Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Adding a formatted free text to your pdf forms in SAP Cloud for Customer

Since the 1511 release it is possible to define your own formatted text field as an extension to basically any object in SAP Cloud for Customer and add this field to your PDF form templates. Relatively simple in concept, but it provides the flexibility to add (formatted) free text to the generated output for all transactional- and master data objects in C4C that did not have the option before.

This blog shows how it can be done for the tickets in SAP C4C. Generating a PDF summary for a ticket has always lacked the option to add a formatted free text or note, but with this extension mechanism we can add a free text to the ticket and have it included in the PDF summary. This upgrades this ticket summary to a potential letter or any other kind of output that can be sent to your customers in a well formatted way.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dynamic variable replacement in a standard text

In today’s blog I would like to share a code example about how to dynamically replace text variables in a Standard (SO10) text. Every time I have to use text while I’m programming I want to make this text maintainable so I do not have to hardcode this text. When this text is not hardcoded it’s also easier to make changes to the text by someone else then the developer who created the logic.

For this blog I created the following text containing the variables LV_COMPANY, LV_DATE, LV_CITY and LV_MEDIUM. By the end of the blog we would have an elegant way to replace variables in a SO10 text.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Next level ABAP Development: Creating efficient code

The technical innovations in the SAP world are following each other in rapid succession. It should therefore not come as a surprise that even our trusty ABAP language is not left untouched. A lot of new cool features have been introduced in the ABAP 7.40 release which has been around for quite some time now and with the upcoming 7.50 release even more ammunition can be added to your ABAP arsenal. Being an ABAP developer myself I find it important to keep track of these innovations so that I can benefit from the new possibilities they give me and allow me to create more efficient code in the process. In this blog I will first give you some practical examples of the new possibilities in the ABAP 7.40 release which I use daily and make my life as an ABAP developer a lot easier. In the second part I will dive deeper into some of the new features of the ABAP 7.50 release and give some practical examples of how they can be applied.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Excel is king, SAP C4C his queen!

As one of the account managers of Acorel I use SAP Cloud for Customer frequently in my day-to-day work. I keep track of my leads, opportunities, make sure that all customer information is up-to-date and plan my appointments (in combination with MS Outlook). We even have some cool dashboards and reports that give a more aggregated view on e.g. the pipeline. Sounds great hey ;) Ok, ok, I might be a bit biased but I strongly believe C4C is a great tool that makes my sales life easier.

In this blog I would like to point out that some of my favorite features aren't 100% SAP Cloud for Customer… say what?! Yup, it’s the Microsoft Excel plug-in I want to share some information and use-case about. One of my managers in the beginning of my career told me once “Excel is king” and I think a lot of people will still agree; it’s flexible, fast and easy to use for a sales rep like me ;)
Well, if “Excel is king”, I think you will agree with me, after reading this blog, that “C4C is his queen”.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Agile/Scrum in SAP implementation projects

More and more organizations are moving away from waterfall and start using Agile/Scrum. In practice, however, you often hear they are actually ‘scrum-buts’: they tweak the method to their own unique situation and according to some people therefore not using its full potential. I just finished a project where we did full-scrum, so let me share my experience so it can help you in making your own decisions.

Sprint length

Let’s start with the sprint length. The length you choose has a big influence on the whole scrum experience. Usually scrum proponents prefer a shorter one because as a team you learn quicker as there are more frequent retrospectives and more importantly you are forced to work with smaller stories, which contributes to a steeper learning curve and makes it easier and less risky to write and size follow-up stories.

Scrum skeptics usually prefer a longer length because it enables them to work more in a waterfall way and they think it’s more efficient. They feel the overhead of the scrum ceremonies is much larger when the sprint length is short. Although officially this is not true, because their duration depend on the sprint length, in practice this is absolutely my experience. In longer sprints it’s easier to combine stories in one demo which makes both preparation and presentation time shorter. But also grooming and sprint planning takes longer: we lost quite some time in discussions to cut larger stories into smaller pieces and agreeing on the scope of each. The shorter the sprints are, the more often you need to do this.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Using the BOL in BAdIs... Or not?

