team, and this worked well throughout the entire project, well beyond going live. Divante's in-depth knowledge of Spartacus has allowed us to get the best out of it and to align with SAP's development roadmap. I would not hesitate to partner with Divante on another project."
How did we tackle the tech?
Smooth integrations, custom features, and an agile approach.
Cooperation between Mirka and Divante started at the end of 2019 with a code review of the previous storefront. In April 2020, Divante began a discovery phase mostly led by KPS which was responsible for the business analysis. Just before that, Mirka prepared an extensive list of user stories to be implemented throughout the project.
Discovery and design
The discovery phase aimed to retrieve details about each user story as well as to prioritize them. The responsibility of Divante was to align these stories and priorities with available Spartacus features and the Spartacus Roadmap.
The design process started with the workshop and thorough research in May 2020, just a few weeks before the front-end development. The main expectation was to create a more intuitive and responsive design for the target groups.
Front-end work included installing Spartacus, adapting it to the project requirements, and implementing B2B functionalities that were not available out of the box at the time.
We managed to successfully integrate the storefront with Episerver CMS, now Optimizely, to display the extensive content, SAP Customer Data Cloud for user authentication, profile management, and Google Tag Manager. We also implemented custom features, like a reporting system, product configurator, custom checkout flow, and many others.
Although the project started with version 2.0 of Spartacus, it was already built with the possibility of development in mind, and its subsequent upgrade to version 3.0 and 4.2 was very easy. In September 2020, we moved on to the user acceptance testing phase which resulted in quickly locating and defining defects and making all the changes requested by the client.
"Divante, as a vendor for Spartacus implementation, was key to our success because we could quickly implement new features from the Spartacus roadmap thanks to the insights Divante had about the technology. Not only were we happy with the technical implementation, but the UX designers from Divante also created the customer experience we were after. Some of the feedback we have had from our partners has been that this is 'the best thing Mirka has ever done.' We are happy to continue the collaboration with Divante and are now implementing the latest features and newest version of Spartacus."
What did we achieve?
A streamlined and coherent system for Mirka and its partners.
Mirka's Partner Portal was launched for the UK and German markets in November 2020. That's when the first partners were invited and the system started accepting its first transactions. Once the system was up and running, we moved to a continuous development model where we deliver new features every sprint.
We’re also launching the solution in new markets, which has been achieved in France, Italy, and North America so far.
"Thanks to our cooperation with Mirka, we were able to deliver the project in six months. During this time, we delivered a highly customized solution that streamlined the partner order processing system for both large and smaller partners. Part of the system is now a knowledge base so that partners have a consistent way to communicate the brand."