Wednesday, February 25, 2015

SAP Cloud for Customer: February 2015 release update

SAP Cloud for Customer moves fast, each quarter a new release is made available with new functionality and updates to existing functionality. Two weeks ago all test tenants were upgraded to the newest release (1502) and last weekend all production tenants were upgraded. So excellent timing to take a more detailed look into some of the new features of SAP Cloud for Customer. 

Standard SAP documentation with a complete overview of the 1502 release has been made available. Check this link (login required with SAP s-user) for the release update presentation and this link (login required with SAP s-user) for the 1502 master and integration guides. So a lot of information already available, in this blog we will not cover all updates (also because there are just too many) but we will highlight some of the more interesting cross application and Sales ones.

Cross application


As part of the 1502 release it’s now possible to add a custom made chart on the overview page of for example an account. This is a nice feature because it will allow you to provide a more detailed look into your customer without having to browse to different screens. Edit the master layout and click Add embedded report. Select the applicable report, define import parameters and save. 


As a result the report is available on the overview page of the account, you can display it as a table or as a chart:


Another new cross application function is the Custom object tool builder. It’s a tool with which you can configure your own custom object and add it to an existing or new workcenter, there’s no coding involved! When you create a new object you get a lot of standard functions automatically available like New, Edit and Export to Excel. The object is also made available in the Workflow rules, Approval process and Actions. You can access the Custom object tool builder from the Administrator workcenter, we plan to look into the details in one of our next blogs on SAP Cloud for Customer.

As from 1502 you have some more options to configure and personalize screens. You’re now able to define different sections on a page, grouping fields together and positioning those section on the page using column span and row span. Before you could use only a one column page but with this update you can easily arrange the data on a page which will result in a better overview and quicker access to relevant data.


Sales


With the 1502 release there’s new functionality for route planning making the Tour functionality in the Visit workcenter obsolete. With the route planning you’re able to create route templates which you can copy and automatically generate visits from, before this was basically a manual activity. This is a very useful addition because many companies who are using retail execution are used to execute the same visit planning, for example, every month so with this functionality they can create a master template  and copy it to create the same visit planning for the next few months.  


A feature which come with the route planning functionality is integration with (the also new) Visit Hours registration on the account. When you register visiting hours on an account and you create a visit from the Route functionality which conflicts with the account visiting hours you will get a warning.  

Another object in Cloud for Customer that got several updates is the Product list. Amongst others, product lists are used when creating a Sales quote to add products from a Product List. For example when you have a promotion of certain products for a limited group of customers. So you don’t have to browse through the entire product catalog, you can just pick the applicable products from the product list. 

With these updates it’s much easier to work with the Products list because you have a lot of new options to assign the product list to accounts. Before it was pretty much a manual thing selecting the customers applicable for the product list one by one but things got better! There’s also a migration template available so you can use the mass upload function to upload the product lists to SAP Cloud for Customer.


From the picture you see that it’s now possible to:
  • Add an account and indicate that all accounts below it in the account hierarchy should also be considered for the product list
  • Link a product list to a Target group, all members of the target group will get the product list assigned.
  • Link a product list to a sales area and/or sales territory making it available for all accounts in the applicable area/territory. 

A major and highly anticipated new functionality is the support of the Order object in Cloud for Customer with standard integration to SAP ECC, it is delivered as part of 1502 release. Creation of orders until now was only possible by using the Sales quote object in Cloud for Customer which resulted in a Request to Order in ECC (technically this is an Inquiry) and this was eventually turned into an order. 


Some of the functions that are available from the new Order object, as well as the Quote in Cloud for Customer:
  • When you do pricing in SAP ECC (External Pricing scenario) you will also receive Product availability information (ATP quantity and ATP date are displayed 
  • Free goods determination including the ATP check; both Exclusive free goods (buy 10 and get 1 free) and Inclusive (buy 10 and pay only 9) are supported. Free goods will be added as additional read only line items in the order and sales quote.
  • Credit limit check; as part of the external pricing call to SAP ECC a credit limit check is performed and delivers the credit status as well as messages with the exceeding amount to SAP Cloud for Customer.

The order object will receiver additional updates in 1505 release because it’s missing some of the functionality that the Sales Quote does have like workflow support, output and approval process. And to be able to implement the order to order scenario you will have to implement some notes on the SAP Cloud for Customer Add-in in ECC or import SP14 (SAPK-60014INCODERINT, see this link (login required with SAP s-user) for the content details, this support pack will be available mid-march).

Some other interesting new Sales features are:
  • ERP and CRM factsheet; you can launch the CRM or ECC factsheet which is maintained on the back-end from SAP Cloud for Customer, it’s opened as a PDF.
  • It’s now possible to store Latitude and Longitude (GEO tag) information on a customer
  • When a Sales Quote is send for approval it’s now possible to attach a PDF with the summary of the Sales Quote
  • Printing of product images in the output of Sales Quotes
  • New workflow actions for accounts; from a workflow you can execute actions like Determine Territory, Activate account, Flag the Account as Obsolete or Revoke Obsolescence and Unblock.
  • Territory management; when defining a realignment run you can now upfront determine for which account this run should be applicable. 

Service



There is a lot of new and updated service functionality available in SAP Cloud for Customer 1502 release. Check the standard documentation for a complete overview (see the top of this blog for links), some of the interesting once are:

  • More flexible routing rules for Tickets (routing based on all Ticket fields, standard and custom fields, is now available) and possibility to configure rules for pushing a Ticket to a user (Next Ticket)
  • ECC order support; Create a Complaint Ticket for items of a ECC Sales Order
  • ECC integration: Visual Document Flow for ECC Service Follow-ups (display of Billing Requests, Invoices, Internal Orders, Parts Orders, & Deliveries in C4C)
  • Communication channels; enabling threading of SMS messages (grouping of SMS messages from a conversation) and Real-time Collaboration; video and chat collaboration between employees (BETA functionality). 
  • Installed base: Installed Base functionality is now standard available and no longer only in BETA
  • Work tickets: Referencing an installed based, possible to select different output forms and you can assign assign Multiple Technicians to a Work Ticket


Mobile


The updates in this release for the mobile apps are a bit limited, more (major!!) updates are expected in the 1505 release. There have been some updates:
  • On the IPAD offline Tasks are now supported
  • On the IPAD offline Surveys are now supported
  • Individual customers are now supported on the IPAD

Cloud for Customer release planning


SAP Cloud for Customer has 4 releases per year, the next release is planned for May 2015. The planned timelines of this release have already been share by SAP, see this link. If you would like to know upfront what you exactly will be getting as part of the 1505 release you have to make sure to attend the Release Conversation call which is now planned on the 9th of April. In this call SAP will present the scope of the 1505 release, call details will be made available in above link (currently not yet available).

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