Developing custom programs from scratch is one thing, creating modifications within SAP CRM is something totally different. Within a system like SAP CRM you need to know how things work, what options you have to achieve a specific goal etc.

In this blog I want to share my experience on working with BOL/GenIL and some of the BAdI's I have implemented, and I hope to get some more insights/tricks from you readers as well. ;-)

If you are not familiar with BAdI's, Check here for more information.

The first problem I ran into was with the following requirement:
"When saving a specific business transaction in the WebClient we want to make sure that field Y is filled".
The first solution for this requirement was created within the configuration making field Y mandatory. After some testing we found out that despite the field being mandatory, when navigating to another view and we clicked the End button the business transaction would still be saved.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Start using the ERP Cockpit in SAP Cloud for Customer

Customers frequently require insight in ECC information like Sales Orders, Deliveries, and Billing Documents etc. directly from SAP Cloud for Customer. SAP C4C provides the following functionalities;
  • ECC Search
  • Account 360 for recent orders
  • ERP Customer Factsheet offers a PDF factsheet without the need for a VPN connection
  • ERP Cockpit
The configuration for the ERP Cockpit is fast and easy and provides a standard Customer Cockpit that can be personalized by the user. Further customization of the ERP Cockpit is also possible, but requires custom coding on the customer cockpit functionality in SAP ECC.

Although the ERP Cockpit can be opened on a tablet, the ERP Cockpit is not optimized for touch navigation. Also a VPN connection is needed to access an ERP system in general. The ERP Cockpit is aimed at the (internal) Sales employee to quickly navigate to customer sales documents from SAP C4C.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Telephony Integration in SAP Cloud for Customer

In the past I have done an accreditation on the integration of SAP BCM (the previous name of SAP's Contact Center solution) and SAP CRM onPremise. The past two years I have been working as a C4C consultant and obviously became interested in the possibilities of integrating C4C with SAP Contact Center. When one of my customers requested details about the integration possibilities between SAP BCM and C4C, I investigated the possibilities, which I would like to share here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Benefits Of Integrating Social Media In Cloud For Service - Twitter Integration.

SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C) consists of three pillars:
  • SAP Cloud for Sales
  • SAP Cloud for Service
  • SAP Cloud for Social Engagement
In this blog we will highlight the benefits of using Social Engagement in relation with SAP Cloud for Service. Whereas the areas of Sales and Service are extensively discussed and reviewed the Social Engagement part is not that known by the C4C user community. The blog will consists of two parts where part 1 will describe the advantages of Cloud for Social Engagement whereas part 2 will focus on setting up the integration between Twitter and SAP C4C.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

How to show on premise data in C4C using SAP HANA Cloud Integration

One of the most requested developments within SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C) is extending screens with data from other resources.
This blog will be a step by step guide to display data from an on premise system in C4C via HANA Cloud Integration (HCI).

Developments can be split up in 3 different categories, i.e.: ECC, HCI and C4C. I will mainly focus on the C4C side, but will show some screenshots of the other developments as well.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

SAP Cloud for Customer - Out of the Box integration

Integration of customer focussed systems such as SAP Cloud for Customer is no longer limited to only SAP ECC. Customers are asking for integration with social media and a variety of other tools and platforms, SAP C4C offers many of these integration capabilities, some of them out of the box. This blog provides an overview of the platforms and tools C4C integrates with and shows how easy it is to realize an integration using a mashup web service.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

What's in store for the February release of SAP Cloud for Customer?

SAP updates its Cloud for Customer system four times a year and we have just had the first one of 2016.
I would like to share with you an extract of the fully detailed scope document for the highlights of new and improved functionalities of this release.
I am taking you on a trip through the different areas of interest: sales, service and overall.


Sales area independent relationships

As of the February release you can maintain sales area dependent relationships. This means that, when creating a relationship between two accounts, you can add your own defined sales area. During partner determination on your transactions, sales area data is taken into account. When you are running an integrated scenario with SAP ECC, this data is also replicated.
You need to activate sales area dependency for each relationship type in your system configuration.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

SAP reveals new components of its digital platform at the SAP Hybris Summit 2016

Nowadays a lot of companies are trying to build-up their digital platform because the market is changing. Customers are digitally connected and demand a high level of service with a real (digital) customer experience. Competitors are entering the market with new business models made possible by the speed of innovations. Companies are looking for new ways to get in touch with the customer and want to be distinctive, creating magic moments, to stay ahead of their competitors. So, its all about knowing your customer, thoroughly. Companies want to become digital masters and don’t want to be digitally disrupted.

SAP Hybris Summit

From Monday February 15th until Wednesday February 17th Acorel visited the SAP Hybris Summit in Munich, Germany. At the moment the SAP Hybris Summit is the main SAP event in the area of Customer Engagement and Commerce. Important leaders like Carsten Thoma, President & General Manager SAP Hybris, Brian Walker, Chief Strategy Officer SAP Hybris and Pascal Matzke, VP Research Director Forrester and interesting customer stories from Asics, Samsung, T-Systems, Alfa Laval, Arco, Trek Bikes, Office Depot, Tata Steel showed customers and partners the direction and new solutions towards the SAP Hybris digital platform.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Using an AngularJS / Bootstrap template in an SAP HCP HTML5 application

As you probably know, SAP provides SAPUI5 as the framework for building HTML5 applications on HCP. Out of the box the SAP WebIDE provides you with a lot of stuff to quickly create applications built with SAPUI5. In some cases however, SAPUI5 might not be the best framework for the application that you're building. This blog describes why you might want to use a different framework and how you can use a template built with this framework (AngularJS in this case) in the SAP WebIDE and run it on HCP.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Quick implementation of Hybris integrated with SAP

Do you also want to have a Hybris commerce webshop? Do you also think that this is complex and expensive ? Read this blog to find out how to quickly implement a Hybris webshop in your company!

The story of SAP and E-Commerce

SAP has always delivered an easy to build e-commerce webshop connected to the SAP backend system. It started with the Online Store (1996 - 2003). This was replaced by SAP Internet Sales (2002 - 2010) and later by SAP Web Channel Experience Management. As from 2013 SAP bought Hybris which is the leading solution for commerce.

The main advantages of the previous SAP solutions were:
  • Easy to implement and easy to configure
  • Out-of-the-box working B2C and B2B webshop
  • Out-of-the-box integration with SAP ERP and SAP CRM

The main disadvantages of the previous SAP solutions were:
  • Not flexible (limited number of functionality)
  • Not state-of-the-art technology 
  • Poor performance
  • Only working with SAP backend system

Now SAP Hybris solves the disadvantages and with the Acorel approach keeps the advantages.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Customer Master Data integration with SAP Cloud for Customer and ECC

Integration with your SAP ECC backend is one of the standard features of SAP C4C. The Integration options are flexible but this also requires you to make decisions on how you want the integration to work. One of the things you need to decide is how you want to cope with updates of your customer master data.

Some subjects to consider are:
  • Do you want to allow changes in SAP C4C to update your customer data in SAP ECC? 
  • Do you want to allow users to convert Prospects into Customers in SAP C4C which in turn creates an account in SAP ECC? 
  • Do you want to keep the creation of Customers in SAP ECC limited to you Master Data Management team? 

The level of data that you want users to update is also important. For instance, will you allow the creation of new contact persons and relationships in SAP C4C and should they be sent to ECC?

In most of our projects we see that Prospects are allowed to be created and updated in SAP C4C, but Customer master data is not (excluding for instance the creation of new Contact Persons and Relationships). Changes in Customer master data, and creation of new customers, need to go via the Master Data Management team who in turn create/update the data in SAP ECC.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

7 tips to quickly install SAP hybris Commerce Suite on your PC

SAP hybris Commerce Suite is the omni-channel commerce solution from SAP hybris. It offers a consistent shopping experience accross channels like web or call center and can be integrated with SAP ERP or CRM.

You would like to install the SAP hybris Commerce Suite locally on your PC for a customer demonstration or to familiarize yourself with the hybris Commerce functionality? You don’t want to spend time on solving installation issues?
Follow the 7 tips to quickly install the SAP hybris Commerce Suite on your PC and get started!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Field Service Management in Cloud for Customer 1602

Every new release of SAP's Cloud for Customer brings a lot of new functionality. At the moment one of the focus points of SAP is bringing the full Field Service functionality to C4C.
In this blog we will take a closer look at the capabilities of C4C release 1602 with a specific focus on the Field Service functionality. Which functionalities are available, and what will the (near) future bring.

Process Overview

Within C4C the service process can start with selling a service contract via the quotation flow. The contract will be the place holder for the SLA that is agreed with the customer and will initiate the billing.
A customer is able to connect to its supplier via multiple channels in case of a break down.  A ticket is created for this customer by the customer support team.
When this ticket requires work we enter the area of field service management. This process includes the planning, execution and confirmation of service demands. The objects used for this proces wil be handled in the rest of this blog.
This blog does not focus on the Ticketing part itself, since this is already covered in many other blogs. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

How To Mass Upload attachments to Accounts in Cloud for Customer

Business Context

In Cloud for Customer projects the migration of data is an important aspect. C4C provides the tooling to migrate data from legacy systems into Cloud for Customer. When a customer is moving from their legacy CRM system to C4C, there is usually quite a history of customer information in the form of e-mail messages, contracts, or any other kind of documents. Obviously this history contains valuable information and needs to be available for salesreps to serve their customers. 

Until recently you had to write your own program and make use of web services in order to mass upload documents and assign them to the accounts in C4C.

Recently SAP has added new functionality to C4C to mass upload documents and assign them, in this case, to accounts. This blog describes how to benefit from this Data Workbench functionality.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Tricks of the action framework

Today’s article is about SAP CRM on Premise. In the past we had a number of blog posts on the Action framework. Today I will share some tricks of the Action Framework that were new to me. One of the things you will learn is how to schedule an action to start only during a full moon!

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New EU privacy regulations are coming

The EU's current data protection laws date from 1995, before the internet came into widespread use and mobile phones were not as common.

A lot has changed since 1995: Today mobile phones are common, people access data via their smartphones and tablets, and data is stored in the cloud. Personal data like e.g. name, address, date of birth, telephone numbers and pictures are shared on daily basis, whether to open a bank account, book a flight, apply for a job or to get a fitness card.

Time for an update

On December 15th 2015, the European Union officials have reached an agreement on a new European digital-privacy law, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

The texts of the regulation must be definitively approved by the European Parliament and EU and the Regulation is planned to take effect after a transition period of two years.

The regulation is applicable if the data controller (enterprises that own the data) or data processor (e.g. cloud provider) or the data subject (person) is based in the EU.
The Regulation also applies to organizations based outside the European Union if they process personal data of EU residents.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Cloud for Customer - 3 survey design tips

One of the functionalities in SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C) is surveys.
Surveys are checklists or questionnaires that can be centrally maintained and automatically assigned to Customer Visit Reports. The survey maintenance offers a wide range of options.
This article focuses on three tips for survey maintenance.

Tip 1: Translation of surveys.

When you have users logging on in different languages, you should be aware of the fact that when you forget (or choose not) to translate a survey, the user logging on in the different language will end up with a form without the descriptions.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

C4C iPad app; Which app should I choose? Native (HTML5) or Responsive (Fiori) !!

Currently there are 2 C4C iPad apps available in the App store. The so called Native app which is based on HTML5 and the Responsive one, based on Fiori. The first app is available since the 1402 release and the Responsive app became available in the 1502 release. In my last project we had to choose the app for the endusers, in our case sales representatives, to work with. The decision was made in October, so based on the 1508 release of C4C. In this blog I will explain the differences (related to our scope) between the apps, approach, our choice and the reason behind this.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Marketing Attributes in C4C

An important feature of Cloud for Customer (C4C) is maintaining the characteristics of customers and prospects. Based on my experience in multiple projects, it is common practice to capture customer characteristics on newly created tabs and extension fields.
This can add up to a lot of fields, for example, different types of customers could have different characteristics. For example, an Automotive company might have different characteristics compared to for instance a Retail company. So even though they are both customers maintained in the system, the relevant data to be maintained might differ. This might lead to a lot of custom fields... Or is there a way out?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Practical tips for implementing SAP Cloud for Customer

What are you facing when implementing SAP Cloud for Customer? How do you ensure a solid integration in your existing system landscape?
Jop Vening lead many C4C implementations, and will share his experiences in this article on C4C implementations.

When implementing SAP C4C, we use a ‘SAP Launch’ based approach. This methodology consists of the phases Prepare, Realise, Verify, Launch. I will guide you through these four phases and highlight a few important steps.

Phase 1: Prepare

In this phase, you think about the processes that need to be supported and the functionalities you need. This is what would be considered the blueprint phase in the traditional waterfall model. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

SAP Hybris Marketing: Context matters!

Let me introduce you to SAP Hybris Marketing.

Hybris Marketing is a must-have if you are looking to keep up with the global shift in marketing execution. Despite the fact that mass-marketing is still considered effective for the generation of brand-awareness, maximizing the effectiveness of the marketing funnel can now be taken to the next level using state-of-the-art software like Hybris Marketing.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

All about the HANA Cloud Platform.

As SAP's cloud strategy is running faster than Usain, we see new tools popping up by the blink of an eye. An important player in the game is HCP, also known as the HANA Cloud Platform.
Let's take a look at what this so-called 'platform' consists of, and if possible, check out what's under the hood.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

SAP Cloud for Service

Most organisations using SAP Cloud for Customer focus on its sales capabilities. A whole other area of useful functionality is a blind spot for most of the current customers. With this I'm referring to Cloud for Service, which covers a broad spectrum of service related processes. A couple of weeks ago, the service topic was already partly touched in the blog about Customer Service for Utilities, yet, the solution covers more than just Utilities. As good customer service is a valuable tool to lower customer attrition rates, Cloud for Service is a tool to help companies with this. Especially customers using SAP ECC as their ERP system will benefit from the capabilities of this tool with the available integrated scenarios. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

SAP HANA Cloud Platform / Cloud for Customer Powerweek

A couple of months ago we received an invitation from SAP regarding an upcoming Powerweek for HCP development in combination with Cloud for Customer. To participate in this powerweek, all we had to do is submit an interesting use case that uses both technologies / platforms. All submitted use cases would then be reviewed by the organizing team at SAP for submission.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Deleting Contact Person between SAP CRM and SAP ECC

In this week blog I'll explain what happens in SAP CRM as the SAP ECC system is leading to delete a contact person from an account. Deleting the contact person in ECC ensures that not the contact person but the relationship in CRM (is contact person of) between the contact person and the account is deleted. Deleting the contact person in SAP CRM is more difficult because this business partner can also be used in several business transactions.

In order to indicate that the specific business partner in SAP CRM is no longer active, it would make sense to set an archiving flag. The contact remains visible, however, if you select this contact you will receive a warning that the contact person is marked for archiving.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

C4C: Extending Pre-Packaged integration content with Standard field: A Simple Workaround

We could use Key User Tool ( KUT) or  SDK (PDI) to create Extension fields and add them to the existing Web service and eventually use them for integrations inbound and outbound.

What if we want to add a standard field, which is available on a screen/BO and not available in the standard Webservice?

I came across a scenario, where we wanted to have Standard field “Territory” visible on the Customer Header pane to be available in ECC in order to determine the Sales Office of the Customer. However, this field “Territory” was not available in the outbound Webservice used to replicate customers to SAP Business Suite “Replicate Business Partners to SAP ERP”.

In Order to realize this field in Outbound Web Services, we created an Extension Field “ExtTerritory”and passed the value of Standard Field “Territory” to it based on an Event in the SDK. Subsequently, adjusted the updated WSDL in ESB and mapped the value of new field “ExtTerritory” to a custom field in IDOC DEBMAS06.

This document details the simple work around we have done to accomplish this requirement using SDK.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Hot stuff : SAP Customer Connect CRM improvements delivered August 2015

SAP delivers features for their customers (for free…) through its Customer Connect Program. For those who are not familiar with this program, my colleague Pieter has written the most important stuff here and here . Although it is already October, this blog is about my personal top 5 of improvements delivered in august 2015.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

SAP Digital for Customer Engagement compared with SAP Cloud for Customer

We have ended our previous blog about SAP Digital for Customer Engagement (SAP D4C) with the conclusion that this solution offers, from a functional point of view, a complete CRM solution with a user experience that is very comparable to SAP Cloud for Customer (SAP C4C).

Obviously, there are consciously chosen limitations compared to SAP Cloud for Customer. This blog will describe these differences in more detail. In addition, we will discuss how SAP D4C could be the first step on the road to a full SAP C4C implementation.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

SAP Cloud for Customer; system landscape challenges

In the old days it was pretty simple and straightforward, you would have a 4 (or sometimes 3) system SAP landscape consisting of a development, test, acceptance and production system. With the introduction of cloud based solutions like C4C it’s not that obvious any more, in this blog we will give our point of view on how many C4C systems you should have and describe the approach on how to keep your cloud landscape in sync.  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Integrating multiple ECC systems into one SAP Cloud for Customer system

Integrating SAP Cloud for Customer with an SAP ECC system is one thing… But integrating with two is literally another thing.

It might sound a bit strange, but already we have had this question quite a couple of times. In quite some occasions, acquisitions or multiple local implementations have resulted in single customers having multiple SAP implementations. This is not necessarily a problem in the back end, but when aiming at a single 360 degrees customer overview, you require a single truth both in reporting as well as in your customer-facing applications. Integrating with multiple backends from that standpoint is not exceptional, so let me share some of my findings on integrating multiple backends with a single C4C instance with you.

As there is detailed information on the SAP ECC integration available on the SAP Help portal, let me focus on the C4C side here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Surveys with Product lists determined based on Target groups

Cloud for Customer is jam-packed with cool features to cover all kinds of business requirements.
In some cases these features are nicely described and explained in the help documentation, but in other cases you would be surprised what more the system has to offer that has not been extensively described. In this blog I want to share some information about how to set up product surveys with product determination based on product lists in combination with target groups. Yes I know, it is quite a mouthful but this functionality can be very useful if you want to limit the amount of data maintenance while still being able to automatically populate the relevant Products on Surveys.

This can be a lifesaver in retail execution scenarios, in which we conduct many store visits with product surveys. First of all you can already save tons of time by assigning product lists to surveys instead of individual products. Then on top of that you can achieve even more efficiency by assigning target groups to these product lists instead of individual customers. The stores that carry the same assortments can be grouped into the same target groups. So when visiting these stores the list of products automatically get populated on the survey. Let me continue to explain why this approach is way more maintenance-friendly.

This approach will especially become valuable when you have the total product assortment divided into many product lists that have been assigned to many customers at once. Instead of going into each individual product list to update the list of customers, we assign the target groups to the product lists one-time only. Whenever a new customer should be added or removed to multiple product lists at once we only update that single target group. This will directly affect the product list determination for this customer when for example conducting a survey with almost zero maintenance effort!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Call Center and Customer Service for Utilities in SAP Cloud for Customer

SAP is providing more and more Industry Scenarios to their Cloud for Customer (C4C) solution. In the past colleague Guus explained more about the Retail Execution for Consumer Products Industry. Now it is time to have a closer look at one of the other (new) industry solutions; Utilities. SAP C4C now integrates with SAP IS-U!

In the past 2 releases (1505 and 1508) SAP added a lot of new functionality to the utilities solution of C4C. This blog will focus on the Utilities Call Center and Customer Service capabilities in C4C. It shows which scenarios are covered and we will take a look at the administrator tasks that must be performed.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

How to deal with quarterly updates

As you probably know, SAP updates their Cloud 4 Customer software 4 times a year, every February, May, August and November. This is a great thing as you get new and improved functionality without having to pay extra for it. On the other hand, this does mean additional resources and attention is required to guarantee a smooth and consistent system.

This article will guide you through a number of tips and things to think of when the next quarterly update is coming.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Think Design

When I first heard of the Design Thinking process I thought it was all about building fancy looking user interfaces and modern looking mobile apps. But I soon learned that it is a user-centered design process. The Design Thinking process at SAP started in 2004 when Hasso Plattner thought that Design Thinking was needed in software development and business. He agreed to fund the first D-School at Stanford University. Four years later he brought 35 Design Thinkers into SAP to collaborate with the corporate strategy group and make Design Thinking a strategic priority at SAP. After 4 years of internal use of the Design Thinking process SAP scaled Design Thinking as a way to help customers drive business outcomes by reframing their problems. 

In 2012 I had my first hands-on experience with the Design Thinking process with SAP. In this blog I would like to share the steps of the Design Thinking process. For this blog I used the theory described in the bootcamp bootleg document of the Stanford Institute of Design.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Realtime processing of Webforms using ERMS

The use of Web forms with SAP ERMS is a powerful combination.
By providing the content of a web form to an incoming mail it is possible to add this data to the ERMS Fact base.
These additional fields can then be used in the ERMS rule modeler and can help you to further improve your automated email responses.
Standard SAP provides a so-called fact gathering service that will take care of this process. In this blog we will describe the use of the standard SAP fact gathering service for processing web form content in ERMS. This service expects the web form content to be delivered as an XML-file attached to an incoming mail.
As not all platforms are able to add an XML file as an attachment (as well as the fact that adding XML as attachments to emails might give you trouble with exchange server policies and virus checkers), this blog will also describe an alternative way to achieve the same goal using a custom built fact gathering service that will extract the web form fields directly from the HTML content of the email body using some custom field tagging.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

How to report on SAP C4C Survey Result

This blog will explain how you can create your own reports in SAP C4C based on given survey answers. Using this report you can analyze all given answers.

SAP C4C support the use of surveys. This blog will not explain all the different types of surveys and how to build a survey, but only focus how to build a report on the survey results.

Surveys can be used to register answers on predefined questions and can be used in leads, opportunities and visits. In this example we will focus on the survey results for visits.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

How to use KPI's in SAP Cloud for Customer

Business background

Sometimes when I ask a sales manager how he or she manages their salesreps, the response is often that the team is managed on sales turnover. Usually I reply with “OK! How do you do that?”… Do you have a magic button you push to increase sales volumes or something?”

Sales is a numbers game. Every sales organization keeps track of certain sets of numbers. It is easy to obsess over the obvious numbers like monthly or quarterly revenue or closing rates. Unfortunately, those numbers simply give you the “final score,” without giving you any insight on how your team plays their game.

Sales management simply wants to manage those activities that impact the increase of turnover and the performance of his team. For example they want to have better insight in the visit frequency of customers and how they vary in the sales team.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

SAP Digital for Customer Engagement

SAP launched an interesting new CRM cloud solution named SAP Digital for Customer Engagement (SAP D4C). In essence SAP D4C is the stand-alone entry-level version of the known SAP Cloud for Customer. Like SAP C4C it offers support for sales, service and marketing processes. SAP D4C focuses on smaller teams and departments who want to make a quick start in the field of customer engagement without any form of integration.

Starting with SAP D4C is simple; all it takes is a credit card and a connection to the Internet. The necessary licenses can be purchased through the SAP store ( The licenses cost €23, - per user per month, no minimum number of users required. There is also an option to choose for a free trial, with this trial version it is possible to try SAP D4C for free for 30 days.

It goes without saying that Acorel already tried SAP D4C and we would like to share our findings.

The conformation email is received short after registering at the SAP store. This email contains credentials and the hyperlink to access SAP D4C. An introduction video will be started after first login followed by a guided help covering the most relevant features of SAP D4C.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Dear Reader,

On July 28th 2010, we started this blog with an article on enhancing a component and a view in the CRM Webclient.

The idea was to have a centralized place to share knowledge on topics related to our professional expertise, SAP CRM. The most important goal was to have good quality content on a steady basis. Every Wednesday at 12:00 CET.

We started off slow. With merely 23 pageviews in August 2010, I am very proud to serve more than 20.000 pageviews per month and over 400 email subscribers to our newsletter today, adding value to SAP projects around the globe.

Over the years, topics have varied, SAP CRM, BCM, Interaction Center, Webclient programming, SOAP interfaces, workflow, C4C, Hybris, etc, with a changing technology pushing towards SAP HANA and Cloud.

As Acorel grew, so did the number of contributors. It is these contributors that I would like to thank today. I am very proud to note that since the start, we have not missed a single Wednesday, all thanks to these devoted writers.

We plan to continue posting weekly and I hope you will be enjoying it as much as I do.

Pieter Rijlaarsdam

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Exception handling in SAP Workflow

Last week I showed how to instantiate an object in SAP Workflow.

What if the instantiation of the object fails? In our case, the user might not exist in the system anymore... So I would feed the object username, and the system would respond with 'Computer says no'?

If you would do nothing, the workflow would break.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Instantiating an object in SAP Workflow

The other day I was struggling with determining emailaddresses in SAP Workflow.

In my case, I was looking for the email address of a user assigned to a businesspartner, assigned to the lead I was working on.

In BUS2000108, there is an attribute 'EMPLOYEERESPONSIBLEUSER'.

The attribute is of type USR01, which is nice, but does not contain the attribute 'Emailaddress'...

Whilst looking around, I noticed another business object, named 'BUS4101', that could also eat usernames. The BUS4101 apparently does contain my emailaddress.

Great news... But how to get from a username to the attached emailaddres when the definition of the attribute is of the wrong type?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

How to customise a standard report in C4C

One of the most impressive functionalities of Cloud for Customer (C4C) is the reporting and analysis functionality. 'Out of the box' there are many reports and KPIs in C4C that are standard available. These standard reports can be adjusted  and new reports can be built by C4C users if they are authorised for the work center 'Business Analytics'. In this blog I will explain how to adjust a standard report. Also I will illustrate how to easily export a custom built report from the test tenant to the production tenant.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

SAP HCP and the Internet of Things

With so many connected devices it makes sense that SAP is providing a solution to get insightful information from and to these devices so businesses can analyse the data and gain information to add value to the company.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Building fast and flexible reports using Cloud Data Sources

Because your customers are one of your biggest assets you want know everything there is to know about them. We have learned from experience that not all customer data is always present in one system which makes it challenging to give you a total overview. SAP Cloud for Customer (C4C) gives you easy to use functionality to add this missing data in your SAP C4C reports, giving your business the so much needed 360° overview. It can also be used to enrich other types of reports, you are not limited to your customers.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

SAP CRM Market Development Funds (MDF) with SD integration

In a previous blog I wrote about the SAP CRM Market Development Funds (MDF) functionality and how the MDF solution actually looks in the system. The MDF solution enables the brand owner to better manage the administration, distribution and consumption of funds for resellers. In the standard MDF solution the settlement (billing) document is generated in CRM with CRM billing (CRM-BE) and transferred from there to Accounting FI-AP.

In this blog I will explain the settings to be made to transfer the CRM settlement document not to Accounting but instead to an SD billing document in SAP ERP (SD-BIL). From there they can be further processed to Financial Accounting.